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The Lowe Down Podcast - Episode 63

The Lowe Down Podcast - Episode 63

The Lowe Down with Kevin Lowe


Rob Kessler: You know I went to work for that soccer shop.  On day 1, owner Tim handed me a key to the store, handed me a code to the alarm from Day 1 made me feel like it was my business.  He really inspired us to think outside the box and to really want to be there, and want to make the business succeed and made all of us, high school and college kids, feel like we mattered.

Kevin Lowe: So many people think my story is inspiring.  How I became blind at just 17 years of age.  They always want to know how I've done it and how I've kept smiling all along the way.  Well, I've just chosen to focus my attention on singing the positive side to life.  Here on the podcast that is what I want to do for you.  No matter what you may be going through in life, I hope to inspire you to focus on the positive and you know what I hope that I can also be a source of inspiration for you to just keep on smiling. 

Kevin: Hey what's happening this is the host of the podcast, Kevin Lowe and I am coming to you today with episode #63.  Do you ever find yourself in one of those situations where you need that help, you need that buddy you can call.  The guy who knows a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy kind of thing.  The guy who has the contacts, who can make things happen.  Because while he has his hand in everything, well that's the kind of guy I'm talking to on the podcast today. 

I am joined in the studio today by Rob Kessler.  Rob Kessler is a boat captain, inventor, and serial entrepreneur.  Matter of fact I believe Rob takes the entrepreneurial spirit to another level.  I don't know that I have ever met somebody who has started and sold so many businesses. I feel like that is what is cool about Rob, is because he's realized you don't just have to do the same thing all your life.  You can keep progressing and keep moving forward.  Keep your life active and in pursuing dreams and ideas that bring you joy and excitement about life and that's what's awesome about my conversation today with Rob.  

He's the inventor of something called Million Dollar Collar but as I would come to discover he's also a guy with million-dollar pieces of advice.  Rob's entrepreneurial spirit started young as a kid.  Where he took mowing lawns to another level.  He would then go on assisting people with three of the biggest purchases that most people will make in their lifetime: houses, cars, and diamonds.  That wasn't enough as you will soon find out.  Rob would then go on to many more opportunities to grow businesses and live the exciting life that he has today.  That is what made talking to Rob so awesome.  So whether you're up for starting your own business or just want some awesome advice on life from a guy who's done it all.  Today's episode is totally for you.  Before I get to my interview with Rob Kessler I do want to introduce you to today's sponsor...

Kevin:  Rob Kessler welcome to the podcast.

Rob: How's it going, Kevin?

Kevin:  It's going great. I am super excited to have you here on the podcast today and feel like you have this super interesting life story that I am super excited to dive into but before we get into life today I would love to know where this entrepreneurial spirit came from growing up?

Rob:  I think my dad instilled a good work ethic in me from the time I was little.  When I remember being in 4th, 5th grade we would get our allowance of $5 on Sunday night and we had a school lunch of $2.50 a day for lunch.  He would pay me for a whole week on Sunday night plus my allowance.  Look if you want to splurge on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday you're not going to eat on Thursday and Friday.  He taught pretty early good money management skills.  Also, he never got anything for free so I had to cut the grass with our TORO lawnmower and do other chores around the house and once I started cutting our grass the neighbor was like, do you want to cut my grass?  I always would be walking behind that lawnmower like the world was watching and I was going to be the next great lawn care person and that people driving by basically down our dead-end street were going to say, "Hey, you really cut the grass good I want you to come cut my grass."  I just always approached everything like that for some weird reason.

Kevin:  Any idea how old you were when you were doing the lawn mowing of the neighborhood?

Rob: 10, 11 years old, I was pretty young but I just took the opportunity... And I ended up getting 3, 4 neighbors and I was making 2 to 3 times what my dad was paying me to cut the grass.  I always wanted to do ours last.  It was nice when it was 3 in a row because I could get all the lawns to connect, I'd do diagonals and each week would be a different pattern and just make sure you didn't get those ruts from running over the same old tracks over and over again.

Kevin: That's pretty impressive for a 10 or 11-year-old.  That's awesome.  At what point did your real entrepreneurial journey begin? Like after mowing lawns.

Rob:  What, does that not count?  After that I went to middle school, I went to high school, I played highly competitive soccer.  I ended up getting with one of the older guys on the team who worked for this soccer and volleyball store and he said hey you should come and work.  I went to work for that soccer shop.  On Day 1 the owner Tim handed me a key to the store, handed me a code to the alarm.  I'm 17 years old, he doesn't know me from Adam and from day 1 made me feel like it was my business.  He really inspired us to think outside of the box and to really want to be there and want to make the business succeed.  He made all of us high school and college kids feel like we mattered.  

I think that is what took it to the next step.  I was able to do anything in the business that I wanted.  I ended up helping with the ordering and I was doing some of the finance stuff.  I stayed working through college or in college.  And I would go to classes all day and get a couple of friends to come over at night, buy them some beer and go and remodel the entire store overnight.  Come in the next day and be painted and rearranged.  It was the greatest thing, the best feeling ever.

Kevin:  I can't help and think to myself what a valuable lesson to me or to any store owner, boss.  To me, you want to get your employees on board, give them a chance, give them a little respect, treat them a little bit differently than just an hourly employee. I view that similarity almost if you think about it to your dad when you were a kid of putting you in control, giving you the reins, giving you the money for the week.   Here's the key to the shop, putting trust in you and I think that says a lot.

Rob:  I think it's one of those things that are unspoken but it's the appreciation and the belief in you from the get-go that you're capable of doing it.  I ended up going to work for my dad after that soccer/volleyball store.  I remember a couple of occasions that people would screw up royally and instead of him flying off the handle it was like let's learn from this, what did you do wrong? Why did you do this?  It was also a learning instance and not fear for your job explosion situation.  I've tried to do that but I have a bit of a temper so I don't know if I can do that.

Kevin:  Yes, yes we all can't be as good as our parents. At what point did you switch over to selling because I thought it was interesting when I was reading about you preparing for our interview, the fact that you helped people with the biggest purchases they make in their life, homes, houses, and diamonds.

Rob: My dad is a jeweler, so that's where I started to sell diamonds. I always ended up in an industry way too young I feel like.  I am 21 years old selling people 3, 5, 8, 10 thousand dollar engagement rings and I don't know a thing about dating and a solid relationship.  It helped to be the owner's kid, my name on the card and on the sign.  I ended up being a pretty decent salesperson but that's where my sales career I would say started.  I worked full time my junior and senior year for my dad and I also went to school full time and was catching up from being a total slacker my freshmen and sophomore year.  I worked full time through college basically all four years, graduating in four years.  After I graduated my dad was opening his first store out of town.  

He had 3 in town and this was the first one he was going to open out of town so I ended up moving about 1 hour and a half north in Wisconsin because he wanted someone who knew the systems and knew the culture and could parlay that and move that over to the new store.  I spent a year up in northern Wisconsin opening up that store.  I really loved the sales aspect of it but I get very bored very easily and I need constant challenge and constant stimulation.  After about a year I was like dude have to get out of here.  My dad's company was his real firstborn child even though I was born before the company.  It was his real number 1 child and so when I said, "Hey I want to come back to Milwaukee I got to get out of this tiny little town."  

He said, "I don't have a spot open, why don't you go out and explore  a little bit and be able to bring something back to the table when you come back and hopefully someday take this company over."  I really loved cars, I love what my dad did to the jewelry industry which had never been done before.  He never had a sale, he didn't negotiate, he had the strongest lifetime warranty in the industry.  He still did all those things today.  I wondered if we could do the same thing in the auto industry and so I went at 23 years old to go sell cars.  I went to a dealership that was an exclusive one, it had Porsche, BMW, Mercedes, Saab, Volkswagen, Mazda and I was a Saab salesman.  I sold cars for about 15 months and started to get bored again so I figured I had to get out of there and I basically dumped everything I had and if it didn't fit in my little GTI it didn't go and I moved to Los Angeles to take a year off from life because I was working full time since I was 18 years old or so.  I needed a little break.  

Kevin:  Wow.  I can imagine so.  I did want to ask you when you were talking about the company your dad had, so was that a jewelry store?

Rob: It's called Kessler's Diamonds and he decided in 1991 he didn't want to be like everyone else. He wanted to specialize in diamonds so there were no watches, no colored stones.  It was literally all diamonds, it was very heavily focused on diamonds and diamond engagement rings because no matter what the economy is people get engaged every single day.  Instead of selling super high-end steaks, he said I would rather sell hamburgers.  He had really great quality, beautiful, the cut of the diamond is way more important than the color and clarity they don't mean jack.  He came in from a totally different perspective and grew from the smallest jeweler in southeast Wisconsin to the 3rd largest independent jeweler in the country within 20 years.  I was there for most of that growth which is pretty exciting.

Kevin: That's awesome.  Are those stores still there today? 

Rob:  Yeah, 7 stores. My sister is the head buyer, I have been out of the business for quite some time but they're all focused on Wisconsin and Michigan.  My Dad has since retired and there's a new CEO and everybody taking over but he did... When he retired he sold the company to his employees so it's a 100% employee-owned jewelry store, 115 employees.

Kevin: That's pretty awesome, you gotta love stories like that to remind so many of us it's possible.  Something little can grow if you treat it right, you put your heart into it, you treat your people right.  I think that's pretty amazing.

Rob:  He got inspired, he went to see Tony Robbins.  He was actually in 1991 ready to give away the business to a competitor. He was so frustrated, he hadn't grown in 11 years and he said, "I don't even know what to do with myself anymore." In a last-ditch effort, he bought a ticket, went to Tony Robbins, that weekend changed his life definitely.   It literally changed his perspective on everything, how he thought about his business, how he thought about himself.  If it wasn't for that weekend I don't know where any of us would be?  It was pretty amazing.

Kevin:  I have heard that's been the effect of many people's experience going to Tony Robbins events.

Rob:  He thought it would be the greatest thing ever to give me that as my graduation present from college.  It was amazing but I will tell you what I was in a great place.  I was 22 years old, I was making pretty decent money, I had two cars, a motorcycle.  I was in a really good spot and I feel like if I was in more turmoil, more in I don't know I think it would have hit me differently and it did when I went.  

When I do have a bad time or if I am unsure of where I am at I will go back and read a book or listen to his stuff.  I feel like if you're in one of those I don't know what to do with my life situations, far more impactful.  It's giving a reason, it's giving you the help to see through what you can't see through at that moment.  I wasn't experiencing that when I went so it was amazing but I didn't get out of it what he got out of it.  I am still a very big Tony Robbins fan to this day.

Kevin: That's awesome.  If you're listening and you have not checked out Tony Robbins I highly encourage.  That's awesome.  At what point then, you move out to Los Angeles at what point did you start your own businesses?

Rob:  I went to LA for about 9 months.  I worked at a job right at the end but I had a girlfriend back here and she drew me back.  I left LA after 9 months and I ended up getting into real estate.  I would say that was my first home business.  If you have ever been in real estate you rent a desk, you may work for a big company but you really are on your own.  They don't do anything for you, they don't help you, there are some advertising stiffs and some things that they give but it's your business to grow.  

Again I'm 24, 25 years old getting into real estate. My friends are all buying their first houses and spending $180,000 or 200,000  or something.  I ended up selling 1 house my first year, the first 9 months for $125,000 and $1500 commission.  It was a rough start especially when you're sitting there watching all the other guys around you that are... The lady next to me is doing the same amount of work selling an $800,000 house when I'm selling a $200,000 house.  She's making 4 or 5 times the money that I was so that was a little frustrating and I ended up growing and becoming... I was in the top 10% of the salespeople in the company called First Weber Group.  It's the largest in the state of Wisconsin and I also was the fastest person to get their real estate license in Wisconsin.  From opening the first book to passing my test in 10 days.  

Kevin:  Wow.

Rob: When I get determined to do something, watch out.

Kevin: I guess so that's incredible.  At what point I'm excited for us to get to the business you have, the Million Dollar Collar.  You also have and you'll have to tell me what it's exactly about is some type of tour boat company in California?

Rob:  So while I was in real estate I started a screen-printing business, while I was doing the screen printing business I invented Million Dollar Collar.  After Million Dollar collar from my wedding, my wife and I moved back to Los Angeles.  While we were in Los Angeles we bought a yacht and started a yacht charter business and so that is very short so we can go anywhere you want with that.

Kevin: Definitely that's cool. I actually have the order mixed up to where those came from so that's cool.  So let's go back since I messed up the timeline.  Let's go back then to leading into Million Dollar Collar that came out of a screen-printing business.  How did those two things correlate?

Rob:  I was doing real estate, it was about 2006 I had gotten hired to work on a condo project which is the ultimate, you have one place to be, you have clients walking in and I think it was 80 or 90 units.  It was me and another lady that was managing the whole project.  This is what got me back into a retail mode which ended up making me insane.  I hated just sitting there all day, it was also the same period Ed Hardy was out there selling $80, $90, $100 graphic t-shirts.  From my soccer and volleyball days, I remember doing screen printing and helping people with that.  I have some connections, I know a bunch of people in Milwaukee because I was raised there.  

I had some artist friends and I thought what if we took their work and put it on a t-shirt and instead of them having to sell a $2,000 painting they could sell a limited edition $50 t-shirt.  That was my approach to it, and I was getting screwed around by all these screen printers.  It was all these setup charges, all these color changes, and all this crazy stuff so like I usually do if I can't afford to pay somebody else I figure out how to do it myself.  I ended up buying all the equipment and trying to print my own stuff for myself and I told some friends and the word spread I was doing screen printing and I ended up growing that business to a million dollars of revenue before I sold it.  

I started in my basement, started with a $2500 kit, I think I screen printed about $50,000 shirts in my basement before I moved out. I'm really, really basic equipment. I also try to keep my overhead as low as possible.  I grew that business. The one thing I did that I don't think anyone else really does is I cut out every label or every shirt that came in and I screen printed or heat transferred my label on the inside so it would just say... 

My company was called NEWD N-E-W-D which stood for Nothing Else Will Do. It was NEWD Clothing and I had NEWD Custom Printing.  My mission statement was built into the name, Nothing Else Will Do.  I always provided a higher level of service, if you ever ordered t-shirts before that stuff always comes in late, companies also miss deadlines.  I never missed a deadline in 9 years.  I remember screen printing a set of shirts for a friend of mine for a Leukemia walk and halfway through I was like the word Leukemia doesn't look right.  I found out that I spelled it wrong.

Kevin:  Oh no!

Rob:  I had to drive an hour and a half south the next morning because they were due the next day to my distributor to pick up 90 shirts to go and finish the job, got home, printed them all, and labeled them all.  The other thing I would do is I would individually fold every single shirt so if you had to order shirts before they would bundle them in a dozen and you grab one and it becomes a big mess.  Each one was folded individually so that you could grab a shirt and they were all stacked by size, they were easy to distribute once you got them.  Just little things I would do.

Kevin: I think those little touches like that to me are what makes small business and stuff really awesome. I think that's pretty cool.

Rob: I hated being nickel and dimed so I would give someone a price.  I need 25 shirts, 2 colors, here are the sizes.  Okay, that would be $7 a shirt, or $8 a shirt, whatever the number was would be this is the price.  I didn't screw around with setup fees, cleanup fees, etc. and all this other stuff.  I would give a straight-up number, I ended up charging more than other places did because it felt simpler, cleaner, and more honest.  That was always my approach, just tell me what the price is. I don't want to do the math.

Kevin:  Exactly, as people and as business owners you have to step outside of the business owner, the entrepreneur, and step into the customer.  And nobody wants to go in and see a price and know that when they are ready to check out okay we need to add on this charge and that charge.  Just give me the price and the price is the price.  I think that's awesome.

Rob:  I try to look at things from the customer’s perspective because I am a customer for the rest of my life when I'm not working and selling.  I am a customer too and how do I want to be treated?

Kevin:  Do you still have the screen printing business?

Rob: No, so I ended up meeting my wife when I was doing that she modeled for me at one of my fashion shows.  We met on the beach and we got married and it was because I was in clothing I had come up with this idea for Million Dollar Collar on my wedding day because my shirt looked terrible.  We decided to move to Los Angeles after I took her out for a trip for her birthday and we sold the company.  We decided on her 30th birthday and I said "when do you want to leave?" And she said, " By my next birthday."  In one year we sold my screen-printing business, we sold our house, we sold our car, we had a little ski boat that we had gotten.  We sold everything in less than a year. We were in the car moving out to Los Angeles 362 days after her birthday. 

Kevin:  That's pretty awesome so what happened once you guys moved to Los Angeles in your entrepreneurial journey?

Rob:  We got to LA and we had the money from the sale of the business and my wife had her own little gym, it was a small group and personal training gym in Milwaukee.  Linda started it in the park after work, after her corporate job, and ended up quitting her corporate job after just doing this for 4 or 5 months over the summer. So we had this gym and she was modeling for major brands, Matrix and not in the insanity Beach Body videos but when they ended up doing the training courses for trainers to do the classes in their gyms she's on the cover of the DVD's on a bunch of Beach Body stuff, she worked for Woodway Treadmills so she's doing some major fitness stuff modeling so we thought she could get a job at Beach Body or something out there. 

She had no idea what she was going to do I had already invented Million Dollar Collar and I told her, we have enough runway for you to go 18 months, neither of us has to make a dollar for 18 months and we can figure out our lives and have an opportunity to just go after our passions that we want.  I was all in on Million Dollar Collar.  We ended up meeting a guy that was a stunt man and Linda dude this sounds awesome.  She started training 6 days a week and started training and became a stuntwoman.  She's actually in Columbia right now. She left a couple of days ago, she got a call and the next day she was on a flight to Columbia so she's super badass and she's my better half.

Kevin: Apparently.  Did you already have an idea that she would be into something like that?  That seems crazy.

Rob:  Well because she's in fitness she wanted to do something physical and she didn't want to be a trainer anymore.  We were looking at opportunities and number 1 she's always thought she wanted to be on camera and number 2 the only people we knew were the kids in the leasing office in Los Angeles.  

I was 37 or 38 when I moved there and she was a little younger, these kids were in their 20s and they knew everybody in the apartment building.  If we get to know them they will lead us to who we need to know in the building, it was a 650 unit apartment so it was a huge complex.  We were out walking the dogs one day and this guy said, "what are you going to do?" and she said, "I don't know"  He's like "one of my former tenants was a stuntman do you want to meet him?"  She said, "Hell yeah let's go."  We met up with them and worked out with them the one night and he told her all the horrible things about the industry, bruises, and long hours and she said: "sounds awesome what's next?"  He introduced her and she started training, and every time somebody would say, hey I want you to do this.  She would do it and get back and say,  hey I did what you said.  They were like, what, no one ever does what I suggest.  

She would just do it, and we end up meeting another guy who was friends with a lady that doubled Trinity in all the Matrix movies.  She's this super famous stunt woman and she's like go do this, this and this and go talk to this person.  A week later Linda would report back and would say I went and talked to so and so and that.  She said, "Really."  And so she just busted her butt and I think the one good thing she had was she had no worry about bills, we had she's very good with the finances, I would be broke as a joke if I didn't have her but we had enough money that she could... Her competition had to go to a job at some point or go make money, or go and earn some cash.  She could go to every single training, she could go to every single event, she could go to hustle sets, she could go do whatever she needed to do to get into the industry.  She busted her butt and in 5 years she has more credits than most people do in 8 or 10 years.

Kevin: Wow,  that's awesome.  I see why the two of you fell in love with each other. You guys sound like... very good similarities here. 

Rob:  When we first met we were actually both dating other people and very unhappy and we kept talking about where we wanted to do and what we want to do and our dating was overnight.  I'd complain about my girlfriend, she'd complain about her boyfriend and we would know exactly what not to do because if you listened to what the other person was saying you knew exactly.  It's crazy it happened very fast and we have been together for 11 years now and it's pretty amazing.

Kevin: That's so awesome man. Tell me about Million Dollar Collar? What is this?

Rob:  I got married on the beach in Jamaica, a casual wedding, toes in the sand, no tie.  I had a full suit on but no tie and I had this brand new freshly pressed Express 1MX dress shirt and I put that thing on and standing out there in the sun and adjusting my shirt constantly.  Before I could say I do I know that my shirt looked like a sloppy mess. We actually bought a photographer with us, he was a friend of ours, he took 2500 photos that day.  The next day we are flipping through photos and I was like my shirt is so jacked up this sucks.  On the biggest day of my life, my shirt just let me down.  So I came home and tore apart a dress shirt.  

Million Dollar Collar the best way to describe it is to think of a collar stay that keeps your collar from curling except for its 9 inches long and it goes on the front of the shirt where the buttons and the holes are there's always two layers that part of the shirt is called the placket, there are always two layers in the placket and there's always two layers in the collar band so a tailor or anyone with basic sewing skills opens a couple of stitches, slides this in and sews it back together.  Once it's in it lasts the life of the shirt, you never have to think about it, you never have to worry about it and it gives structure to the front of the shirt.  The weight of the collar is what collapses the placket. This prevents the collar from collapsing the placket when you wear a tieless dress shirt 

Kevin:  How simple but yet brilliant is that.

Rob:  It took 3 years to figure out.

Kevin: That's what I just started to say. What in the world was the process like for you, going through testing and different designs?

Rob: So I came home from Jamaica the very first shirt I cut open I shoved a piece of cardboard down and I knew cardboard wasn't going to be the solution but I was able to show my new bride and she was like, "Oh my God I get what you were complaining about all these years."  We would go out and she would be ready and I'd be still ironing the front of my shirt like an idiot trying to get the front look symmetrical and not collapse.  When I came home, we started with cardboard obviously that was not going to be the solution.  

I started going through my house with every plastic that I could find.  I cut a mini blind, a milk carton, and we had these flexible cutting boards. I was cutting those up.  Trying different designs, different patterns on different shirts, and was the hardest part was figuring out the material.  I would wash and dry and test and iron and the shirt would be fine and then I would send it to the dry cleaners and it would melt.  

I finally ended up talking to an owner of a dry cleaner and we flash press at 450 degrees and so these normal high heat plastics on the market melt at 275 or 250 and that's why they were failing and melting to the shirts.  I ended up having to develop the material in partnership with a plastics company to get something that was lightweight, it's flexible, it's rigid enough to hold up the weight of the color but soft enough to be sewn through and it can handle up to 700 degrees.  

It's more than double the heat that dry cleaners use so I would hate to sell you a $2 set of Million Dollar Collar and have to replace your $100 shirt.  That's just not a good business plan so that's why I took my time and made sure that this material was right, and I wasn't going to ruin anybody's shirt.

Kevin:  It's such a simple concept but it's brilliant and I love that.

Rob: It's simple, I love how easy it is.

Kevin:  Yeah, of course, I think that is so awesome.  For somebody who is listening to that is interested in this, is it something that you definitely recommend that they need to have a tailor or seamstress actually install it?

Rob: You need somebody with basic sewing skills. If you can sew a straight line for one inch that's all you need.   Because you're only opening a few stitches, my mom taught me to sew during this process because it just cost me a fortune to keep sending these to the tailor and have them sewn in.  I ruined 100 shirts so there's probably 150 or 200 iterations of the design and styles and things like that.  My mom taught me how to sew and I still sew shirts all the time.  

We have  VIP service where you can mail me 5 shirts.  I do the installation myself.  It's really, really easy to do, most tailors tell me that only putting a button on is easier than this is and we do have a map on our site of about 600, 650 dry cleaners and tailors that we work with and know how to do it.  Every set comes with simple 3 step instructions.  There's a video on the website. It's really easy to do so like I said it's basic, basic sewing skills.

Kevin: That's awesome.  The last question about the Million Dollar Collar, the name Million Dollar Collar did it come from a million-dollar idea or you're going to look like a million bucks?

Rob:  Who doesn't want to look like a million bucks?

Kevin:  Exactly, I was just wondering.

Rob:  I am a very big believer in the name explaining the business and never ever, ever, ever using my personal name.  I like to start a business, grow it and then sell it to somebody else.  I can't sell Rob's Collars to Mike or Kevin.  I never ever use my name in the business.  I learned that my dad used his name in the business. I wish I would not have done that.  It's the only thing I regret doing if you're going to start a business, think big, think that someday you're going to sell it.  People buy businesses for $10,000 and $10 million and $10 billion so never, never think about not thinking about the fact that it could sell at some point.  Even my wife's gym was called the Transformation Room, it wasn't Linda's fitness gym.  Everything's got a name.

Kevin: I love it. I love to make it individual and think big, think big picture. We never know what something can turn into what a year or 5 years down the line is going to lead us to. I think that's super smart.

Rob: Our boat business grew because we both loved being on the water and we wanted to buy a yacht and we couldn't afford to buy it and let it sit there and use it periodically. I knew we were going to do a charter business.  The name of the boat was Bella. It's called Bella Boating.  It's grown faster, it's more profitable, it's more successful than most of the businesses that we have started because we were really passionate about it.  

If you're passionate about something and you're going to start a business, that's what is going to get you through the tough times is the passion, it's not the money.  This boat makes us, it earns more than we ever thought possible.  We were hoping that we could do enough charters in a month that it would just pay for the boat and we would have a free boat.  It turned into a full-fledged business and we're actually in the process of selling right now.  It's wild, your passion can take you anywhere, and always think long-term on that.

Kevin:  I totally love that, I love that.  I think sometimes in life we are taught to think logically.  Think with your head, not with your heart, I understand there are reasons behind those statements but I believe strongly in what you were just talking about, a passion, having your heart in something to me is what is going to give you that drive to keep going.

Rob: Exactly, the passion...  If you're in it for the money there's a famous story about the Wright brothers when they were trying to invent the airplane and man flight.  They had no money  but they had passion and there was another guy that actually got money from the government I can't remember what his name is but he failed the Wright brothers came out first and he literally didn't continue on the project once he found out that somebody else had delivered and had come up with flight, he just walked away.

If you don't have the passion those days that you are questioning your life decisions or why did I start a business or why am I doing this?  It's the passion of why you got started that's going to get you through, it's not the dollars and sense that's for sure.

Kevin: Absolutely, absolutely.  Well I don't know Million Dollar Collar, million dollar piece of advice right there it seems like million dollar is the theme right here. 

Rob:  We try, think big.

Kevin: Rob I want to thank you so much for coming on the podcast today and sharing your entrepreneurial journey that I hope that can inspire somebody else who's got an idea, a dream and go out and get it.   One thing I took away from our conversation today is also the fact that you don't feel like what you're doing today is what you're going to be stuck with your whole life.  You can do something, find success in it and then move on to something else. I think that's what I find really awesome about your story.

Rob:  My wife and I get into things for a few years, 3 to 5 years we find something we're passionate about.  We actually like to find a niche, grow a business and we know that we are terrible at hiring people so I don't want to get into that.  We want to run the business while we can still manage it and once it gets to a point where it's unmanageable by us we like to sell it and take the cash and go find something else.  

It seems like the next idea is coming up just as the one before is starting to fizzle for us.  My wife just came up with an insanely good idea that we're going to put our passions behind shortly.  That's just who we are. Some people get a job and work their whole lives but there's no certain path anymore you can do whatever makes you happy.  We just moved again after 5 years we're in Atlanta, Georgia now so just do whatever makes you happy. You only have one shot at this life.

Kevin: That's awesome.  Rob, thank you so much for being on the podcast and for those of you who are listening today. I hope that today's episode gets you fired up to take on life.  go out there and grab the bull by the horns and you're in control of your destiny so don't let it control you.  For Rob, thank you for being a guest on the podcast and for you listening today. I appreciate you tuning into the podcast and look forward to seeing you next week.

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