Jeff Steinmann – Hello everyone. Welcome to the How to Quit Working show. Today I have got a little bit different show for you. Actually, I wouldn’t say it’s a lot different. We talked to you a lot of people on this show about creating a business and doing something with their life that they really care about. They really love and passionate about. But today, we are going to get a different perspective on that. Today, I have asked Jim Beach to join us.
Now Jim has started multiple multibillion dollar businesses as well as taught business and entrepreneurship as a university professor and today, he is going to give us a different perspective than what we normally talk about on this show- about creating a business and about what it really takes to be a successful entrepreneur. Jim, welcome to the show.
Jim Beach- Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it.
Jeff Steinmann- Jim, I am excited to have you here because you have a different perspective about entrepreneurship and what it means to be an entrepreneur and more importantly, what it takes to be an entrepreneur. Can you talk a little bit about that?
Jim Beach- Yeah, you are right Jeff. I really do think that my view is a little bit different. You know, if we were to play family feud Jeff and we were to have the top 3 answers on the board to what is entrepreneurship, I am pretty sure the top three answers would be creativity, risk and passion. And I believe that those are the three things that are holding people back from being the successful entrepreneurs that they want to be. There are these myths out there about entrepreneurship.
People think that only creative people can be entrepreneurs and I think that’s a 100% wrong. People think that you have to take a lot of risk to be an entrepreneur and I think that it’s actually the other way around. Entrepreneurs are people who figure out how to reduce risk to the point where it’s a no brainer and more importantly, this is the most important thing Jeff, passion is bad. I don’t believe in passion at all. I am not passionate about my entrepreneur activities. I am not passionate about the goods and the products that I sell.
I am however very passionate about the process, the freedom, the fact that I don’t work for the Man. That fact I eat what I kill. The fact that I am in control of my destiny but Jeff, I don’t care what I do. I don’t care what I sell.
As long as I get to go to Disney two weeks a year with what I am passionate about which is my three beautiful children and my incredible wife, I will do almost any entrepreneurial activity if it means that I have the freedom to do the other things that I want and that’s what I think the beauty of entrepreneurship is, is that it allows me to go to ballet at 2, soccer at 4 and then say, ‘hey I am done for the day’, ‘I am quitting’. You know, I love that expression that entrepreneurs can work any 27 hours of the day that they want to and that they have that freedom. But you know it is true; I work very, very hard as an entrepreneur but I also have more freedom than any of my friends. I spend more time with my children than any of my friends because of the entrepreneurship lifestyle that I have been able to create for myself.
You know, I love your blogs Jeff. I was looking through some of the things that you have been writing about. You know I really agree and I am so happy to have met you because I think you and I are real kindred spirits in this sense. People could be entrepreneurs with never having had a creative thought in their body. They don’t have to have this inspiration, this lightning bolt from God, yeah Buddha, Mohammad whoever. You can just go on Mr. Google and type in ‘free business ideas for under $500’ and I think the listeners would be blown away by how many hundreds of business plans are online that people are giving away.
You know the opportunity is the ideas are out there. It’s really easy to find a problem to go solve and I love that definition of entrepreneurship is ‘solving problems with limited budgets’. That’s to me a really cool definition of entrepreneurship because it embodies what I want to say that ‘you don’t have to be passionate about this. I will sell anything that’s legal if I can go to Disney an extra week of the year because of it’.
And so my views I think are a little bit different on entrepreneurship but it’s really empowering for one of the 72% of Americans who claim they want to be an entrepreneur so 72% Jeff want to be, 10% are, so we are looking at 60% that are sitting on the sofa because they are afraid of creativity, risk or passion. You know, we hear excuses like ‘well, I can’t be an entrepreneur right now Jeff because my boys are about to go off to college and now’s a bad time for me to take this risk’. You know, I hear that a thousand, ‘oh, I am just waiting, you know, as soon as I get my inspiration, as soon as I find a cool business for me to start, I am going to jump right in with both feet. Just as soon God gives me an idea’. Well, that person will die sitting on the sofa, remote in hand with no business to ever run.
Jeff Steinmann – So Jim, your advice for that guy, for that person who is in that situation is just find an opportunity, doesn’t matter if you like it or not and push forward with that opportunity, is that what you are saying.
Jim Beach- Yes, you know I am, I do love what I do and I don’t want to dismiss passion. I am very fortunate that I love being on the radio with you Jeff and I appreciate talking and I love writing the book and talking about it and stuff like that but I rather be at Disney World right now, you know, I really would. I love being with you but I’d rather be at Disney.
Jeff Steinmann- Fair enough.
Jim Beach- Yeah, I will be honest with you, I like you a lot but my kids and my wife. My wife is better looking than you, thank goodness.
Jeff Steinmann- That’s a good thing for you.
Jim beach- Yeah. And so when we talk about all of these things, people assume that they have to do business that they are passionate about. Because everyone says you know if you find a business that you are passionate about, you will never work another day in your life. Well, that’s not true either. You know, I will tell you what I am passionate about out in the real world other than the ethereal, you know the love that I have.
I also love wood working. I love wood working. Nothing makes me happier than going into the shop and making a piece of furniture and carrying it into the home to people tell how beautiful it is and how beautiful it makes my home. I built a bench about a year ago and I carried it into my home and two of my children sat on it and it collapsed Jeff. I am not very good at building furniture. I love it but I am not very good at it. I can’t make a living that allows me to go to Disney two weeks a year as a furniture builder. I just can’t do it.
So I had to realize that, you know what, the things that I am passionate about are great things to be passionate about on Saturday and Sunday or on Friday afternoon when I have some free time because I have free time as an entrepreneur but I also had to realize, you know what, overall the basket of goods that I want out of life- I want this and I want this house and this car and these trips and these opportunities for my children. Well, if that’s what I want, I realized that I had to do something to make money so all of us make that decision.
We go get jobs as doctors and lawyers and accountants because we sort of like doing those things but we understand that that’s how we can support our families and our really nice lifestyle and so we make those sacrifices. Well, wouldn’t it be cool if we could still supply our family with all those opportunities but do it in a way that’s not quite as horrible as being an accountant or not quite as morally offensive as being a lawyer, you know. I mean or not quite as dangerous and scary as being a doctor right now. I know a lot of doctors Jeff, and they are scared to death about their debt. They still have a $100,000 in medical school bills to pay off. You know, these are people who are really afraid. I am afraid too but you know what, I am in control at least. At least I can control my destiny a little more.
Jeff Steinmann – Yeah, yeah so Jim you said you have businesses that, well you enjoy the process of running them and you enjoy the entrepreneurial process, you enjoy the outcome of them .You don’t really care that much about the businesses. So how, how do you keep yourself moving forward? Because what are the things I tell entrepreneurs is you know what, if you don’t like, actually the way I say it is, ‘Entrepreneurship is too hard to do something that you don’t like or that you don’t care about’. So how do you keep it interesting? How do you keep yourself engaged and involved selling I don’t know, wedding dresses or something completely off the wall that just doesn’t get you excited?
Jim Beach – Well you know, right now I am involved in a real estate website.
Jeff Steinmann – Okay
Jim Beach – And in my opinion I think the last thing the world needs is another real estate website, you know.
Jeff Steinmann – Or conversely what the world needs is a lot of new real estate websites.
Jim Beach – But you know, so it is not my passion, you know, I am not waking up in the morning excited to do this. But you know when I do wake up in the morning I have a 2 year old baby crying form his crib saying, ‘Daddy, daddy’ and I have a 15 year old son and my 15 year old son says ‘Disney, Disney’, it is easy enough to program your brain to think of the work that I have to go today as simply work. I mean again those people who are garbage men and doctors and accountants and stuff, they have the same thing. They get up and they don’t love necessarily going to work but they do it and that’s what adults do.
You know what I mean, adults do stuff we don’t like to do. We go and get colonoscopies Jeff because we are told we have to do it. We don’t enjoy that process, well maybe some people do, but most of us don’t enjoy that. So, you know when I get up in the morning and I have nothing but real estate work to do all day, I simply say to myself, by working all day on this real estate stuff I get to go on Space Mountain three times. You know and so I have trained myself to realize I am not going to enjoy the next three hours, it’s not going to be unbearable, I am not doing anything I that I despise doing, you know Jeff. I am not out there digging ditches in the hot Georgia sun in hard clay. You know I do have limits to what I will do.
But on the other hand I can bear through 3 or 4 hours of unpleasant work. I know that after lunch I have a cool meeting on a topic that I do like and I will look forward to that so that the day is not a complete waste. I am really looking forward to dinner with my family tonight because we are going to talk about their baseball game that I was able to see. You know as adults we do stuff we don’t like and so I think that part of being an entrepreneur is saying you know what I am willing to do some of the stuff I don’t like because I have decided that making money and controlling my own destiny is more important than 4 hours of work. I can sit down and be mature for 4 hours and do something that I don’t necessarily enjoy because I am an adult.
And you know that’s what when we raise children we teach them you have to stand in line for an hour. I am sorry that is just the way it is going to work. We are here, we are going to stand in line and no you don’t get a cellphone for an hour to play games, we are just going to stand here and talk and be bored and because that’s what it is. You know and it is part of being a, you know mature entrepreneur. I bet that an entrepreneur that only did the stuff I like but you know what every once in a while as entrepreneurs we will get opportunities to do businesses that I sit there or anyone would sit there and look at and go, ‘You are right. This is a good opportunity. Someone is going to make 5 million dollars doing this. Well it might as well be me’. You know. You know, I mean I am sitting here with this opportunity in front of me and I am honest enough to say I am not going to love every second, I am not going to despise every second, but that goal of 5 million dollars and the freedom that allows it have many experiences that I will go to Disney for 5 million dollars. You know I would hope that people are in control of their emotions and their passions and their actions enough that they could say I am going to sacrifice right now for the good of my family, for the good of my fiscal well-being, right now I am going to work really hard so that when I am 75 I don’t have to.
Jeff Steinmann – So Jim you obviously haven’t always had this mentality right?
Jim Beach – No, not all. This is something that I have developed in my post-divorce. I went through a divorce because of entrepreneurship. I was in the hospital for a very long time. I have been 8 million dollars in debt and I got out of that hole. You know, so I feel like that I have had some life experiences and through those I have learned that you know what we do things in life that we don’t like, like going to the hospital. But that gives us the opportunity to do the things that we do love. Like being with my wife, my new beautiful wife. You know these are the things that we live for and so no, my first business that I did Jeff, I started when I was 25. I loved every second of it. I was lucky it was business that I could be passionate about and I was fortunate. But then after I sold that business and I was looking at new opportunities I saw an opportunities that didn’t necessarily appeal to me as person but appealed to me as a person who cares about their bank account.
Jeff Steinmann – So what made you to decide to pursue those opportunities when you could have already had a taste of how much fun it is and what it is like is to do something you really enjoy?
Jim Beach – Well it was 2001, and I didn’t have any other ideas. And this was the idea on the table. This was the model in front of me. The opportunity was there and I had a choice, do something that I am not in love with or do nothing and continue to wait. And that’s the choice that the people listening today have. They can do nothing or slightly acquis to the reality of the situation, whatever their situation is and they can say you know, I do want to be an entrepreneur but I don’t have a great idea yet, so what I am going to do is go to INK magazine, find something that is really working well in Seattle and I am going to do it here in, wherever I live and I am just going to do it and execute it better than anyone else. You know, so that is the decision I had to make. Sit on the sidelines or at least be in the game, you know it is not my favorite game but at least I was playing. So do you want to sit and not play? Or would you rather get into the game and be one of the players? Even if it is not your, you know favorite game? I want to be quarter-back but I still want to go in the game even if you are going to put me in as half-back, you know.
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Jeff Steinmann – So you are kind of saying, to find an existing model that works and replicate that and my question for you Jim is that, if it is that easy then why aren’t more people doing it?
Jim Beach – It is these three myths. People are afraid of the risk. They don’t think they are creative and they hear this idea that they have to be passionate and so they sit, waiting for an idea to strike them that they can do for free, that they are passionate about. Well that doesn’t happen. Ideas do not fall into your lap that you can execute for free with zero risk that you are passionate about. That does not happen. It has not happened to me, maybe it has happened to you Jeff, but I haven’t been that lucky yet and so those are the people who sit on the sofa and die holding the remote as opposed to die holding the paperwork for their L.L.C. You know it is about compromise. Let me ask you this, Did you marry Heidi Klum’?
Jeff Steinmann – I did not.
Jim Beach – I did not either. I did not marry the most beautiful woman in the world. I married the third most beautiful woman in the world. I had to compromise. You know, I hate to be so crass about it. We all make compromises in life. I would like to live at the top of that mountain in that biggest house up there but I don’t. I had to buy this one down here at the bottom of the hill because that’s what I could afford. We make compromises in life all the time in every part of our life- in our love life, in our activities, our vacations, everything. So what’s wrong with making a little bit of a compromise and saying, you know what, this isn’t my dream business. My dream business was to own the world’s largest airline. Well, that’s just not realistic, you know. As a starting entrepreneur, I can’t do that. So what’s wrong with owning the world’s best travel agency in Durham, North Carolina. What’s wrong with having the absolute best travel agency in Durham, North Carolina. There is nothing wrong with that.
And let me list some companies and I will make my point after I give you the list. Adidas, Nike, Hyatt, Hilton, Mcdonalds, Burger King, Zestos, Chick-fil-A, you know there are many, many, many, many incredible companies that we would all be ecstatic to own that are absolutely nothing but me-too-copy-cat businesses. 93% Jeff of the businesses around the world are copies of other businesses. That data comes from the London School of Economics from their Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. So if 93% of the businesses are copies, what’s wrong with me coping a business. You know, I have to do something new and original. No you don’t.
Adidas, Nike, Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott. What’s wrong with doing another pet food store. I am going to operate the best pet daycare in Atlanta by God. We are going to have the best service, we are going to have innovative things to do. We are going to have doggie treats at 2 in the afternoon. No one else does that. We are just going to do it better. I don’t have anything against being creative. All I want to be is to be in control of my own destiny. I just want to get in the game. So you tell me some rules and I am going to play the game. I don’t care if it’s my favorite game or not.
Jeff Steinmann – So you made an interesting point. You said ‘do it better’. Do you have to do it better in every single way and do you have to better at every single aspect of that company then say Mcdonalds if I was going to be the next fast food.
Jim Beach – No, you know, no. It’s great when you can do a lot of different things better but I think there is a really good examples where a company says we are going to do one or two things better and that’s all. For example, Southwest Airlines. They don’t charge for baggage like everyone else in the world now. If you actually have a piece of luggage, they are not going to charge you for you.
Jeff Steinmann – That’s why I fly Southwest. Well, there are other reasons but that’s one of the big ones.
Jim Beach- Okay but there you go, it’s that simple. They have found one way to differentiate themselves from everyone else so my first business Jeff was in summer camping. There was nothing more less sexy than summer camp, right.
Jeff Steinmann- Sure.
Jim Beach- Except that we grew it to a 15 million dollar a year business with seven hundred employees. That’s sexy but here is the difference that I’ve made at the very, very beginning. We ran a commuter program and an overnight program. Every commuter program in America stops at 3 o’clock. Okay. Our commuter program stopped at 9 o’clock at night. Which meant that mom and dad could go get dinner, go on a date and then pick the kid up on the way home who would then fall asleep on the car ride home. Mom and dad truly got the day off. And our business thrived because of that one differentiation. We said we are going to make this easy for you. The whole point of you sending your kid to camp was to get rid of the kid so that you can have an easier day or week or month. And we are going to make that even easier by not requiring you to get off work at 2:30 to come home and get the kid for 2 hours. We are going to make it even so that you can go to dinner with your beautiful wife. That’s how easy we are going to make it for you. That’s all we did different. That’s it.
Jeff Steinmann- Yeah. And why did you do that different as opposed to something like maybe having different activities for the kids or what have you.
Jim Beach- Well, you know, we did do some of those things too and we were at better locations, more convenient but you know, I had overnight duties that I had to take care of 24 hours a day, right. And the commuters leave, the room is half as exciting as it just was. So it made sense for me to have the kids there too because that gives me a more fun capture the flag game. Would you rather play capture the flag with 20 kids or 50 kids and so it was just a better experience and we quickly realized ‘hey this is something we can do for the parents’. We did do other things too. You know that wasn’t our only thing that we could do but it was just one of the things and it was one of the things I could tell a parent that would immediately appeal to them because they just got 6 hours more for the same price.
Jeff Steinmann- Yeah, yeah. You know, I think one of the key aspects, there is that you knew what your customer wanted. You understood what your customer’s life was like and what would really help them out and give them a better experience.
Jim Beach- Well, that’s entirely what that business did but there’s a lot more to that business that I haven’t told you yet. It was a technology summer camp. It was not sports related at all. So most of our customers were dorky unhappy kids.
Jeff Steinmann- Okay. I was one of those kids.
Jim Beach- And right, and so imagine this Jeff, we would get letters from parents who said ‘my child had not smiled in 2 years. Your camp made my child smile’. For the first time in 2 years. And so you know, we were doing great things and providing great services but it wasn’t anything creative, unique or compelling. We just did it really well. We worked hard and we made a list.
Let’s talk about a bookstore. Let’s take a generic book store. How could we make a generic bookstore better. If you made a list of every single aspect, how easy it is to get in the parking lot, how close are the parking spaces to the front door, how easy is the front door to open, what is the smell that you encounter when you walk into the bookstore.
Does it smell like coffee or baked goods or old rotting books, how helpful is the staff. You know, there is a thousand different ways you could make that bookstore better. What if you took the Disney example and went out and gave the parking lot names, like here is the Shakespeare section and here is the, you know, the Alexandre Dumas section and here is the Tom Wolf section, I mean does it make the parking any easier? No but it makes the store 0.1 % cuter/sexier because they took the effort to name their parking spaces after authors. I mean is it really better? No but there is a perceived value there, you know this book store owner cares enough to put a Shakespeare picture in the parking lot.
Jim Beach – For some reason one of the famous Atlanta story jumped to mind, in 1978 there was a famous Atlanta snowstorm and it closed the city and there was one restaurant that stayed open and served almost all of the good part of Atlanta and it was a one chain, a guy running one restaurant and that restaurant was about to go out of business but because he stayed open during that storm, he endeared himself so much to the community that he started to expand. That’s now called Long Horn Steaks and there is 3500 of them in the United States. The first one started and stayed open Jeff because he was open during a snowstorm when no one else was and now we have 3500 Long Horn Steaks because of it.
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Jeff Steinmann – And they make a good steak there.
Jim Beach – I love a Long Horn and George McKerrow, the owner/the founder is an amazing man who did an amazing thing. He stayed at that restaurant for 7 days in a row and cooked steaks for 7 days in a row so people in Atlanta could have food during the storm.
Jeff Steinmann – Wow. And that’s all it took that is awesome. That is awesome. So Jim, let’s talk about this person, who is on the couch with the remote waiting for the right idea to come along or the inspiration from their higher power or whatever it maybe; they are waiting. What are a couple of first steps that you would give them or things that you would have them do, if they came to you and said ‘Jim, okay I am tired of all this b.s that I am hearing I am bored with what you are saying, tell me what the heck to do”.
Jim Beach – Well can I make the case a little bit more extreme Jeff?
Jeff Steinmann – Well I wish you would.
Jim Beach – Let me kick it up a notch. So somewhere in my book, I wrote that anyone can be an entrepreneur, it is on page 68 or 112 or something like that. And so the phone rang two months ago and it was a young man, 26 years old and he called and said Jim I only have 5 minutes to talk and I was like fine. He is, I am, just got out of jail I am in rehab right now for my heroin addiction, I am bi-polar and schizophrenic but I want be an entrepreneur. Can you help? Your book says anyone can be an entrepreneur, I am going to test that. And that person is now a business owner, two months later he has already started making money. Already making money. The business they are doing is the least sexy thing on earth. If I were to tell you what it was, you would be like Oh, that’s not so cool. Except that a bi-polar schizophrenic heroin addict who just got out of jail is now doing it and making money two months later.
Jeff Steinmann – Wow
Jim Beach – Okay so, you know for me, the first step is something a little motivational, you know I want you to put the remote down, I want to tell you a couple of motivational stories, I want to tell you about my friend that I just mentioned who stepped forward. I want to tell you about my wife.
On December 26th, so 6-7 months ago, my wife I challenged her to start a business and she started a business for under a $100 and is now making about $5000 a month a top line, and probably about $1500 profit, 6 months later having a $100 to start with.
It is been amazing to watch her self-esteem explode, to watch herself confidence and now she is starting to have ideas for other businesses that she wants to start. So I would take this person, this imaginary sofa-sitter and say let’s start off with the simplest easiest business that we can think of to do nothing but build your self-confidence, to show you that you can do it. And you might not find the business to be sexy but what is sexy is that you are changing your life. You know, are you willing to do something kind of boring if it will change your life forever. Most people are going to say yes to that. And so I want to start off with I call it the snow flake principle.
We don’t build a snowman except by packing millions of individual snowflakes together.
Our life is millions of millions of opportunities for us to be proud of ourselves. Every time we achieve something, we add yet another snowflake to our self-esteem, to our confidence level, to our snowman. And that gives you the power at 70 years old to walk into a room where people who are going to yell at you and not be nervous. It gives you the confidence to walk into a sales meeting and know that you are going to do well. Because you have millions of snowflakes, millions of times, tiny little accomplishments. So if my 2 year old son, if he can hold the flash light correctly cause we didn’t have power last night and he’s holding the flashlight correctly. I praise him for doing that so that we can build his little snowflakes.
And the same thing is true with this man, the sofa-sitter. Let’s do something to get you motivated. Let’s take baby steps. Absolutely baby steps. Are you willing today to take the risk to go online and get your federal ID number, your federal social security number for your business. It’s gonna take you 6 minutes, it’s not going cost you a penny. Are you willing to do that today. Oh you are, oh okay, let’s go do it together. Oh we are done now. Wow. There’s a snowflake for you. You know what, you are started.
Tomorrow we are going to take the next step. Tomorrow’s step is going to be 1% harder than today’s step but you are able to do it. You accomplished today. Can you do something 1% harder tomorrow. Oh you can, you are willing to try. Oh well, fantastic. I’ll be back here tomorrow and we will do that thing together and lo and behold these people by taking small baby steps, you know I am not trying to start Jeff a billion dollar business. I am trying to start a business that makes a thousand dollars. That’s a different goal. Starting a million dollar business sounds pretty daunting, sounds kind of scary. Starting a business that makes a $1000 Oh I can do that. I can handle that. And then you know what, well now our goal is to make that $1000 to $2000. That’s all our goal is. Small little baby steps.
We are not going to jump into the deep end of the pool. You know, we are going to put you into a life jacket and put you into the shallow end first and so, you know, let’s work together on your motivation, let’s work on your self-confidence and your self-esteem and let’s go do these baby steps together. There are four thousand products online that will baby step you through how to go start. For example an amazon business.
So my wife’s business, it’s not sexy at all. She’s buys stuff at whole sale and then sends it to amazon and amazon sells it for her and then sends her a cheque. There is nothing sexy about that at all except that 6 months ago, she was not a business owner. Today she is and today she is making $1500 a month profit. That’s sexy. If I told you that she is selling baby supplements and silver polish on amazon, you are like ’oh, that’s not very sexy’ except that she is making $1500 a month after 6 months. That’s sexy. Her goal is to get it up to $3000 a month so that she can pay our mortgage. You know, if all of a sudden, your mortgage disappears out of your family’s life, that’s called sexy. That changes your life forever. That’s $3000 a month that you can put into savings or education or growing another business, whatever it is, $3000 a month can change your family forever.
Jeff Steinmann- Yeah sure, sure.
Jim Beach- And that’s sexy enough to make the most boring amazon business sexy sexy.
Jeff Steinmann – Yeah. You mentioned you have a couple of kids right.
Jim Beach- 3.
Jeff Steinmann- Okay, so isn’t it- a lot of our listeners have kids and I think that one of the things that folks are afraid of is the risk that comes with entrepreneurship when you have those mouths to feed and those kids who you love very much and they are very dependent upon you. What’s your advice for this kind of folks.
Jim Beach- Well, I am going to go back and continue talking about my wife in the 6 months since she started this business, she has still cooked dinner for us 5 nights out of 7. Our baby is still clean. Our house is still clean. She made cookies for me two nights ago because she had extra time and she knows that I like it when she makes cookies. Our sex life has not suffered. Our life has not changed Jeff. She’s able to do this in four or five hours a week so she’s not reading as much leisure activity as she used to. She’s given up one of her hobbies but our life has not changed. She’s still works a full time job. She’s still gets up at the morning, goes to work at 8 and comes home at 6, takes care of me, takes care of the baby and is running a business on the side too.
Jeff Steinmann- Oh wow, she works a full time job as well.
Jim Beach- She works a full time job and I promise you, taking care of me Jeff is also a full time job.
Jeff Steinmann- I can imagine.
Jim Beach- Much more difficult than the babies and she is able to do it all. You know it’s about little bit of sacrifice. She has given up one hour a day of casual reading. You know, from 10 until 11, she doesn’t watch TV. She likes to read trashy novels. And she is not doing that now. Instead, she has devoted one hour a day to her amazon business. And you talk about risk. There has been no risk in our life. There was no incremental pain in our life. So if you want to go start a business, I kind of think that this excuse that I already have a job is a pretty weak one. And I say this, I am going to say something facetiously right now but I say it with a little bit of seriousness. All entrepreneurs should take up smoking. So that you can take a 15 minute smoke break every other hour so that you can go outside and make telephone calls for your business.
Jeff Steinmann- Oh, interesting.
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Jim Beach- I don’t really want you smoking and I don’t want you to quit your day job until your bosses come to you 3 or 4 times and said ‘you’re doing something else, aren’t you’. Over the last year, I have noticed you’ve become more distracted and you are doing something else outside of work, aren’t you and you finally admit to a year later. Yeah I started a little business on the side. I own a pet grooming business, a mobile per grooming business and I have two guys out there and I groom pets all day Saturday and Sunday. Well, you are fired. Okay fine, I don’t care now because I spent the last two years building this business is now strong enough to support me.
So don’t go quit your day job until you get your butt fired. And I say that a little peciously but I am also being a little serious. I want you to take two hour lunches. I want you to, you know, if you have a day job, I recommend you keep it for the benefits and the health insurance. But come home at 6 and instead of turning the television on, you sit down and work. We have had nights at our house Jeff where every single child including the 2 year old baby has helped us package amazon stuff for sale. You know, what’s wrong with making ‘hey, it’s family night. We are all going to sticker mommy’s boxes for the cheap and sell stuff. What’s wrong with making a 15 and a 13 and a 2 year old work. And so I believe that, you know, if you sacrifice some of the things. You know if you sacrifice sports. For example, men- I don’t understand and I don’t hope you are not one of these guys who watches every single game all weekend long. I don’t get it.
Jeff Steinmann- I don’t.
Jim Beach- I don’t watch sports because I don’t have time. Because I am stickering stuff or I am working and then this is the time I am going to spend with my child and my child doesn’t want to sit here and watch sports. You know, we want to go and play sports together. We want to go swimming together. We don’t want to watch someone swim.
So it’s about sacrifices. I have given up a lot of stuff that I enjoy because I enjoy freedom and prosperity more you know. I enjoy knowing that I am not you know I know where we are going to get our food tomorrow. I like that. So if you are sitting on the sofa, it’s about putting the remote control down taking your right hand, you put it right up over your head like two feet over your head, foot and a half over your head, put your right hand there and then you say ‘I am now an entrepreneur’.
That’s what you do. That’s the first step. And then the second step is you get your butt off the sofa and then you go sit down in front of Mr.Google and you type in free business ideas. Business plans for free. My book had 40 businesses at the back in the appendix that we were giving away for free. Go start this business for free. You know, cause you can make a living doing this business. You can support a family doing this business and it won’t cost you more than $500 to start.
There’s a million businesses out there like that to go do.
Jeff Steinmann- What if I fail?
Jim Beach- What’s wrong. Who cares. I mean this is America. This is not Japan. You know in Japan, you are allowed one chance and after that you are not allowed another chance. I was 8 million dollars in debt. No one holds that against me. You know, people don’t look down on me because I failed in America. People don’t care. If you fail in America, how many times has Donald Trump been bankrupt. By my count, 3 or 4 now. Do we think less of Donald Trump. No.
Jeff Steinmann- Not because of that.
Jim Beach- We think less of him because of his hair.
Jeff Steinmann- Exactly.
Jim Beach- And the craziness. But still, America loves the comeback story. You know, America loves that. If you go into an entrepreneurial event and if you were to walk around and say how many of had financial troubles that you lived through. Most of the entrepreneurs there have had some financial difficulties and I will be crazy enough to say this Jeff, if you haven’t been bankrupt or come really close to as an entrepreneur, you are not trying hard enough. You are not pushing the envelope hard enough.
So in America, if you fail, we dust ourselves off, we get up and we go try again. That’s one of the two or three greatest things about America in my opinion is that you are allowed to go and try again.
Jeff Steinmann- Sure, sure. Sure. How do you raise your children in a different way than that guy sitting on the couch with the remote control or somebody who’s maybe not that extreme of a case. Maybe somebody who is kind of more in the middle that clearly you want to pass this mentality and this lifestyle onto your children so what do you do with them. How do you parent them differently to ensure that they end up as business savvy and with the awesome lifestyle that you have.
Jim Beach- Well my father taught me and I respect what my parents did so much. We talk about business at dinner. You know, we talk about things they go to meetings with me all the time. My children frequently go to meetings with me. I as a matter of fact a month and a half ago, a ex-client, ex-student of mine called and said Jim I would like you to meet my new CEO and it was a casual thing and I was like fine. I showed up with a 2 year old baby in t-shirt. And they had 12 people there. They had rented a conference room. People had flown in from around the country to meet me and I showed up with a 2 year old baby. They looked at me like oh my God, this man is insane. Well, there was a 90 minute meeting. The baby didn’t speak once. The baby was perfect because it wasn’t the baby’s first rodeo. The baby knows how to shake hands. The baby’s been going to meetings since it was 6 weeks old literally you know. The baby knew what to do. At the end, they commented more on how well behaved the baby was than how smart I was. I got hired because the baby was so good.
My children, my older children go and watch me lecture. I used to be a professor and I would make my children- I have made my son when he was 5 stand up in front of my MBA class that I was teaching and tell the MBA class what we had done that day simply so that he could get experience talking in front of people and learn not to be nervous about it. And now he’s an amazing communicator. My children are intimately involved in my businesses. They know what I am doing. They know when I had a bad week, I tell them I had a bad week. This is what happened. And I tell them I had a bad week cause daddy’s ego allowed him to get mad. Daddy did something stupid because I got mad at someone and yelled at someone and boy am I embarrassed now. And now I have to go apologize to this person and I hate apologizing and they know that. And so you know, it’s about being honest with them, helping them live through the experience you know. What’s wrong with taking them to look at a piece of land to decide whether to buy it or not.
Jeff Steinmann- Yeah that’s awesome.
Jim Beach- You know. I mean so my children have been involved from day one and it’s simply because that’s how I was raised as well. My parents involved me at the earliest age possible. I remember going with my parents to look at things. Going to auctions and bidding on furniture that I was buying for my bedroom when I was 9. You know, their money but they let me do the bidding, you know.
Jeff Steinmann- Wow that’s awesome.
Jim Beach- And that’s the same thing with my kids. I want them to be involved. I want them to hear the conversations I am having and I don’t shelter them from too much of the good or the bad.
Jeff Steinmann- That’s awesome. That’s a very different perspective you know because when I was growing up, it was about there’s adult things and there’s kid things and they are totally separate.
Jim Beach- Well, how did the kids learn about the adult things if the adults don’t show them.
Jeff Steinmann- Exactly.
Jim Beach- And what’s wrong, you know there’s different versions. I tell my 13 year old daughter a different version of the story than I tell my 15 year old son because they are emotionally mentally physically capable of handling different things. My daughter cries and so I don’t tell her the things that are going to make her cry. I will tell that part to my son you know. It’s just different. Each child, you have to treat differently but treat them, you know, as you know they are smart, smart enough to listen. They are probably listening when you don’t think they are, might as well include them so they feel like they are part of it. They love it when they get invited to go see me give a speech. That makes them so happy. You know, because they feel proud and you know I have a radio show that I do as well and I had my daughter on the show the other day.
She was sitting in my lap during the introduction. I had her talk into the microphone and the second she got done she tweeted all of her friends about it and said listen to me on the radio with my daddy, you know. That’s one of her snowflakes. That makes her think that she is cool, that makes her know that she is good enough to be on the radio. She has been on the radio before. She does something like, she says will you come and talk about your product, your cool new business on the radio? She would be like, ‘sure, I have been doing that since I was 13’.
Jeff Steinmann – That is awesome. That is awesome. What would you say is the biggest mistake that you have made on this journey?
Jim Beach – Oufff. Well, gosh, I have made a lot of mistakes. We are going to have a whole another hour Jeff. As I said you know, I have been 8 million dollars in debt, I have been very, very, very sick. I have had doctors tell me that they were going to go get me a hospital room and while they leave the examiner’s room, put on my clothes and sneak out of the door, because I have a meeting with a venture capitalist or a banker. My health, I have taken very poor care of my health and because of that I have had some surgeries and some stuff like that. And that was my biggest mistake.
Other than that, just not pushing hard enough, you know, I can go gosh, I could have grown that business faster, that one was a 1 million, it should have been a 5 million dollar business. You know I wish I started sooner, you know I wish that I knew now what I, you know could have known then and I wish that I could tell myself 20 years ago, you know there is nothing with failure, there is nothing wrong with pushing, if people laugh at you, you don’t care, you know the check’s still cashed. I would tell myself, you know instead of starting when you are 25, start when you are 15. You know, throw away the television, I would not have gone on and bought that new TV, that I bought because, you know I am working really hard right now and I have not watched TV in the last two months. And it is because of my work schedule around right now and I don’t miss it, you know I am not missing it, I am not sitting and God or Oh darn I just missed the news. I am not saying that Jeff. So I wished I had just tried harder and pushed harder, maybe that is the message I would like to give everyone else. A very motivational message. You can do it. Let me say this Jeff. I am not a smart person, I am not a good looking person, I am not skilled at anything. I am able to go off and do this though because I am willing to try and I am willing to face the consequences of, my advice is, you know, try harder more, faster, you know you can do it. If I can do it, any moron can do it.
Jeff Steinmann – Well that’s great advice to all our listeners. Jim I appreciate you being on the show and I appreciate the insights that you have brought to us. It has been a great perspective and it has been something that I think a lot of folks will enjoy hearing and quite frankly need to hear. Where can our listeners go to get your book and more information about you?
Jim Beach – Well the website is, schoolforstartups.com. The book is also School For Startups, you can but it on amazon for 11 bucks and there is a code in the back that gives you 80 hours of videos of my partner and I talking about everything that we know about entrepreneurship. Between the two of us, I think we have started 19 businesses and we are both, we both were university professors for a while so we had a lot of content. So for all 11 bucks you can find out every single thing that I have ever had in my brain.
Jeff Steinmann – That is a pretty good deal.
Jim Beach – Well, you know, they were thinking of charging twelve dollars for it, but they decided it wasn’t worth 12 bucks. Well it is 11 dollars’ worth of information. And I am on tweeter @Entrepreneur Jim, I am on LinkedIn Jim Beach, I connect with everybody, I would love to talk to people, I would give you my email address if you would let me, I am James.Beach@att.net. You hit me up and we will set a time to talk and I will do anything I can to help you.
Jeff Steinmann – That is quite a generous offer Jim and I appreciate that you offering that to our listeners. Anyway for the book it is schoolforstartups.com and that will be below the show in the link as well as all of the contact information that Jim just gave. Jim, thank you so much for being on the show. I look forward to staying in touch and see what awesome things you do next.
Jim Beach – Likewise Jeffrey. I appreciate it.
Jeff Steinmann – Thanks Jim.
Jim Beach – Thank you.