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Influential Entrepreneurs

About
Mike Saunders

Mike Saunders is the Authority Positioning Coach at Marketing Huddle, the author of Amazon Bestselling book Authority Selling™, Adjunct Marketing Professor at several Universities, contributor to The Huffington Post, and member of the Forbes Coaches Council – an invitation-only community for the World’s Most Influential Business Coaches.

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Mike Saunders:

                                                Welcome to influential entrepreneurs, bringing you interviews with elite business leaders and experts sharing tips and strategies for elevating your business to the next level. Here’s your host, Mike Saunders.

Mike Saunders:

                                                Well hello, welcome to influential entrepreneurs. This is Mike Saunders, the authority positioning coach and today we have with a CEO and entrepreneur Jerry Brazie. Jerry, welcome to the program,

Jerry Brazie:

                                                Mike. I appreciate that. Thank you. Glad to be here.

Mike Saunders:

                                                Hey, so I’m taking a look at your bio and background. You’ve got quite a well-rounded pass to give us a little bit of a thumbnail sketch of what brings you to this point in your career of wanting to give back and serve people

Jerry Brazie:

                                                I’m in contact with. Yeah, so I grew up, uh, that’s probably the best example of who I am. I grew up with eight brothers and sisters. I was child number seven and my parents had six kids by the time they were 22 years old. So my, my oldest brothers and sisters are less than a year apart on average and there’s six of them. And then seven years later I came along and my parents didn’t want me to be an only child, so I have a little brother and little sister. So there’s nine of us all together, grew up here in Portland, Oregon. And uh, it, poverty would be the word I would use. So we grew up, uh, it wasn’t uncommon, might have a little brother’s 22 months younger than me that, uh, that often we were stealing for food and very latchkey kids. So we were very independent.

Jerry Brazie:

                                                We knew the bus system so we’re able to get around, but not a lot of people, uh, watching us. And when you grow up like that, uh, you find that you don’t have as much supervision as probably you should. But that independence that I, that I had growing up, uh, in that scenario and particularly be a number seven, it kind of having to scrape and fight for everything that, uh, that I got really is what’s driven me through most of my life. I just turned 50 this year. And, uh, looking back on that and looking at those stories and those memories and kind of how did I get from where I was to where I am, I have no education. You know, nobody’s telling me how to do it. Uh, and, uh, that little reflecting on those stories is what’s driven me to now come out and try to, uh, I don’t know, educate others that what’s possible, educate what can be done.

Jerry Brazie:

                                                I think that there is in that particularly in the poor communities, there is a, uh, a belief and understanding that you can’t get ahead, uh, that there, that you can’t make a difference, that you can’t move up and move out. And, and I remember in the 80s, uh, you know, I lived right in the middle of the crack epidemic here in Portland, Oregon. And so all the attention was paid there and all you heard was you can’t get out. You can’t get ahead. You can’t make it. The systems, uh, the system is corrupt and it’s working against you to help keep you down. And all of those things that you hear all the time. I think there’s probably even more, uh, is probably today more, uh, a message that they’re hearing than even I did because of the social media and, and the ease of communication.

Jerry Brazie:

                                                So I decided as, as, as my charitable give back if you will. It’s just kind of tell my story and where I can help educate people, uh, and, and, and inspire people hopefully to realize that regardless of where you are, regardless of what, what point you are in your life, if you’re young or you’re old, I’m trying to point out what’s possible because as I’ve gotten older, I’ve kind of seen what I’ve done and, and uh, kind of the impact it’s had on people as a, as I meet them, you know, um, I’m sure that if someone said to you, what’s the one thing or what’s the secret that you can go from where you are to where you are today? There’s not just one, but can you think of some kind of, um, I don’t know what you want to call them, but non negotiables, you know, things that you must do or mindsets that if someone was kind of feeling like they were, you know, stuck in that kind of, uh, um, realm and they want to break out of, of where they are, what are some things they need to keep in mind to keep them motivated, to move forward, to attain something bigger and better.

Jerry Brazie:

                                                Is it that that was simple and it is cliché almost to say it, but it’s a work ethic. And let me go just a little bit further than, than that on a work ethic, I probably had if I sat down and wrote them down 20 to 25 jobs and in almost every one of those jobs I’ve been promoted. But my approach, you know, I got my first job when I was 11 years old washing dishes at a local restaurant. So I actually paid taxes as an 11 year old. Uh, and I’ve been working ever since and I’ve never missed a day of work. And so the work ethic, if I was to point to one thing, cause I’m a dumb kid from the streets. I mean I bought a house when I was 21 years old. I didn’t know what a mortgage was. I just, I just knew I had to buy a house.

Jerry Brazie:

                                                So I had no education about the way finances, work or anything cause I’m a kid from the streets. And so, but I had as a kid from the streets, I had a work ethic and that work ethic was just ingrained in me because of my need to eat. So I always combined, I always put food and work together. Those two things always went together so much. So I have three kids now and I’ve been there all 2120 and 17 years old. So they’ve heard it now for their whole lives, which is, are you so tired in the morning or you’re so sick that you can’t go to work but you understand you’re not going to eat that night. Yeah. And that’s always been kind of the bellwether that I’ve used. So work specific or work in, in, in on a much larger level is absolutely critical to get out.

Jerry Brazie:

                                                But two, getting out, but more so than that work and be an asset. So you want to make yourself an asset. I tell this to anybody and everybody, you want to make yourself an asset. That means that when the bell goes off at five o’clock are you the first one out the door or do they make you leave so you at whatever job you’re at, you want to be made to leave. You know we can’t have overtime. You’ve got to go. I know I just want to get this work done. Are you early 15 minutes early? Do you take on whatever jobs the boss gives you? Do you never complain? I always did every, I never worried about what anybody else was doing. I did my job and their job if need be and let them get all the, all the attention for it. I didn’t care.

Jerry Brazie:

                                                And ultimately over the days and weeks, months and years, what turns out to what turned out for me is I got ahead by doing that. And everybody else just stayed in the same place. So it’s hard work, but on top of hard work, it’s also, uh, the, the finer details of it, which is always be an asset. Even if you’re being taken advantage of, always be an asset and that’s fine. Be taken advantage of and then learn the skills and go find another job that pays you more. You with those skills you picked up, but don’t complain about it, don’t whine about it. You just got to work and be an asset to whoever you’re working for.

Mike Saunders:

                                                You know, I love that you said that and that’s not just a one sentence answer. You went through some really great detail and examples because I, um, have noticed for many, many years that the mentality today of society and I, I’m not even saying, um, you know, about 10 years ago you’d hear, well, millennials today they’ve got this non work ethic. And I don’t think it’s, I’ve, I’ve always thought it’s not millennials or gen y’s or whatever you want to think of it as it is. Humans. I feel that in the last decade or so that were so entitled, we’re so distracted. We have the instant gratification society. Like I want, you know, like how students could Amazon drones deliver in an hour. That’s what I want. And I feel that that flows over into the, like what you said, the work ethic. And if I’m working for the boss, I’m punting my clock and he gets me from x time to x time and that’s it.

Mike Saunders:

                                                But in reality, um, the, the problem comes in and, and I want you to comment on this aspect, how you, if that person that I just described was, was this person, uh, you know, you, let’s say you then on the same hand would go, yeah, but I want a promotion at work and I want more money. Well, you’re not going to get that. So you can’t go to the boss and say, give me a promotion and a raise and then I will do whatever. You’ve got to do the work first. You’ve got to be that early bird, first one in last one to leave. So that when the bosses are looking across their staff and saying, who deserves or who can I get to step up or give that race too that you are the one they’re thinking of, not this always on your phone. Always distracted. Give me more, give me more. So are you seeing that in society more and more today? Um, as

Jerry Brazie:

                                                well. There’s, so I’ll answer. I think he asked me two questions there. And the first one is lessons. I don’t know. Yeah, the two specifically, one is on the what did, what, what are we seeing employee wise and then the second is on getting noticed and how you get paid. So on the first one, uh, the, the, the employee wise I’ve had, this is our 20th year in business, uh, and I’ve had 10,000 employees probably over that same amount of time. And in that, in those 10,000 employees over 20 years, without a doubt, the last five to seven years, the mindset has changed. I mean, cause largely we’re hiring 25 to 30, 35 year old man. That’s largely who goes into transportation’s, right? So, uh, some women, but as mostly men and over again the last seven or eight years, that mindset has certainly changed on what on, and it’s everybody.

Jerry Brazie:

                                                So I’m not going to say that it’s like you said, it’s generation y or x or any of that. It just seems kind of across the board to be a, uh, there’s not the anxiousness. Again, I always equate it, I said this earlier, back to eating. So work to me is eating and there doesn’t seem to be anywhere near that, uh, anxiousness, if you will, for doing well. Uh, it’s more about putting your time in. It’s more about just being here like I’m supposed to leave and that’s uh, you know, the stuff that people take time off for it. Here’s what I’ll say to that, Mike today, to be extra ordinary, this is based on my 10,000 employees. To be extraordinary. You only have to be ordinary. I know where Scott, yeah.

Mike Saunders:

                                                Yeah. I mean, um, I teach marketing at four universities, mostly online and it’s not only college age students, it’s, it’s adult learners as well. And they, they do the minimum. I literally was setting up a new class today and one of my standard template ID announcements that I post is, although every week you’re required to do six posts over the week, over three different days, I would encourage you to take the extra step and do a little bit more. Cause I see, and I put this in the announcement, I see so many people stop at what’s expected. I want to see you go just a little bit more, just a little bit more. And it’s exactly what we’ve been saying here. And, and it, the problem is, um, I’ve, I, uh, my high school football coach called it a, um, a sense of urgency and, and reckless abandoned.

Mike Saunders:

                                                I mean, you just want to go, oh, I’ve got something in front of me, let’s do it. And too many times it’s like, oh, I’ve got some you, you need me to do something past me, the remote and, and my phone because I got to do something first and you know, and post up a status update. And, and to your point, um, I have said this for so many years too, man alive. If you just return a phone call the same day and reply to an email the same day, you are head and shoulders above your competition and that’s a sad state of affairs. But it’s an incurred on state of affairs. When you think about it doesn’t take much to stand out, but just do it.

Jerry Brazie:

                                                Yeah. And that’s where I say being average as, as a large employer be an average now, uh, puts you above average it, it really does. And I’ll give you an example. I’ll give you a real life example. Uh, I showed up to the dock one night and then this truck is loaded up and we had just started an account with staples. So, uh, I show up about 10 o’clock to help the guys unload the truck. There’s six or seven guys to do it. The truck had moved that they filled the truck so much with all of this office products I did, it’s shifted in the door would only open about a foot. So as I walk up, here’s all of these people and they’re standing there staring at it and they’re trying to figure out how to get the door open. I said, well look, this one piece right here moves and I grabbed that one piece and then another piece fell into place.

Jerry Brazie:

                                                You know, kind of like the Tetris game, you’re just kind of pulling out boxes and pretty soon I could get the door open two feet and then you just keep pulling up boxes and then I could open it three feet and then within 15 minutes we had the door open and the truck was unloaded within a half an hour. The point being five or six, seven guys are standing there staring at it, trying to figure out how to do, how to, how to fix the problem. I just walk in and just start tearing, just making waste. Right. There’s one box came out. Maybe we can get to and if we can get to, we can get four. And the, the what, what, what was obvious is that they were standing there trying to figure out the easiest route. Yeah. Right. What’s the shortest, quickest, easiest way to fix this problem rather than just jump on top of the problem and wipe it out, which is what you have.

Mike Saunders:

                                                Yeah. You know, and, and you said it twice and uh, like it if your average then then you’re above average and, and boy, we sure don’t want that kind of mantra to get out there because it’s through, seems like you’re preaching just be average because, um, we certainly are not preaching that. Um, in fact it’s really, uh, it’s really interesting because, um, it’s just interesting timing because I literally just interviewed someone who is the host of resist average academy and is, and now you and I are talking minutes later, um, about [inaudible]. If you’re just average, you’re above head and shoulders. But guess what, if we tie those two things together, hey look, average is what we’ve been talking about. So if you resist that average and go just a little bit more and just 1% more, now all of a sudden you don’t have to do 10,000 steps, more than average to be stand out.

Mike Saunders:

                                                You just have to do a little bit more. Cause everyone else is doing less than average and you can stand out and, and yeah, your example about the doctor, and I’m sure there’s all kinds of other examples. Um, you, you know, you think about people coming through college and it’s like, oh, like, um, I can’t turn my assignment in today cause my tummy hurts. I need an extension. No, cause you know what, your boss won’t give you that extension. The IRS will give you that extension. So let’s, let’s have some things that are in our life that really we hold to that now all of a sudden if you just do these basic things, you really are, are a head and shoulders above everyone else. So yeah, I’m super glad that you, that you said that. Um, what do you feel, um, about today? [inaudible]. I know you’ve talked about, you know, corporate American, the business you own. How about entrepreneurship as a whole? Um, where do you feeling that entrepreneurship is as a, as a state of the economy, as, as an opportunity? Because I think we’re in a place that if you wanted to start a business 20 years ago, boy you would have to have major startup capital and, and quit your job. We’ll now you can create a side hustle in an afternoon and work at it slowly

Jerry Brazie:

                                                and see of where that goes. So where are you seeing entrepreneurship today? I have a couple of concerns about entrepreneurship and back to our, our, our last point where extraordinary and ordinary, extra ordinary, an ordinary in the context of starting a business today. It gives you some idea of where you’re starting competitively. I tell the 25 and 26, 27 year old guys that I work with on a regular basis about with their businesses that you wouldn’t want, you would not have wanted to compete with me when I was 25, 26, 27 because I’ll do anything and everything it took to do the job because I was working from my, from being an extra ordinary only because I wanted to eat. And so that’s, as I said, that’s lasted well into my adult life. So understanding that from a competitive perspective, entrepreneurship, I don’t think there’s ever been a better time to be an entrepreneur.

Jerry Brazie:

                                                The access to information, the access, all of the stuff that, I mean, I used to have to go get a book from the library to figure out what an entrepreneur was. I didn’t even know what that word meant. Today you can watch 8,000 videos and learn how to make money. I mean, it’s fascinating. So I think it’s easier to be an entrepreneur today. But on the other side of that, I think that it has gotten, uh, you know, when you see 28 year old Facebook owners that are multibillionaires, I think the expectation for the younger generations becoming entrepreneurs is that that’s what it is. Instead of the 15, 16 hour days, six, seven day, a week, weekend and weekend out, year in and year out, multi decade grind that is being a business owner now that’s putting the, the, the, you know, putting the, that’s the ugly side of it.

Jerry Brazie:

                                                But that’s reality. I know a lot of business owners, I don’t know any of them that made it easy, quick, rich, right. All didn’t get rich quick, I should say. All of them worked for decades. And that’s, that’s, you know, I’ve been at this now for 20 years. Uh, and for the first decade I worked literally 17, 18 hours a day just to pay my bills and to, and to grow my business. And I didn’t get paid for the first four years of it. So the, the, the amount of dedication it takes to do it, I don’t think is clear enough. And people get into it with a, I’m going to do this quick and easy and it just doesn’t, it just doesn’t work that way. Your even your side hustle has to be 100% right. You can’t halfway do a side hustle. You have to hammer that with the same intensity that you hammer, you know, hopefully your day to day world.

Jerry Brazie:

                                                And if you’re, if you are so inclined to go out and get a side hustle, I would encourage all of you to pay as much attention to that as you do. Uh, or excuse me, to pay as much attention to that job, to that and growing that as you do to your regular job. Because if you’ve got the personality to step out and try to do that side hustle, that’s what entrepreneurship is really all about. It’s the, it’s the personality. And if you found that you had that personality, I’d run with it particularly again in the world today. Yeah, I mean, just really, really huge, huge

Mike Saunders:

                                                point. I really like where the direction of this conversation went because it just gets down to, um, some of the things, I forget whether I said it in, in our interview here or just the previous one, but it’s just one of these standards. If it’s easy to do, it’s easy not to do, right. Correct it. But if it’s easy to do, it’s probably not the right way to do it anyway. Well, there’s that too. Yeah. Awesome. Well that’s it. I just kind of my marker, I just really appreciate your time. Jerry is a wonderful connecting with you. What’s the best way that people can reach out and connect with you for a, to pick up on your tips and listen in on your podcast. Yep. I got a podcast with a Jerry Brazy podcast, which you can find the, uh, everywhere and that they, the more they and all of my links, they can just go to my website, Jerry Brazy, that’s j, e r r y, B r a, Z, I e.com/link and they’ll be able to get to all of my socials. Excellent. Well. Jerry, thank you so much for your time. Hope you have a wonderful day, Mike. I appreciate it.

Mike Saunders:

                                                You’ve been listening to influential entrepreneurs with Mike Saunders. To learn more about the resources mentioned on today’s show or listen to past episodes, visit www dot influential entrepreneurs, radio.com.

 

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