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Jan. 11, 2023

Conversation With the Man Who Changed my Life


It was 2007ish. I was at a desperate point in my life. I was freshly divorced and knew it was time to make some big bets on myself and my future. My daughters were itty bitty and depended on me getting things figured out.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Mr. Brad Costanzo,

That year I met a man in NLP class who would change the direction of my life.  He was just himself: outlandish, eager, and brilliant. 

We started a random business idea to help teach ourselves how to “make money online and in our sleep while only working 4 hours a week”. Or something like that. 

Here we are 16 years later, all successful and ish. It was time to have a conversation to unpack those early years, and how- in the holy eff- did we leverage that idea into a profitable business. 

We discuss what we have done in the years since he made me sell him my half of the business for peanuts. (Not really. He paid well.)

Hit play on your favorite listening device and hear all about it. I promise it’s a good story with a happy ending.

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Are you finding yourself intrigued and wanting to learn more about Brad? I don’t blame you. He’s a charming man. 

Visit his website to read more about him and his various other ventures. He even has a pretty amazing podcast show as well. 

Make sure to tell him I sent you:

https://bradcostanzo.com

 

Transcript

Hey everyone. Welcome to the podcast. Today we're talking to an old friend, Mr. Brad Costan. Um, we'll get into the details of exactly how old and why he's a friend. here in a little bit, but, um, I'm excited for this podcast and for this episode because I, I feel like Brad's gonna share some insights into my background. Um, our, damn it. I need some water. Um, just life in general and how we've been able to do some marvelous things through our partnership, through our. Uh, which would be, I think would be useful for people that are just starting out. I forget that people are starting out before me or after me. . Uh, I feel like everyone just started at the same time.

 

Having said that, Brad, what's up brother? Welcome. It's good to see you, homie. Yeah. Done a minute. Your face in a long time. I know, I know. Oh, geez. What's up? She started this crazy journey together, didn. How long has it been since the, uh, since we started the business together? Well, we, uh, what's the official, I mean, I, I think official, wait, so we started, we both read the four hour work week. Yes. I think it was in, I wanna say November of 2007. In, in an or in and around that month, October, November, 2007. And then, , we bought our domain and we started talk January, 2008. I think we started talking about, if not before that, uh, partnering. And then we bought Puma skills on, uh, February 4th, 2008. And, uh, after we had already decided to get her, get her done, and it's uh, it was a wild ride Since then, it has been a wild, wild ride. So many people always ask me, we had black air back then, dude. No shit. I had my hair. Look at that . I hate this camera, but it's like, fuck it. I am, I almost rock the, the missing tooth and the bald head. Like, screw it. I am who I am. I'm getting a replacement soon. Good old days when I had a full set of teeth in hair, black hair, Um, but let's back up a little bit before we jump into that because I think that's a fascinating story for both of us. Mm-hmm. . , where did we meet Brad? Where was our first interaction? N LP class. We both signed up for Susan Stage Man's NLP class, and we, uh, and we, uh, learned about neurolinguistic programming and became, you know, buddies in the class. And then the way we journeyed into our obvious, our entrepreneurial venture together was , uh, throughout that. Cause it was like 18 months of training or something. Crazy dude. Yeah. Like once a week. That was the most money I had ever spent up until that point On any education. Yeah. I didn't go to college, so I threw a bunch of money at that. That was a good education. Led a lot of cool things. And then, uh, and then, yeah, then um, had us read the four Hour Work week, and we all read it and we were all like, all right, this looks awesome. And we'd become such good friends just from being in the class together, et cetera, that we, uh, we decided, well, let's, let's try to figure this stuff out. I know I got laid off my job. Mm-hmm. at the time I was a financial analyst. And, um, I got laid off in Nove, like November 30th. You remember, 2007 was my last day at work. So today's November 16th, 2022. Oh shit, what is that? Is that 25 years? Fuck no. Holy crap. Really? Can't be 25. No, it's 15. No, 15 years. No. Yes. Yes. 15 years. I'm about to say cuz it's been 15 years since I divorced. Yeah. So I'm going up on my 15 year. And then you were still working at the, uh, grocery store and, um, Yeah. Anyway, that's, that's the way it worked. It was just two buddies saying, let's, let's figure this out. Let's, this looks like a good side hustle. And at the time I had, you know, I didn't have another job, so I had a, it was my full-time hustle. my motivation for, uh, starting with you and we met an NLP class. Um, at the time it was, I was trying to get some more education on communication and, and whatnot. Uh, how we communicate, how we can improve ourselves. Uh, had read about it, uh, invested in it and, uh, didn't know what the hell I was walking into. Little did I know some of my best friends would come from that group, and that was the first lesson, first time that I learned that lesson is investing yourself and then surround yourself with. that are doing better than you. And, and I, I, the way I used to tell the story is, I, I wouldn't say I was, I'm not dumb, but I was the least successful in the room. And by no means did anybody ever make me feel like I was less than I. But in the group, I, I started to understand what that meant to, to surround yourself with people that were doing other things that you wanted to do. And that was fun for me. Uh, and I got to learn a lot about communication and started working through my shit. Um, One of the reasons that we did end up starting the business, and I was wanting to do all this is because I was divorced and I wanted to be more involved in my kids' lives. Um, so just to kind of come to the future for a second, my daughter just turned 18. My baby girl. I know, I saw that. Crazy. So I feel like that's important because it's free When we, uh, started. They were itty bitty at the time and they loved you by the way. They always, uh, appreciated you. Great. Uh, Theo, Brad. But it's crazy because we've come so far to the point. They were the reason why I did all this. And in a way, manner of speaking, I want to thank you for that because through you, through our venture, which we'll share more about here in a second, I've been able to make it to a point where I, I could provide for them. Like it, it is been a fascinating ride, my friend. It's been, it's been awesome to see. Yeah. And dude, like, it just goes to show, like, you took that step, you made a big investment in yourself with nlp and then you, uh, I mean that, that obviously started a, a really cool chain reaction, uh, you know, for me as well. Like, you are as much of a part of my success as I am of yours. And it's kind of cool to know that, because I don't know if I would've had, , I don't know if I would've had the guts to do this all, like start an internet marketing based product on my own. And I know that back then technology was a hell of a lot harder than it is today with all the tools, . And you were my like, go-to, like, you're the one who just figured it out and got stuff done and l you know, listened to my cursing and crying, like, why is it so hard? And, uh, I'm not that technical. I've become much more technical, but, um, I probably would've just thrown my hands up and said, screw this. I'm gonna go get a job. Had you not helped enable the vision that I had for the course. You have a vision, man. Yeah. So, yeah, uh, it worked out. It worked out well. And it also goes to show that when you're partnering with somebody, partner with somebody who's got different skill sets, and I know that in business it's a, it's really easy to partner with the p a person who's exactly like, Hmm, and who has the exact same qualities, and you and I complimented each other without overlapping too much. I was like, okay, I'll be the talent and the vision, and you be the guy who figures it out how to get it done. You had just enough tech skills and HTML skills back when we had to use those. And then, and then what, what I really appreciated about you is you're just like, I'll figure. . Yeah, you did. You figured out tech skill. I mean, here you were, uh, like you said, no college education working in a grocery store, but you took it upon yourself to learn how to. Like learn some really valuable skill sets that you could then leverage and utilize later on. But then you're also really resourceful. So you just like, I'll figure it out. I'll figure it out. And that's one of the things I like the most. Dude, I, I coded a video player . That's crazy. Do you remember that? I coded in flash. I believe. I, I literally, that was before you could easily, like anybody watching this is like, what does that even mean, coded a vi video flash? No, they're like, what is Flash But I ha we, we were recording video. And of you, and you were the talent and we had to get them to play. This is before the idea of even using YouTube videos was kind of. The thing we would do, uh, to embed, it was a training site, and I had to figure out how to get your face to start talking to people on their browsers. Yep. And that to me was one of the biggest, like, whoa, what the fuck am I doing these days? Um, I do wanna ask you though, why me, why did you choose me? I always, um, always wondered that. Uh, what did you see? Like, hey, you, there's two reasons. I felt that my board of directors needed a Hispanic male . It was for, dude, I was e sg before ESG is cool. No. Why? Well, I mean, we were, we were buddies. We got along really well in, in, in lp. We were the class clowns. Probably me more so, but, um, yeah. Yeah. Like, yeah, definitely. You, yeah. You own them. You got them. No, but we were buddies, uh, and friends. We, we got along really well. We both were like, screw it, let's try this. And, um, mm-hmm. , I just, I always enjoyed hanging out with you and working with you and, and brainstorming with you, and you always seemed to kind of like, go along with some of my hair-brained ideas, , and, uh, it just, it worked. Yeah. I mean, I think it was just good. I think one of the things I realize that, yes, go ahead. Sorry. I was gonna say, I didn't know if you had the skills to do it, but I didn't have the skills to do what we were setting out to do either. I was like, well, let's let you wanna learn this together. And I do remember I, I've said this million times that I think one of the reasons I know for my success behind that first product was the fact that neither one of us, although we read the four hour work week and we had. You know, ideas of, oh, this could be really big. We can make a lot of money. I don't think either one of us were focused on that. I think we used it as a, as a marketing laboratory to just exactly like, alright, that's exactly it. Let, let's just let, let's take like, let's just figure out the process because if we can do it here, we can do it anywhere. And we weren't betting. , you know, we weren't investing a lot of money. We were investing a lot of time. And it was just like, well, like every, Hey, the first time I wrote a piece of sales copy, that was a success the first time, you know, we built a, a sales page and WordPress and coded it and said, Hey, that's a success. And just by looking at like, screw the goals, like it wasn't about the goals, it was about the process. Yeah. Can we learn this? And I think that's, we were both willing to learn. And that was the, that was the key. I think one time you, you used to say a little, a couple times you've mentioned to me that we, we used. as kind of our, our our education.

Yeah. Through the process of doing, we ended up learning like, oh crap, we gotta build a membership site. Because it started out as an ebook, right? I know. Yeah, totally. , you had that written up after a while. It was, wasn't that big a deal, but then somehow or another, it, it became a membership site, which essentially now is, uh, what are they calling it now? Uh, learning. Um, it used to be called a info marketing space. Now they call it, uh, Educational space, I suppose everyone has a course. Well, we were some of the first people doing courses and, um, through the course of doing that, we learned, we didn't know what the hell we were doing. And I think that's what I hear a lot from people. Like, well, what, what's the next step? I'm like, well, just take a step and then figure it out. You'll, you'll, you'll find out what the next step is for you and just go fucking find the answers. It's, um, . I think it, it says a lot about both of us. Cause we both lunged. Um, I had nothing going for me. Well, I, I had some things going for me, but I didn't know anything about anything. Um, and you just would challenge me the conversations just for people to know. If you don't know Brad, he is one of the, uh, most brilliant guys you will ever meet. He's like a mad wizard. He's grabbing from everywhere cuz he's red or consumed some piece of. and he, he puts together these ideas and they're coming at you every day. idea after idea. What time? A few too many. Like, ah, stop. Like Brad, you just told me to implement this thing yesterday, which I thought was great, and I'm still working on the one from last week. Slow down. Yeah. But it was, uh, it was, it was fun because it was just a challenge to figure out how do we organize this? And I, I guess I was in a sense also a project manager trying. , figure out the execution. And it was just me and you, right? Mm-hmm. . Um, and then we tried to hire some outsources, but Blanche Blanche from the Philippines. You remember her name came up in my, I think she came up in Gmail. I tried to type in the search and Oh, that's so funny. An old email from her came up. That's great. Yeah. Um, but I've always, always appreciated that about you, that you, you were probably one of the most well-read people that I know, or at least can consume enough. To, to be dangerous. . Oh yeah, . Very, very true. Very true. Um, we, you, we, excuse me. So we started to gain some success and one of the things that I, I, looking back at it is quite obvious through your, your, um, Major skillset, uh uh, which I believe is just networking and being such a great conversationalist. Do you remember that? Also known as a bullshit artist, but go ahead. Yes, yes. Shh. I was trying to keep, my mom always said, I can't dazzle with brilliance, da baffling with bullshit. So you bow, you dazzled them with some bullshit. But the, despite that , the overarching lesson to me was you were really good at building relationships. That's when we started finding success in the business, cuz we didn't know we were trying to learn. Yeah. Um, and you went out there and you started nurturing these relationships. We started, we started to take off the business. I think that's the only reason, to be honest, that that product was a success. Like, do we divulge what the product was? You don't, you don't hide that from anybody, do you? No, no, I don't. Yeah. We taught magic. We taught magic tricks to the pickup artist crowd. We, we taught guys how to learn to do magic tricks to impress girls without looking like they were doing magic tricks to impress girls. Like how to be a, how to be an effective like pickup artist, magician without looking like a cheese ball. Um, and, uh, oh wait, where was I going with this? You were just, I just literally just lost my train of thought. Talking about being old. . Now you may lose my, what did you, um, where was I going? Oh, the relationships. You were talking about relationships. So, and, and we thought like, hey, this, this is kind be a cool idea and we can probably teach this, you know, or basically just ripping off other magic tricks and revealing it. But then we, we, like, I realized that, well, there's not a lot of people searching for this. Like there is not a lot of search volume and at the time, Was like just born infancy Facebook. I don't even know if they had Facebook ads. So it was like Google ads or, or nothing, or email lists. And that was it. Which we tried. We did, we did Google ads. Yeah, we did Google ads that were, we, I kind of threw money away. I mean, but it was just like a test. But at the same time, there weren't, that, there wasn't enough search volume. So people searching for magic tricks and people searching for pickup artist stuff, but not very many, not enough people searching for pickup artist magic tricks to, uh, help make a dent. So, and then back in the day, the, um, you know, joint ventures and affiliate relationships and getting other product and list owners to mail, email your, their list, promoting yours as an affiliate, making, you know, we paid 50% was the thing. And I remember, I'll just take you back through, uh, you know, my thoughts here is I remember trying, I had built some relationships with other pickup artists, product owners, and for, for the, for what it's worth, like TV and I were, . We would never call ourselves like pickup artists. We were not, we, we would read the stuff and it was entertaining, but I, I had a long-term girlfriend who was, who's my wife now, and you know, we were marketers in this crowd and so I remember I was a geek behind it. Behind the computer. Yeah. And I remember Dave Mis and reaching out to, he was my first affiliate and reaching out to some other people and we started to build relationship with other marketers in the industry. And then I remember trying to get it a hold of, people like bi. It was the guy who went by Thundercat, Matt something. And uh, two people introduced us, introduced and, Hey, you need to talk to Brad. He's got a really cool product. And he was like, oh, magic tricks that seem stupid. I don't, I don't even know who this guy is. . And I remember Matt made me mad and I was like, oh, you don't know who I am. Well, you're about to. So I borrow, The brilliance of something that was happening in the traditional internet marketing community called the Syndicates. Oh, yes. Which is where a lot of gurus were. They would basically create their own little cabal of, uh, I'll mail for you, you mail for me. And if you were in the syndicate, you're basically just trading offers. Yes. I remember the, the, the dating advice niche was so disjointed. Um, and Facebook groups were not a thing. Correct. But I had a, I had a relationship with maybe like six to. other product owners who were really cool and, uh, I said, I set up a site called Seduction Syndicate, and it's where, Ooh, that's dating, pickup and sexual advice like marketers go to. It's, it's, it was like a, a free online mastermind done in Google Groups, which still exists to this day. Started in 2000. Does it really? Yeah. Still there. The syndicate still exists. I, yeah, I, I don't know how active it is. I still get emails once in a while, but, okay. Um, I don't read 'em. That being said, what I did is I set up a and, and I say this cuz for if anybody's listening, there's kind of like a cool business lesson in here and this was one of the smartest things I've ever done in business. But it was, uh, so I set up an application on a, on the website you probably still see it. Seduction syndicate Do. Flooded with applications and people would've to go there to enter in who they are, what their offer is, phone number, email, et cetera. And then I would receive those and I just told other my friends in the community, Hey, go invite 'em to the go. Invite 'em to this, uh, group cuz we'll share marketing advice, launch calendar, promotion calendar, et cetera, and we'll help generate affiliates. and there was no cost to get involved. Unfortunately, I should have done that , but, uh, my whole thesis was I'm not the coolest kid on the playground, but I'm having the party at my house. So if you wanna come to my house, good friends through my door. So if, like, I remember when the guy who went by the name Thundercat , Matt, I can't remember his last name, Matt something. He, uh, he applied and I emailed him back. Hey. , I'm familiar with your work. I, I like what you're doing. . You're applying to the syndicate. Hey, listen, uh, yeah. The next step is just to set up a, uh, a phone call. So when, when are you free? So we'd get on a call and it'd be like a Skype call just like this. Mm-hmm. . And I'm like, oh man. And now this gave me an opportunity to build a relationship. He wanted something from me, which is access to the group, re as recommended by somebody else. And, uh, that allow. Me to just build a relationship just like we're doing. Hey, tell me more about this. Tell me more about that. Mm-hmm. . And invariably they would say like, so what's your product, Brad? And I would say, well, it's Puma skills. I teach guys how to do magic tricks without looking cheesy. It has a, actually, a really good epc by the way. We've got an affiliate program. Uh, I'm, I'm happy to promote you. You know, let me know if you like information on ours. And you know, now there's this whole reciprocity thing. I'm letting him into my world, right? And he doesn't have to promote me. , but as long as it's a product, it was a, it was a good product. It was well marketed. Mm-hmm. , as long as it didn't make them look bad and it paid well. I, I, I never had a single person in that syndicate deny promoting us. And so that whole thing was, is, is about social capital. Like I had, no, I was socially broke in that industry, but I just made sure that I want to create the hub and spokes of, of the industry and they have to come through me. They don't just join, they, I mandated that they had a relationship how conversation. and then, and then it created reciprocity. So I still, to this day, it's like, if, had I not done that, I don't think Puma skills would've been a success because this was before you could just buy media to it, et cetera. So it was a, a brilliant move. I remember when you came to me with it, I was like, I think this sounds incredibly smart. I don't know how it, it would work cause we were still new. But it just seems like it's going to work if you're able to get enough people into it. And after a while it became the place to be every. was a member of it, and that's when we started to produce, um, revenue right to the product. That's when, when I start, and this is, this is important because I still was struggling trying to figure out how to be in my daughter's lives. Mm-hmm. , uh, I was still. . I was divorced, but I was still working my day job and I was hating it. Um, but you pulling this stunt, this brilliant move of just being the, the spoke as you said, um, was one of the, the smartest things that you could have done because it also, we, I started to sense that this was a, a possibility. Yeah. That we can actually make money from it. So you started to cut some, some little checks here or there? Um, so come, was it March? February? March. The new year was 2007. I. 2008, um, I decided to walk away because we were making a little money. I was like, fuck if I'm, we're able to make a little bit with a little bit of time that I put into it. I say a little bit, I put it quite a bit, but oh yeah, it wasn't full-time. Right? And what if I quit and I do this like 24 7 or at least more give it more attention? What could we. So I applaud you and I thank you for that, for building those relationships. It wasn't a lot, I mean, it wasn't like we were killing it, but it was enough just for me to say, this is possible. This is really legitimately possible. Yeah. Yeah. And you know, the other, the other lesson I like to share outta that is like, I get a lot like, people will say, Brad, you're not the only one tv Brad, that was brilliant. You're a really smart guy, but it's not necessarily originality. It's like I pay attention to a lot of stuff. Mm-hmm. , like, I borrowed the, well, one of my favorite books is actually called Borrowing Brilliance. Mm-hmm. . And it's like taking what other people are doing over here and seeing how you can combine or like where will it apply? And, uh, I was in, in the meantime, while I was side hustling another. In the real estate space with another friend of mine. I was trying to publish him. It didn't go anywhere. But in the meantime, I met a guy named Trevor who ran a, uh, who ran a group exactly like this in the real estate space. Yes. Uh, real estate investors and, uh, it's called JV Update. It still is. People would talk and, uh, generate affiliates, and I remember Dale introduced me to Trevor and we were just talking and exactly, exactly the same. It was the exact same model as Seduction syndicate, but then he. , he said those words, social capital. He goes, oh no, this, you know, this has been a great thing for social capital. And I was like, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. I need that. Cause I was like, I need social capital. This is how you did it. Yeah, let's just try it in a different niche. And, uh, worked out tremendously well. There's a lot of things I would've done differently and better, and I would've started to charge for it. But, um, yeah, relationships have always been my key. Uh, skillset, I think. And yeah, you're a master at it, you're my opinion. I've always looked up to you. Thank you. Like how, like I, I literally would when I would be in circles with you and just anywhere around you, I'd watch you. Cause I, I keep in mind just so for context, uh, I didn't have a really involved father and I didn't have a lot, uh, a good social circle where I can model that kind of thing. So you were one of the people that I was like, how does he do it? So I'd watch you. Nice. I mean, I was a kind, funny person. Yeah, exactly. Percent. There it is. Uh, so you would be the, one of the people that I modeled and, and would take a look at what is he doing, how is he nurturing that, how are people willing to do all these things for him? And it was because you created a, in my opinion, uh, a reciprocity. You would also give plenty to them. I think that was, yeah. I never, like, I was never, I was intentional about a lot of networking, but it was never. , it was never, uh, ulterior motive based. Like I would be intentional, like if there was somebody I wanted to develop a relationship with, um, there were either things I would do, whether it was just give without asking or just try to be cool, be funny. I would always, like some of the people have said to teach a course on this, I was like, ah, it's hard to really create what I did, but, um, I would just be genuinely curious. I would be, and I still am. Like I would be genuinely curious about somebody. And the things I'm curious about are oftentimes like, what are you doing? Like, how can I add value to you in one way or another? Uh, and I'm just listening. I'm li What are you? Hey, what are you up to? What are you passionate about? What are you working on? What's a nut you're trying to crack? What's this, that, or the other? And the, um, , and then I would just pay attention to that. And then paying attention allowed me to say, oh, I know somebody. Right? And I, I think I also, because I do have a really good memory, that's, that's one of the superpower, I have a really strong memory. So whether I read something in a book, like I'm famous for my book, recommendations, oh, tv, you gotta read this book. It's blah, blah, blah. Mm-hmm. , it tells you exactly what you need. Or I'll say, oh, I know a guy, let me introduce you. And there's very few things. that give me as much pleasure as making a really powerful or a good introduction. Like, I get giddy, but I, I like giving introductions like this more than I like receiving them. And Bec and I also know that because I was the glue that connected them together, you know, it bleeds off on me. And, and I oftentimes didn't ask for anything in return. And in fact, like, I think that's, like, I wish I would've had more things to ask for in return as I was building these relationships. Because even to this day, I have a tremendous amount of social capital with some big people that I've never cashed in. Which is okay. But, um, that was the other thing I would do is I would never, even if I'm talking to people who are way above me socioeconomically or whatever, I never let that, um, I never acted like it. I always assumed we are on equal footing. And I don't know if that's just something in my subconscious allowed me to do is not be too intimidated. But I would, I'd bullshit with them and I'd make jokes and I would, um, and I would not be, I would purpose not be impressed, overly impressed by who they are. That's shocked them a bit. Yeah. Yeah. And exactly. And it's like I'm just putting myself on your level. And a lot of people like the bigger and more, um, I guess well recognized or status they have, the more they're used to people fawning all over. And the more I would just treat them like a buddy of mine, I'd make a stupid joke or you know, which I'm famous for. And I would just, yeah, you were. But I would just treat them, I would immediately treat them like a friend and not like somebody I'm trying to do something else with. But I would always look for, yeah, just ways. I still do, I always look for ways to add value and make connections, uh, with nothing else in return. and just try to be a cool person that people wanna be around as well as just be friendly and open and curious and interested in them. Cause I mean, those are just how to win friends and influence people 1 0 1. Yeah. Um, but you're giving, it's still giving in, in at the end of the day. Yeah. It's giving attention, giving value, making them feel seen, I suppose. Um, and just being present with them as they're talking is the, uh, is, is oftentimes very, what do you call it, field fielded and. . Mm. Especially now, more so now than ever . Yes. It's always been a problem. Exactly. So I, I'd like to move it along a little bit in the sense of Puma skills continued to grow. Yep. We started to do really well. I quit my job. I said Screw it. I'm walking away. Uh, I don't know, it was probably, was it two end of 2008. We were doing well enough. But I mean, it wasn't like you quit, didn't you? Didn't you quit in March of 2000? Correct. March 1st, 2009? Yeah. Oh, you got a memory. You do brother. You do. Or maybe I've, I've posted it on Facebook every year for the last 13 years. , he mentioned me like, I get him. You quit on March 1st, bro. . That doesn't hurt. But we were doing well. We weren't killing it. We weren't killing him. But it was, well, like it, it was con, it was, it was consistently growing. And then it's obviously started to, um, to plateau and then tap. which is inevitable. And in that meantime, in that time, I, I also started to, uh, to grow. I started to take dance classes. I started to take improv. I started to do other things. I love that. Yeah. And at some point you reached out to me and says, Hey man, you don't look like you're interested anymore. Like, you're like that into this anymore. And you were a hundred percent right. I wasn't, cuz it, the dating thing was never my thing. It was just a product. Um, and I'm incredibly grateful by the way. The story I tell people ask me, how did I get into marketing? We built this thing. And then we looked up like, and roll. Sorry. Go ahead, . And then we were like, wait, how are people gonna buy it? How are they even gonna know that it exists? Oh, marketing, right? We gotta do marketing. I had never really heard that term before that. Uh, so then we had to go learn seo. We had to learn Google ads, cause that's pretty much all that was available. And mailings, uh, JV partnerships, that kind of thing. But that's when I started to get my marketing, um, hat on and understanding what this whole. Anyways, we're reaching the end of the year. You reach out to me and you're like, Hey, lemme just buy you out. I'm like, let's do it. Fuck it. Um, I wasn't married to the product. It was just for me, an education at the same, it was nervous. Um, y you gave Amy a kind offer. I took it, and for me, I think it was a demonstration. By the way, I've never had another partner. . Nice. I have, you're my first and my last. I have, but I've never had a better partner than you. Aw. See, now you're gonna make me cry. . Mm-hmm. . Um, you said something earlier and it's true. We didn't know when we got into it. You definitely were the face, you were the brand. I was the back end guy. I was the one that was in charge of trying to execute your ideas. And it worked out perfectly for that reason. Yeah. Um, but at the end of the day, it wasn't, the whole business wasn't my thing and I enjoyed it. It gave me a kickstart. But one of the things I love telling people, love telling people is that when we broke, , we broke up. Well, yeah, we still made sure to maintain our friendship cuz too many partnerships like this end in bad, horrible, which is the reason I'm scared to get into any others. Yeah, well you have to be real careful. Like, and I, I put, because I put, this isn't everything, but I put my relationships over money many, many, many times. Like I would rather lose money than burn a, than burn a valuable relationship. Uh, and I have done that many times. So for me it was really intentional and I could see, like, you were at the point, at this point, you were kind of phoning it in. Um, like I could tell you weren't like, fuck yeah, let's go do this, this, this, this. Right? Like, okay. It was, it was at that point, and I was probably, most of the work was no longer, um, tech related. Mm-hmm. , et cetera. It was much more, Hey, I'm just gonna write a new piece of copy and get people to email. It was, I was point, I was probably doing 80% of the work at this point. That's fair. And split it 50 50 And I, there was, there was two there. The selfish aspect as well. I'm doing most of the work and I'm only making 50% of the money. But also TV doesn't look like he's in it like as much as I was, cuz this was still my brand. I was like, I'd rather just make an offer and I'd never bought anybody out of this. I didn't even know what the hell I was offering. I was like, I'd rather make a good offer to you to buy you out and. and let us part as friends as opposed to let this creep. Cuz that was the one thing is I could see if we let it go six more months, I might build resentment. Mm. For like, oh, I'm doing all the work and you're not doing anything. I'm not paying you this. And I never wanted to have that happen. I was like, no, thank you. I think TV wants to do some other stuff. I'm gonna cut you free. The funny story is, um, and I don't, I, I think I told you this before, we had had like a really good. I think it was, I wanna say I, I may be making this up. It may have been November. of, uh, whatever year it was. And I think we had like a $20,000 month and it was like our best month ever. And that was like the selfish part of me going, oh, I gotta split 50 50. Like, damn I this motherfucker and this, this company's doing this and it right now, it's like a lot of the work I'm doing. And I was once where I was never, ever resentful in any stretch of the matter, but I remember thinking, okay, now's the time to buy him out because if it's gonna continue this trajectory, and that's a lot of the work I'm doing. I have to do it now. So I made. You know what? You know, a very fair. and the next one I wouldn't know. I was like, yes, . After I paid you, after I paid, the minute I paid you the next month we did like 10,000. And then the next month we did like eight thou. I did like 8,000 and it just like you got out at the peak. Did I that? I didn't know of the history of the company. It just started to go downhill. So or maybe, or maybe, maybe I was the magic formula and when I left, Maybe I really didn't need tv. Hold , but I'm sorry, what? Do you remember what year I bought you out? Was it 11, 10 or 11? It had to have been early 2009. I had to, I think I made it through 2008. Maybe. My timing is off and I, I can't imagine leaving at least When did I, you wait, I'm sorry. I quit 2009. 2010 ish? Yeah. It had to be 2010 because I sold it in, I'm sorry, 2012. And it was like, and it, it, it had just started to like, Suck wind ever since. And I remember thinking, I may, I may have just screwed up by letting TV go if possible. You never know. But, uh, wow. Anyway. Never heard this story. Remember if I ever told you that story, you didn't. I wrote a check and the next month I'm like, oh shit. I'll tell you this though. Um, I'm so clueless. I was clueless in business cuz before this I had always worked in retail, right? Yeah. I was a. Um, so I think before then I'm, I know I would've, I probably would've walked away and say, what do I need to sign? How do I give this to you? Um, before the, that would've happened because I would've felt it, um, there, there was no world where I would have sacrificed our friendship over, over money. Yeah. Because at the end of the day, you literally invested every single penny into the company. And that does not, that's that never. never went without me. I never forgot that. Can't even, yeah. Verbalize that. Couldn't put that into a sentence, . I never forgot that. I was like, I'll fund it. I'll fund it. We'll split it. 50 50. I don't know if we did one of those things where it was like, I get my money back before we get paid out. I don't even know if we did that. Mm-hmm. . We may have. I don't think we did. I, I don't know. Um, but I would've walked away. Yeah, I don't think so. It was just like, look, I'll fund it. , you know, you put sweat in, I'll put sweat and money and just figure it out. So does this happen without you funding it? Like, do I get here? No, it, it doesn't. You literally put every single penny, uh, web development and when we tried to hire some web developers here or there, I tried to learn everything that I could. So we didn't have to do any of that. Uh, I tried to take on anything that didn't involve you writing, cuz you were the copy, you became the copywriter, uh, or you being the talent and I have no, uh, No reason to believe that I wouldn't have walked away cause I've done it since then. I walked away from cuz I'm like, bro, I don't wanna ruin a relationship and a friendship over some disagreement and it ain't gonna be about money. So feel free. Don't pay me for this. Good be, let's move on. Well, and when those, when those, uh, relationships where, where it hurts is when things are really successful, that's where it starts to be like a lot of times. That's fair. You, it's, it's, All of a sudden there's a lot of money at stake because that's when, yeah. And luckily I haven't had to deal with this, but that's where friendships can definitely take a backseat because at at this point, it's business is business. And if you're talking about hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars change hands, all of a sudden friendship starts to get questioned, I believe. Right. But I al I also know I've been, I've seen enough business transactions where it's all fun and games until there's big money on the table. So I had this been a multimillion dollar thing. We may have gone to flow. We're fighting. No me in the ring. We're gonna fight it out. . Well, I'm grateful regardless of that, um, we will never know if it had been billions of dollars. We had to, we had to chop up. Uh, so grateful for that. Did you ever realize that we were at the, uh, at at the forefront of this internet marketing thing of this internet? . I thought we were great. In many ways, we're like some of the, uh, original people. O og. Yeah. It's, it's fucking crazy to think that we are, I, I think about it even from a point of view, just working from home. Everybody's always wanted to work from home, but now people are literally working from home because they have to. We were some of the first people doing and, and trying to really push the envelope there. Yep, yep. Yeah, that's true. I mean, we. pioneers had a, have a few arrows in our back. But, you know, it's funny because, you know, the big in internet marketing world, the big, uh, the biggest really event out there is called Traffic and Conversion Summit, which to this day, I don't think you've ever stepped foot in always. No. I actually thought about going to this last one till I pull at the, the prices. It was like a 1,002 thousand and it was like the next. Yeah. And then also getting the flights. I actually considered going and I remember you went to the first, one of the first ones in Austin in some little Oh yeah. Banquet or something. Banquet room. I've gone to just about every one. And, um, the, uh, the, and one of the, one of the things, the reason I bring this up, cuz I remember back in the early days it was, um, And we'd go there, and this was like, where about in the beginning, like 400 people. And these were the most og, badass internet marketers who, you know when you're in that room, they're sharing these really awesome strategies for making money online. And at the time there was a very, very, very small subset of the world who knew how to do this. And we felt. , secret ninjas, like who know this stuff like magical, you kind were, and that like we had a, a skillset that most of the normal people in the world don't have. Fast forward several years that the digital marketing world grew like crazy, and I remember being maybe 2018 or no. 19. I was at Traffic and Conversion Summit here and they had 6,000 people, not 400. I remember looking around and thinking a lot of people here have been in this business for a couple years and they're so much smarter than me at this , or there's so much more now. We have super special at SEO and Paper Click and all this other stuff. And I remember thinking like, I have not, I haven't kept up my skillsets in this area, but I remember thinking like I'm an og, but all of a sudden I'm not as special. As I was, there's a lot of people who can do this. Yeah. Um, and I just remember thinking, all right, maybe I need to pivot what I'm looking at and what I'm doing and not just try to become a better tactical marketer, which, so I've tr tried to become a much more strategic marketer and business owner and, um, and whatnot. So that's been, uh, but that was just a big shift. I was like, huh, you ain't so special. No more. There's a lot of people doing this stuff. , I definitely wanted to ask you about that. What are you doing these days? What are you, what are you focused on with giving you joy? So I'm working at a company for the first time. I You always own something, don't own. In the past 15 years, I'm working for, the first time I'm working at a company I don't own. Now I'm still, uh, technically a consultant to them, but like working 40 to 50 hours a week. Um, over the past, like ever since I sold Puma skills and I've been doing a lot of consulting, I've had some startups. Some success, a little bit, a bunch of failures. I bought a business, sold it, uh, didn't make much money. I broke even, I think, on it, but I got, I got the experience of buying and selling a business and, uh mm-hmm. . But I've done a lot of consulting. I've been really successful at consulting and being kind of a virtual or a fractional CMO and coming in and helping people grow their business and, um, just, uh, et cetera. Right. Really kind of a growth, growth and marketing consultant and, and a year, I, I'm, I'm, I'm getting up to where I'm at right now, but a year ago, actually in middle of 2020, had this great idea with two partners to start a business. It was in the, it was a, it was an e-commerce product and the CBD space, and I had this brilliant idea. Still to this day, I think it's a brilliant idea and it would've worked, but we went in a third, a third a. , uh, we funded it a third, a third, a third. I ended up doing about 80% of the work. Uh, and it's not necessarily to their, it's not something bad on them. It was just a lot of the work fell into my specialty and I spent a lot of time on this. We got it going, but it came to some differences in partnership, uh, as well as capital. We needed a lot more capital and I needed a lot more help. And I wasn't ha, having done a lot of this work, I was not about to, you know, invest a lot more capital into something. , I wasn't a hundred percent confident in our ability to operate it. And I was like, guys, I can't just do this. The opportunity cost for me is so too big and I'm very, I, I pay a lot of attention to opportunity costs cause I have a lot of opportunities. If I, I can struggle and struggle and struggle at something and have it, what do you call it? Like try to, like one of these days it's gonna work out, but how much money am I turning away from other stuff over here? And I just. Handled the opportunity cost. So at the time, then another guy I intro, I got introduced to another guy who's. Uh, a coaching product and info product in the real estate space. And, um, I was kind of like, I had just shut, I just shut this business down. Now, granted, I had also started heavily investing in, uh, bitcoin and crypto, uh, in the middle of 2020 at the same time that I was starting to build this other business. So my crypto portfolio was skyrocketing and I was making a dramatic amount of money Ev. Daily when it was good and it was amazing. , I don't need, I don't actually don't need to take on other clients. I can get focused. Mm-hmm. , most of my friends' like said, dude, your biggest problem is you're not focused on one thing. I was like, all right, I will be, I'll be focused on, well, two things, this e-commerce business, and then just investing cryptocurrency, which didn't take that much time. Um, all was well until I shut off that business, and then I was like, all right, that's. This other client came in and made me a, he wanted to work with me and I made a really big offer. I said, okay, I want, you know, I don't mind saying I want 20 per 20,000 a month and, and 40% of your business. And he says, done. I was like, oh, wow. I actually made an offer that I didn't think he would accept . And then, then it got to the point where he is like, okay, he in essence needed to be a ceo. And he's like, I wanna build my, the team around you. And I was like, ah, honestly, I don't want you to build a team around me. I'm not. I don't think I'm a great exa, I don't want to, I don't want your team around me. Like the, you, you have an offer. I find it really interesting, but, uh, I, this is too much for me. I don't wanna run your business. So I brought in a company called Branditize, who is a, uh, really great marketing agency and they, you know, they work with. I mean, they, they handle Brian Tracy account and all this other stuff. Mm-hmm. , uh, if, if some people know who Brian Tracy is, some people who don't, but he is like, yeah, you gotta know you're in the person development space. And so, uh, I brought them into TAG team and I'll say, look, I'll stay on as a strategic, the head of strategy for this client. Uh, and I'll work with your team and basically will, will work it together. Cause I know the agency really well. The founder's a good friend of mine and we started to do that. It went really well. And then he started. Like, just pay me a consulting fee to kind of look, look at their other accounts and say, Hey, can you help us strategy on this account, that account? I said, yeah. So then in August they made me an offer I couldn't refuse, which was, uh, we'll pay you really, well, give you, uh, equity in the, in the agency, and made me the head of strategy for the company. So it's, it's kind of a cmo. It's kind of not like I'm, I'm not doing much CMO work for the agency. I'm the head of strategy for all the various accounts. Which is going around and trying to see, look at their marketing funnels and tactics and try to course correct, et cetera. And I've been doing this just, uh, this is November, what, three months? And it's, it's been going great. I've liked it. It's, it's a, it's stressful, it's busy, but it's a different kind of stress and busy. Um, but it's awesome. Like the, you know, branditize, we focus on working with experts. We like to say we help experts build their empires and we work with the number of clients, uh, about a 40 person. I'm on the executive committee. Um, it's been a lot, it's been a lot of fun, but it's also been like, oh wow, like I'm actually working in a big company or big-ish, you know, it's a big, big company for a small company. Um, or at least big compared to what I've been used to working at for a while. And, um, but you know, it's, congratulations. I need to have a team behind me to be able to do a lot of this stuff. It's interesting cuz I've been asked to be a cmo. Yeah. One of my, one of my clients. has asked me a couple of times, he's like, can I just hire out or bring me on as a partner? Like start a new company? Yeah. And I'd be running the marketing and I'm like, ah. I don't wanna work for anyone. Like, I really struggle with that. Um, it, it's, it's a, it's a new challenge. Like I, I like parts of it and I don't like parts of it. There's a lot of responsibilities now. I have, I have to show up. I have people who are counting on me. I mean, you have to do that te technically if you're your own business as well. Uh, but I, I kind of like solo entrepreneurship a lot better. But the things I like about this is it's a, it's a, it's a high steady pay with upside. . It's a, it's a different kind of stress because before, if I'm working with a client, if the client's unhappy, I may lose that client and it impacts my money. Uh, in this case, it's not just me. And if, if the agency loses the client, it doesn't, it doesn't take it outta my paycheck unless I screwed something up and I get fired. So it's a different kind of stress, but it's a Right. That's a good point. Get done, stress and perform. Um, and we'll see. We'll see where it goes. I think there's a lot of potential. . The other thing I know is I, I'm not a good business manager. . Um, and I, I, and I'm, and I'm not organized, like right. I'm kind of the, I'm kind of like a guy, a marketing MacGyver. I come in and I co-opt different ideas and I, um, kind of shoot from the seat of my pants and I'm, um, I'm a bull in a China shop sometimes, but that's why it's a ton of metaphors at one time. right? Yeah. It's like a ton of metaphors all at one time. Boom. . But that's kind of the, uh, but that's kind of where I'm at. And, but I'm, I'm not good. I'm not good at administering and running a business, but I'm, I'm just kind of a, you know, a marketing mercenary these days. I have a little team and I've realized that some of the things that I did in management have served me tremendously well. Cause I'm working on processes and systems to be able to do, uh, everything. Um, cuz I have like two video editors, two writers, An executive assistant, um, to be able to manage it all. Uh, and it's, it's been interesting to find out if I could do that very thing because I, I've learned that I'm actually good and it needs to, or otherwise the whole thing falls apart and I, I, my business goes to shift and we can't have that. Yep, exactly. So it's crazy to see how we've come so far, brother. Um, I appreciate you tremendously. Uh, you are one of the most important people in my life, integral to where I am today, and I. I worry about it. What's that? I feel the exact same thing. I not only do I like scare that, but I also just really, uh, am proud of what you've done. It's kind of weird to say I'm proud, but I, I am like, cuz I've seen how you started, you know, like I saw where you were, I saw what you struggled with from the, uh, emotional struggles of being, uh, relatively when we met, I think you were relatively soon off a. . Oh yeah. Within a year. Yeah. It was that. I divorced in July and I met you sometime around that time. Yeah. Painful divorce. Painful divorce. Now you're like a divorced father of two whose, you know, children have always been like such the priority in your life and I've always really respected it how dedicated of a father you are. Like that's, I think you are unbelievable example to, uh, parents out there, especially single fathers. but I saw from the emotional insecurities and lack of confidence you had in certain areas of your life to, uh, you know. Yeah. Like, Hey, I was the, you're, you're the brokes guy in the N L P class. You're, you know, you're, you're, you're, that's not even a joke. That's legit truth. Yeah. , probably the le, probably the least educated brokers came from the, you. Uh, you know, a family that didn't understand personal development, didn't understand this stuff, and you were rewriting and you have rewritten, you know, the legacy of the Aguire family that, uh, you know, saying, screw that my history does not determine my future. And you took risks that, that I'm sure were scary as shit. right? Like I took, like, my parents aren't rich. Uh, you know, they're, they're well off. But I always knew I could fall back if I really screwed up Mom and dad. I, I could, I could count on them to make it right if I needed to. Right. I didn't, luckily I didn't need to, but I could count on that. I don't think you had that safety net that I had. I, I had an emotional and financial safety net that made it easier for me to take risks. You didn't, and you still took those risks and. . I really want to let you know, acknowledge that, that that's huge and I appreciate it. Keep doing that cuz you're still, you're, you're kicking ass at not even just financial, just at life. I see. I pay attention to what you're doing on Facebook and fatherhood and all. It's all paid off. , all those risks, they're essentially bets, right? We're making bets at any given moment, especially big ones. I'm gonna quit my job absolutely. Absolut bet on me, and it's gonna go well. I'm gonna bet on, you know, showing up for my kids and I'm gonna be there. Right. Well, those bets paid off, brother. And I guess that's the way we can end this, this conversation, um, you were, you were a major player in that those played off paid. , uh, uh, emotionally, uh, financially, um, in relationship. I'm in a good place and the girls have graduated. They were the major focus of everything. Oh, totally. And now to, to know that they're both grown and, and starting to make their own decisions. And I've succeeded. This was a massive experiment, and they're like going to rocket life. Um, it was worth the risk. It was scary as fuck, not gonna lie. Um, at one point, I, you had to let me borrow money. Like that's how bad it was. Right. To, uh, pay for a couple of things. So, uh, to know that I'm here now, the same fire, one of my favorite quotes is that the same fire that melts butter hardens steel, Hmm. Hmm. Shit. Never heard that one. There you go. I appreciate you my friend. I know you gotta get going. Thank you for joining me on this, in this conversation through, through, uh, time Thank you for having mely. Some people got some good information. Anything's possible. Even a broke as do you like myself can make it. Just partner up with good homie ab smartly. All right, brother Michael, girlfriend. You think about coming out to Sango. It'll be coming probably early. Early, uh, 2023. Alright.