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The Million Dollar Collar, Patents, And Entrepreneurship With Rob Kessler

The Million Dollar Collar, Patents, And Entrepreneurship With Rob Kessler

Law, The Universe, and Everything

Hello and welcome to Law, The Universe, and Everything. I'm your host Pacifico Soldati.  This show explores topics from law and business to consciousness, spirituality, and everything in between. We feature accomplished leaders from across many fields to help you get more out of your life.  You can learn more and stay up to date at theleupodcast.com.  

If you're not familiar with my background, I'm a helper, parent, marketer, attorney at law, certified mediator, story brand guide, yoga teacher, and a former paratrooper and award-winning army chef at the A 2nd Airborne Division in US Army in Special Operations Command.  I'm the founder and CEO of the Soldati Group, a marketing agency helping startups, small businesses, and law firms that leverage the story to grow their businesses. 

Law, Universe, and Everything is a production of the Soldati Group.  All opinions expressed by the host and podcast guest are solely their own opinions and do not reflect the opinions of the Soldati Group or guest employers. This podcast is for information and entertainment purposes only and these discussions do not constitute legal or investment advice.  

My guest today is Rob Kessler.  Rob is the inventor and co-founder of Million Dollar Collar.  A relatively simple solution to fix what his company dubs "placketitis" is the sinking, wrinkling, and folding of the placket of a casually worn dress shirt.  Prior to Million Dollar Collar, Rob built a screenprinting and embroidery business from a spare bedroom in his house to over 1 million dollars in revenue before selling the company.  Although the company was never intended to be a screenprinting company word soon spread about the high-quality great pricing and never missing a deadline guarantee.   Rob's sales experience in high dollar industries including diamonds, real estate, and automotive sales provides a unique blend of backgrounds to transition him into the fashion world.  His ability to work in the world from a different set of lenses than most people led to his success in every sales job and with both of his own businesses.  Rob is now celebrating 7 years of marriage after a decade of dating around which gives him a unique perspective on life and relationships.  Both Rob and his wife Linda are entrepreneurs which is not always easy on a relationship especially when they seemingly, abruptly sold everything to start over all the way across the country in Los Angeles where they knew no one.  

Pacifico Soldati:  Please welcome Rob Kessler to the show.  Thanks, you so much for being here with me today Rob.

Rob Kessler:  Yeah I'm excited.

Pacifico:  So Rob tell me the story, how did you come up with Million Dollar Collar? What motivated you?

Rob:  It seems staged but it was literally on my wedding day.  I got married on the beach in Jamaica in 2013.  I never really liked wearing ties back from my car salesmen days.  We got married on the beach, I had no tie, no shoes, my feet were in the sand.  It was a really nice casual wedding and we actually flew a photographer down.  

We were looking at photos right away and my shirt just drove me nuts.  There's a photo that he captured before I even said I do which is on our website if you look at us or the story.  I'm looking down and if you see the whole photo Linda's face is a little bit of disgust and looks like it's over the shirt but it wasn't it was just perfectly timed.  Basically, it came about on my wedding day. It was totally not staged.  It looks like it is but it isn't.  

It came about on my wedding day, I came home from Jamaica.  I started cutting open dress shirts.  I Googled everything I could find.  To me, the problem was never the collar.  Everything is focused around the collar.  Stay, magnet, collars all those things.  The problem was the front with the buttons and the holes which is the placket.  I took the idea of a collar stay. I made it 9 inches long and I shoved it down the front of the shirt and gave it structure where it never had any.  It took about 3 years and 100 ruined shirts to figure out Million Dollar Collar.  Now after about 5 1/2 years of sales we're approaching 400,000 units sold.  We're just rocking and rolling.  It's been quite a journey.

Pacifico:  Wow. That's fantastic.  Looked at the website and I have seen what you're doing there and having the placket does that little .... It's almost like it's squinting.  it has that little crunch to it.  One time through the washer and ... You're lucky if it doesn't do it the first time you wear it.  As soon as you go through the wash once it's going to start doing that and it's all crumbled.  It's totally genius putting that collar stay all through the placket there.  That's amazing!

Rob:  Thank you.  I like to look at a product or a problem and say, "What else do I have that I can use to solve this."  I've done a lot of remodeling on homes and buildings and things.  I always seemed to have a tool that was good but not always quite the right tool.  I can always find a way to get the job done but it was better when it was the right tool and I felt like Million Dollar Collar was the right tool that nobody had really gone after.

Pacifico:  So this was actually novel enough that you were able to get a patent for it?

Rob:  Yeah it took almost 3 years and in the intro when you said we sold everything we had and moved to Los Angeles.  We took 10 days to see the country on our way from Milwaukee to Los Angeles and on that drive our patent attorney called and said your patent was approved.  We were pretty stoked that everything came through and it was meant to be. 

Pacifico:  So what kind of challenges did you face along the way, in the patent process?

Rob:  The biggest thing in getting a patent is money.  I have friends who are lawyers and probably could have helped me through but I wanted to make sure it was done so I hired a very expensive, the biggest patent attorney company law firm in Milwaukee to make sure that I was protected.  

The way the patent process works is they write it as broad and general as possible to cover you as best as possible and the patent office just says no too broad narrow it down.  No too broad narrow it down.  Every time you go back and forth it's between 6 weeks and 6 months to get a response.  What you are trying to do is get away with as much as possible.  Get as much covered as possible and the patent office wants you to be as specific as possible.  It's a little battle and you're at odds and that's a big challenge.  Then it's just cutting checks, multi-thousand dollar checks every month is not always fun before the company is launched.

Pacifico:  For sure. What was it like, how were you able to transition from previously having your screen-printing business into your new company?  What lessons did you learn that enabled you to grow this company even bigger?

Rob:  I guess I was in the clothing industry adjacent, I didn't feel like I was a clothing guy but I understood the industry a little bit.  I think with the support of my wife coming home from our wedding.  The biggest thing was having her say yeah go for it, I know what you're doing.  We've done that for each other since we've met.  It was really that, that helped me go for it.  I had a bunch of other ideas that I haven't pursued.  This is the first one I really went after.

Pacifico:  That's awesome so tell me a little bit more about that.  What is it like being married to a fellow entrepreneur and navigating that extra level of stress in the relationship?

Rob: There are days that it's really great and there are days that we want to strangle each other a little bit because sometimes the communication isn't always there and we take our ideas and projects personally. She had a gym and did all of her own stuff there, we had a building we bought right before we got married where I moved my screen printing business finally out of the basement of my house into a 6000 square foot building.  She had a 1000 square foot gym inside of there and then our offices... We had one big office for the two of us that was a divider between the gym and the screen printing shop.  We'd go do our thing all day and then in between if we were in the office together.... Hey, I need a little help with this, or what do you think about that.  We'd be able to go back and forth. We've since done a couple of other businesses together and successfully exited those.  We're working on an exit right now for our yacht charter business that should be closing in the next 10 days.  That would have been the third company we've sold that we started and sold together in the short time we've been together.

Pacifico:  Wow, that's awesome.  It seems like a cool collaboration, you have your partner, best friend, fellow business owner all rolled into one. 

Rob:  It's funny because when I was 23, 24 years old and I started out in real estate I'd see these husband and wife teams.  I would think, God you spend every minute of every day together it seems awful.  I was still dating people and I hadn't really found someone that I wanted to spend that kind of time with. Once I met Linda we both knew we were ... There was something special that we were looking for and we've been... We always say especially in those couple of years we were together because we were basically together 24/7. We were married or had 10 years in relationship experience the first 3 years we were together. Because most people get up in the morning, go to work, spend all day apart and then come home.  We just don't have that separation. We're pretty much together all the time although lately, we've been .... This year so far she's been traveling so much for work.  We haven't spent more than 10 days together in the last 5 months.  It's been different, it's been a change.

Pacifico:  Yeah, definitely.  You're right most couples spend a third of their life apart and probably  1/3 or 1/4 of your life asleep or something.  I had the same experience when my ex-wife and I were both in the military together for several years.  Before she was in the military it was like why do you have to do this, why do you have to go to work at 4 am or why do you have to go to work in the middle of the night.  Once she joined the military it was okay. I totally get it now.   That common experience, common language, because the military is its own total culture and language and everything and is really hard on civilian-military spouses.   

There are certainly unique challenges to being a dual military couple.  It definitely provides you with a common perspective that is hard to match anywhere else.  It seems like you have that same thing going in entrepreneurship and it is really cool. 

Rob:  Yeah, I think if you look at a lot of couples where they don't have that, they've got a guy who is an entrepreneur and a wife who is a nine to fiver.  It's hard to understand why after 14 hours in the day you still want to keep going and get that thing done, get something off of your plate.  Linda gets it, if I'm in the middle of something and it's super tedious she just knows that I have to get it done.  It's part of our thing. We don't just shut down. We've worked our 8 hours today. It's time to go home.  We've missed out on a lot of friend time and lost a lot of friends over the years because of what we're building but it makes us happy, it makes us tighter and we wouldn't do it any other way.

Pacifico:  For sure that's really cool.  What kind of advice do you have for people looking to start their own businesses?

Rob:  The biggest thing is it's going to be a whole lot harder than you think.  When I was coming out with this product there was nothing else like it on the market.  There is still nothing else like it on the market.  People when I talk to them are like, "Oh my God this is brilliant."  I get feedback from customers  and my wife is a stunt woman. She is in the movie and film industry.  We talk to people who dress the actors, we talk to a lot of tailors and custom shirt guys.  When I have a chance to talk to those guys, they're  like this brilliant I wish I would of thought of this it was starring us all right in the face. So it makes you think this is going to be easy to sell and it's a challenge.  

You just have to persevere and know what the bigger goal is if you're into ... like our yacht charter business.  We're really into boating and being on the water and that business has grown insanely COVID was really good for our business.  It's grown well and we've put into a lot of hours because we're really passionate about it.  it is easy to put in the 12 or 14 or 16 hour day when you're passionate about what you're pursuing.  If you're just doing it for the money that gets old really fast.  Find a niche, that's our thing, we like to find a niche that people aren't really exploiting.  If everybody is doing it one way we're going to do it a different way.  Our boat looks different from any other  boat that's in the charter fleet.  That's what has helped us stand out partially.

Pacifico:  So obviously you've got a great partner in your wife. What would you say to business owners in terms of finding good partners to do business with and have you had other partners with some of the businesses you've started?

Rob:  Yeah, I have a partner with Million Dollar Collar and our dress shirt line called goTIELESS my partner Steve.  There's good days and there's bad days, what you should find if you're going to find a partner ... The reason Linda and I work so well is because we're opposite, I'm very creative, I'm all over the board, I'm a get it done kind of guy.  She is very meticulous, she's very detail oriented.   She made up all of our contracts, she made sure the waivers were in place, she did all the detailed stuff that I would just sit and stare at the computer screen and not get a whole lot done.  

If you're going to find a partner, don't find somebody that's exactly like you because you are going to have the same holes in your business that you'd have if you didn't have a partner.   So find someone that can fill in those gaps and that's going to lead to conflict because you guys obviously see things differently but ultimately if you can rely on each other's strengths that's when it's the most effective. 

Pacifico:  Oh definitely, like I say, hire your weaknesses and everything.  Otherwise you're going to waste all your time doing the stuff you don't like to do or like you said staring at a computer screen and it's just going to torpedo your business eventually.  

Rob:  Exactly and if you can't find a partner then find mentors.

Pacifico:  My next questions, yeah absolutely.  I was just wondering how you've found mentors and advisors throughout your career?

Rob: I've been very fortunate. My father  is a businessman, his sister and her husband are business  people, multiple people in my family have their own businesses.  I've seen the struggles, my brother and sister when we were little. My dad always used to say beanies and weenies nights  so it's a couple of cans of baked beans with cut up hot dogs inside in a casserole dish.  That's what we would eat because it was really cheap and filling.  We've had those very rough times and I've watched his business grow from nothing to insanely successful.  I've got somebody really close to me that I can go to, he is a member of both companies that I'm currently involved in as an advisor and a partner.  That's great.  

Mentor wise you have to find groups, there's tons of groups out there.  We got to Los Angeles  like you said we didn't know anybody.  Literally I was almost 40 years old when we moved there and the only people we knew were like the 25 year old kids at the front leasing office of our apartment building but they had German shepherds and we had a Rottweiler and so they were the only people we knew, the dogs were hanging out and we're like let's hang with them they know people in the building that we might need to know.  We were out on a hike one day, Linda wasn't sure what she was going to do when we got to California.  

The original plan had fallen through for her and the guy was like one of our former residents was a stuntman. Do you want to meet him?  She said that sounds awesome let's do it.  So he hooked us up with that guy and we became friends and we introduced her to the industry and life went on.  The thing that happened from hanging out with those people is I got into a men's networking group in Los Angeles, bunch of business people.  I put myself out there and got involved.  I have amazing circle of people from Los Angeles that most people would if they had access to my phone they would be like holy crap dude.  And I was only there for 5 years and my circle was insane.  Put yourself out there you can't do it by sitting at home.  You have to get out and get involved and find a way.

Pacifico:  Oh definitely.  So I would love to know how does a failure or an apparent failure set you up for later success and do you have a favorite failure?

Rob: Well, I fail everyday, that's what gets me back up.  The biggest thing that I did that I regret is sales were cranking on the B2C side so we had really great revenue. The problem, or the one hanging up with my product is it needs to be sewn into your shirt.  If you look at a men's dress shirt and you unbutton the first two you'll see the inside of the placket and the outside of the placket are visible.  While I wanted to have a simple stick on or an easy way to apply my product the ultimate easiest way to do it was to have a tailor open a couple of stitches, slide it in and then sew it back together.  We started overcoming those issues, we started building a network of installers, and we went to a dry cleaning trade show.  At that show everybody came to our booth, everybody, it was insane.  We got the names, phone numbers and contact information for 2,000 dry cleaning locations while we were at that show.  I was like dude we are ready to go, I am sick of sending out these single orders because they would always get lost in the mail and there was always little issues with sending out single orders where I can sell a dry cleaner 100, 200 or 500 units at a time instead 5 or 10 at a time and just streamline the process for our customers. 

I told my ad guy to turn off all of our ads for a B to C business and we had a real tough time getting all those people back on the phone after the dry cleaning trade show.  Our sales dipped for quite a while while we were trying to replicate those ads and get those back in the groove.  While I was frustrated with what was happening we lost great revenue, I should have never turned it off.  At the time if you would have seen ... Dickey's nationally known brand was down the aisle from us and they were like, Dude what are you guys doing over here.  Our little 10 x 10 booth was overflowing into the aisles for 4 straight days.  We couldn't take information fast enough, it was insane.  If you would have felt the momentum you would say, "Dude I can see why you turned all that off."  We could never get these guys back on the phone, it was brutal.

Pacifico:  Like you said it is always going to be harder than you think it is.  Just when you think you've seen the light at the end of the tunnel, the savior market, or something.... What's going to interfere? So Rob, what is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you've ever made and feel free to take the word investments as broadly as you like?

Rob:  Look I invest in myself, I've risked a lot and taken chances and it's because I believe that my ideas or my work ethic are going to get me through.  Look, we, my wife, and I had two commercial buildings years ago in Wisconsin.  We knew we were never going to live in Wisconsin again so we said okay let's sell these commercial buildings and buy a yacht to do a yacht charter business.  Our parents thought we were insane, out of our minds insane.  But if you look back today, 3 years from today we sold commercial real estate about a year before everything hit the fan and bought a boat that went absolutely bonkers, bananas last year.  

Everybody was so cooped up and the only thing that was left to do was to get out on the water and get fresh air.  The yacht charter industry just exploded.  We just knew what was right for us, we knew that we didn't want to be in Wisconsin, and have those ties anymore and find a new business, find a new thing from scratch.  We did it, we are probably one of the most well-known yacht charter businesses in Marina Del Rey.  We've had celebrities, high-level executives, athletes, all kinds of people have been on board.   We built a really great business and the timing could not have been better for us to buy a yacht and start a charter business.

Pacifico:  Impeccable timing right there.  Rob, what advice would you give to a smart driven college or high school graduate about entering the real world? Is there any advice they should ignore?

Rob: One of the things I love and I can't remember who said it, I think it was Wilt Chamberlain.  It's along the lines of "Delivering more than people will ever expect."  I remember when I was 12 and 13 years old and cutting lawns in my neighborhood  I literally  would cut those lawns so not one blade of grass was missed hoping that some neighbor would say, " Dude you really worked that lawn man, come cut my grass."  I cut it like everybody was watching me.  I think if you go in and work your brains out and give more to whoever you're working for if you're going to go and get a job somewhere.  You're going to stand out and if there is a recession or is a time where they have to pair back they're not going to pair back the guy whose output is exceeding what they are paying for.  it can never go negative again, it'll go negative against you with your coworkers because they are going to be dude why are you working so hard you're making us all look bad.  

It will never go bad for you personally and giving more than anybody expects is just a great thing.  I was screen printing shirts one time and it was in the middle of the night and I realized that I had spelled the word leukemia wrong for a fundraiser and I had to go and scramble and find 100 green shirts for the next day, it was delivered the next day.  I drove 2 hours to Chicago to pick up green shirts so I can finish them up and deliver them for a leukemia walkathon or something to raise money.  I just did what I had to do to make sure it was right.  Can you imagine delivering shirts with the word leukemia spelled wrong or not delivering them at all?  You just do what you have to do and that is just the way I do things.

Pacifico:  That would be mortifying. Rob in the last five years what new belief behavior or habit has most improved your life?

Rob:  We're from the Midwest, we're pretty normal I guess I would say, I don't know what the right term is.  We get to Los Angeles and there's a lot of weird stuff.  The one guy we met first said, " We've got to do these chakras and all this stuff."  Dude, what the hell are you talking about?  But we really started to manifest what we wanted.  We moved to LA, we wanted to be close to the water, we were 5 minutes from the beach.  We would literally, especially when days were rough, we would put our feet in the sand and ask the universe for what we wanted and I'll tell you what more times than not my wife would go down there especially and say I just want to thank you for all the opportunities, I want to say thank you for this, that and the other thing.  I really want to get this job that I'm up for, I am really looking to do this year. I want to accomplish that if you saw her checklist of things that she wanted to do and the things that she accomplished they're all checked.  

And it had to do with putting yourself out there and letting the universe give it to you.  It sounds hokey but if you don't have a plan and you don't know where you're going.  Just talking to one of my captains the other day and he went on a little private jet that is his boss.  He's a captain and he has a pilot license in this private jet.  He said this is a dream that is something that I'll never accomplish and I said, "Dude a dream is only a goal without a plan.  I've seen a lot less talented people than you, accomplish a lot more than you think that you can."  You just have to believe that you can do it, and part of believing that you can do it is saying it out loud.  Hopefully, nobody can hear.  If that's helpful go to a private place, get near nature, take your shoes off and talk to the world.  Trust me it's out there if you want it.  There's enough success for everybody and I don't think enough people specifically say what they want and we definitely learned that in the last 5 years being in [?]. 

Pacifico:  Definitely, I think so many people don't get clear in their own minds about the things they really want.  You just then go through life aimlessly.  I think one of the hilarious things about manifestation not only does it work, it actually works for everyone.  Whether you believe it works or it doesn't.  If you don't believe it works, then it's not going to work which means it's working.  if you think you're going to have a terrible life, or you can't do this or that.  Manifestation just makes all those things a self-fulfilling prophecy.  I've had a lot of people on here and I always ask people and I'll ask you as well, for different books and stuff and probably the most popular book that has been recommended is I think and grow rich by Napoleon Hill.  It's just crazy looking back a hundred years ago surveying the most successful only men at the time and every single one of them just laid out all the same things and it's just if you can believe it you can achieve it type of stuff which sounds new age, hokey bs and it just actually works.  The more you can tap into your subconscious you can really get basically whatever you want.   It's pretty wild.

Rob:  Yeah, and you have to be specific and if you say you want to have a lot of money that doesn't mean anything.  You say I want to make $5,000 by the end of the month. That's a goal that you can attain.  If it's not specific it's not anything you can focus on.  There are times I really get into it and I'm writing it down every morning that I want to do this, I want to do this, I want to do this.  Sometimes it slips off and I don't do it and we've recently moved to Atlanta and I've been flying back to LA every weekend to run the yacht charter still so my schedule has been a little insane for the last few months.  Again it's doing what has to be done to get the job done.  Having the goals and writing them down and having a system throughout your day that is repeatable is the best way for success for sure.

Pacifico:  Specificity is really why... A couple of months ago now, actually it was probably back in Feb. when I started my new marketing agency.  I saw this video from this woman who said hey if you're always asking for signs from the universe you're always getting them but if you're not specific then you'll never see them.  There's just going to be so many and you just won't even know and so she said you really need to get specific about how you want the universe to reach out to you and send you messages.  For her, she decided that she wanted the universe to show her rainbows anytime she needed reassurance she was on the right path or anything that reinforces what she was doing.  Not only would she see real rainbows in the sky but then she would see a sticker or a patch on a backpack or something like that.  I was like this is really cool so I thought I'd give it a try.  I was like I can't do rainbows because I have rainbow curtains in my house and that would be cheating.  For whatever reason, I thought of white feathers.  I don't really see feathers a lot but they exist so it will happen from time to time. 

I literally quit my job at this tech company I was working at and started my own marketing agency and I was thinking this is the right thing to do. Am I on the right path, should I be doing this?  Picked up my kids one day and they asked to go to a park that I never go to and it's a huge park so we have to traverse several different hills to where the playground is and crest this one hill and my kids are running around and I am just stuck in my head oh am I doing the right thing? Should I really be starting my own marketing agency?  I walk over the hill and all of a sudden I crest the hill and it looks like someone has massacred 100 doves.  There are just feathers everywhere, it looks like there was a huge pillow fight and there are white feathers as far as the eye can see, like thousands.  I was like oh shit that is crazy.  

After that I was like okay this totally works, I'm sold.  I was like hey I'm on the right track, I'm supposed to do this and even now I'll be walking my dog around or something and whatever I'm thinking about and then I'll see a white feather on the ground.  Should I work with this client or that client or something like that and I'll see a white feather?  I am like okay let's keep doing it.  Getting specific is so incredibly powerful instead of being vague or I want money or something.  Actually being intentional and specific about what you want and that's the way you can manifest those things.  It's incredible.

Rob:  Anytime you're thinking about getting a new car down to the most basic thing.  I want to go get a new car, I want a Volkswagen Jetta and all of a sudden driving down the road is a Volkswagen Jetta.  Because you've made yourself aware of what you want you to start to see the things you're looking for.  It's all right there, and nobody can deny that.  I got a new X5 recently and now I start to see these X5's everywhere.  

Pacifico:  Absolutely.  Rob I would love to know what are 1 to 3 books that have greatly influenced your life?

Rob:  I will always credit Tony Robbins with any of his books:  Awaken the Giant, Unbreakable, or Unshakeable that was his last one.  That one is great for finance.  He really inspired my dad to grow the business that he grew so I have a deep connection to Tony Robbins forever.  I read a book called the Three Minute Rule by Brant Pinvidic.  Which was hugely powerful and really got to simplifying my pitch.  I ended up getting to meet Brant and have become friends with Brant ever since.  I love the book and love him as a person, just a great fun guy.  I always got different books coming through, I did get into a big Grant Cardone mix so sometimes when I'm feeling like I'm not doing enough I'll listen to 10X Rule or something to get super pumped up.  I love audible I can go out I now have 5 acres and so I sit out on my tractor for several hours at a time and bang out a book in a couple of days.  I like to have those things on in the background.

Pacifico:  Totally, you get so much more out of your life with an audiobook, and pack some knowledge into every experience.  

Rob: My mind wanders a little too much so it makes me tired to read.  I consume data better when I actually read it.  I have to listen to an audiobook 3 or 4 times and each time I will hear something different that I didn't hear, especially if I'm driving.   I usually have to listen a few times.  

Pacifico:  I find certain books that are more like referential or something. I have to have this in text. I can't listen to it.  I always like the audiobook experience where you're going to get the message you need to at the time.  You hear the book one way the first time, you'll hear it the second and you keep listening to it till you get something out of it different every time.

Rob: I literally read the first sentence of a book and then I'm yawning and fighting to stay awake.

Pacifico: I feel that some books are worse than others.  What are some bad recommendations that you hear in the world of entrepreneurship and your areas of expertise?

Rob: I don't know.  I really don't hear bad recommendations.  I've always had a realistic view of it I think because of all the family members that I have in business that have gone through good times and bad.  My grandmother started what became the largest bridal shop in Detroit by sewing 2 dresses and selling those and sewing 4 dresses and sewing 8 dresses and then selling those and she literally grew it from nothing.  I really don't hear bad advice too much.  I try not to be in the circle of people that talk like that.  

Pacifico:  I get that, your circle is so important.

Rob:  Your network is your net worth.

Pacifico:  There you go.  So I know you mentioned a few people that are on this list already but who have been some of your heroes throughout your life and how did they help and inspire you?

Rob:  My dad for sure and conversely my mom because my dad's business was his number 1 child even though I have the exact same name as him.  It was hard, we really had some hard brutal times when that business was growing and struggling.  

My parents went through a divorce when I was in fourth grade and that was really hard.  So my teenage, formidable years were full of a lot of animosity and anxiety and stress.  I lean on my mom a lot and got to actually she worked for me when I had the screen-printing business.   For a few years, I saw her every single day which was just an incredible gift.  She still works for me now but I don't get to see her as often since I don't live there anymore.  So my parents have been huge for me, my aunt and uncle, Tony Robbins although I haven't got to meet him yet he's been a huge inspiration.  There have definitely been times where I didn't know what I was doing in my life and I would get into his books, even when I read it I read it with his voice, I still have the audio tapes I think somewhere.  Those types of people are inspiring to me.  I'm sure I could list a ton of people. 

Pacifico:  That's a great list.  So Rob if you had a gigantic billboard with anything on it what would it be and why?

Rob:  I believe a lot in you getting what you give.  So I would put out there that I would be happy to help anybody.  I've done 50 or 60 podcasts now at this point and I always put my personal email out there and I'm happy to have a conversation with anybody.  Somebody connects with me on LinkedIn and asks me a question. I'm happy to help anybody to get to where they want to go because I believe that there's enough success in the world that everybody can have success.  In some little way, I can help somebody else get there that to me that means more.

Pacifico:  I love that.  So I'd love to know you mentioned the Wilt Chamberlain quote earlier or are there any other quotes you think of often or that you try to live your life by?

Rob:  Not on the top of my head I come up with them all the time when they pop in.  The one that I do for real relationships is "If it won't matter in 5 years, don't waste 5 minutes.'' It's really hard to do when you're fighting with your spouse/partner / best friend/dream builder.  At some point, one of us takes a step back and just says let's stop this.  Overcomplicated, and overspending too much time on anything that doesn't matter is something I really try to avoid. 

I focus a lot of my effort and energy on solutions, there's time my wife is hell-bent and caught up on a problem and I'm like, forget it the problem happened how do we fix it.   I just don't get overly stressed too much because if you bang up your car or you break something or do this or do that, okay that happened, that's done try not to do that again, how do you fix the situation and move forward.  I could have sulked about the leukemia shirts that were spelled wrong and said I'm sorry and not made any money or I could fix the problem and go find some green shirts and finish up the job.  So focus on solutions.

Pacifico:  I love that.  Well Rob this has been an entertaining and enlightening conversation and our time is just about up.  It brings me to my last question of the day, what is the kindest thing that anyone has ever done for you?

Rob:  It could be birth, that's pretty kind to be alive and have a chance.  My circle is pretty incredible and it's incredible because people have offered to help out and reach out and I've been able to take some meetings that I never thought I'd ever take in my lifetime because someone believed enough in me to put in a phone call and put their reputation on the line for me.  To me that's the ultimate gift is your relationship and your reputation is the most important thing to you.  If someone is willing to put their reputation on the line for you , I don't think it gets any better than that.

Pacifico:  I totally agree.  You are the first person who has said birth so I love that answer as well.

Rob:  That's Gary Vee, the four hundred trillion to one odds that you are born right now as a person and not a fly or a dung beetle so that really resonates with me.  I feel bad for people who feel they have no other way out and that they can't get past or get through whatever they're dealing with.  You have one shot at this life. I don't want it to end one second early.  I think it's a gift.

Pacifico:  Absolutely.  Rob, thank you so much for joining me today and it's been an absolute pleasure getting to speak with you.

Rob:  It was a blast man. I appreciate it.  I love the hard questions.

Pacifico:  Of course.

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