Welcome to the Eventual Millionaire podcast. I’m Jaime Tardy and today we have Bobby Casey on the show. Bobby owns a company called Global Wealth Protection. It’s one of those things that entrepreneurs don’t really think about until it’s too late – asset protection. But he also has a ton of other experience doing a bunch of other businesses, tons of degrees. We’re going to get into that all today and I also want to say I met Bobby, because he’s actually friends with Billy Murphy, who I interviewed just a couple weeks ago. So make sure you check out Billy’s interview, because it was awesome, and I’m really excited to have Bobby on the show today. Thanks so much for coming on, Bobby.
BOBBY CASEY: Hey Jaime, how are you this well afternoon for me. I suppose it’s morning for you, yeah?
JAIME TARDY: 9:00 a.m. for me. You’re in where?
BC: I am in Latvia. I live in Riga. Latvia, east for, of course, most Americans couldn’t find that on a map with Google maps so I will say that’s in Eastern Europe, former Soviet country. It’s one of the Baltic countries on the Baltic Sea. I’m almost due east from like Stockholm, Sweden north of like Poland.
JT: So what’s the weather like today because I know nothing about what the weather is over there and I have to ask.
BC: Okay. Today you mean like today or just in general year round?
JT: No, like today. I’m wondering what it’s like out today.
BC: Today I am looking out the window. It’s a little bit cloudy so not too beautiful out today but typically in the summer time it runs during the day between Fahrenheit between let’s say 70 and 80.
JT: Nice. So weather might have been one of the attractions to come over?
BC: Yes. Four very distinct seasons though because in the winter time it does get quite cold. In the fall it’s a bit rainy for a few weeks. You get, in January, it’s really cold now. Of course, one of my business partners is from Minnesota and he thinks it’s not very cold here at all even in the coldest months but it gets like modest 15 Fahrenheit or so in January for about two or three weeks.
JT: I’m from Maine. I’m used to cold. But it’s funny, what made you decide and I want to get into like how you started your first business at 21 and all that stuff, but how did you end up in Latvia?
BC: Well real quick I’ll answer that question in just a second. You mentioned this in the intro and I want to give a quick plug to Billy Murphy. For those of you listening, I do recommend you watching the video of Billy and checking him out. He is definitely a brilliant guy and knows an enormous amount about internet marketing and online businesses and quite frankly, he has taught me personally a ton about it. He has helped me tremendously in my business this year just from being a friend and shooting me some pointers. Anyway, check out his interview. Real quick, to answer your question, how did I end up in Riga, you said?
BC: Well, I guess it’s a sort of complicated story but a few years ago I owned a company that I sold. I think I officially closed on it in 2008. The selling process started in 2007 and prior to that I was getting really burnt out in that company and my wife and I discussed for a few years about just moving abroad and living in different countries. We want our kids to be more culturally aware, learn other languages, that sort of thing and I had studied Europe. We thought, you know what, let’s move to an Eastern Europe country, which isn’t actually quite difficult to live in. Russia itself, because unless you work for Chevron or some oil company, it’s hard to get a residency permanent.
So we decided to look around at some of the Baltic countries and I had some friends that had spent some time and lived in Estonia, another one of the Baltic countries just north of here, and we never even visited Estonia. We just bought one-way plane tickets and took off. When we took off to Estonia, we didn’t even know, we had no apartment rented; we knew nothing about schools for the kids. We knew nothing. We literally just went and stayed in a hotel for a couple of weeks until we found a place to live and just walking around town, meeting people, learned about schools.
But after living in Estonia for awhile we thought that would be cool to basically make it a permanent, what we call PT or perpetual traveler or permanent traveler lifestyle so we moved back to the U.S., sold everything we owned, even at that time I still owned a house, probably five or six cars, a motor home, 27 motorcycles.
JT: Twenty-seven motorcycles.
BC: Actually I owned two houses. That’s right, I owned two houses at that time – one or two houses. So we went back to the U.S. mainly just to liquidate. Just to liquidate everything and so when we did we said, you know, let’s move back. We liked Europe. Let’s go somewhere else. Where do you want to go? I don’t know, I don’t know. What about Riga? We liked Riga because we visited Riga a few times when we lived in Tartu. Tartu is the city in Estonia we lived in. We though okay, what the heck, so we bought one-way plane tickets again. Same deal.
Went to Riga, had no apartment rented, no idea for housing, no idea for schooling, nothing. Just one-way plane ticket. We showed up. We rented a temporary apartment for one week, like a two-bedroom apartment for a short-term vacation rental and just had it for one week. We extended it for one more week while we were hunting for the right apartment and that was it.
JT: Okay, I’m amazed at that story. Number one, you didn’t choose an easy country, right? Most of the time people think like European or something like that is very similar to America. It’s not that big of a deal but going where you are, I’m assuming things are quite different.
BC: They are quite different but I could tell you and I have a theory behind this and if you don’t mind me asking, Jaime, how old are you?
JT: I’m 30.
BC: You’re 30. Okay, so I am 38. So probably, I’m a little bit older than you but probably when you and I were in school and of course, older than us, it was mostly the cold, a lot of it was the Cold War, right, because the war was over in 1991 so you were still, ’91 you would have been in what, fourth grade, fifth grade?
JT: Something like that, yes.
BC: So I would have, ’91 I would have been in high school in ’91 and during that time we weren’t ever educated on Eastern Europe because Eastern Europe was, that’s the Soviet block, you know, that’s where the anti-Christ was.
JT: The huge block on the map that nobody talked about.
BC: Right, that’s where the anti-Christ lives. That’s communism. Soviet Union, nobody discusses that, not in a positive light. So when I was in school especially and probably part of when you were in school as well, that’s not something your history teachers aren’t teaching you about the geography and the culture in the Baltic countries and Ukraine and some of the Balkan area like Croatia, Bosnia. You’re not learning about this Eastern block. We’re only 20 years into the fall of the Soviet Union, 20/21 years.
My theory is mainly at least for Americans it’s an educational thing. We don’t really understand anything about it and so growing up, in our mind, it was always the rich went to Paris on vacation. You went to Madrid or Barcelona or you went to Milan which, by the way, is my least favorite city in the entire world is Milan, even though most Americans think it’s fantastic. I absolutely hate Milan. But Rome or London or something like that, people don’t understand, which is good, because Eastern Europe is way, way cheaper for cost of living.
I mean really my cost of living here compared to Milan is like one fourth. Even if it was equal, I would rather live here than Milan. Actually if it was twice as much here I would rather live here because I can’t stand Milan. I hate that city.
JT: But even like a lot of the travelers, the people that just travel PTs, right, people that are permanently traveling go to like Bali or Asia, like different parts of Southeast Asia instead of where you are.
BC: I know a lot of PTs that travel around Eastern Europe too. I know one PT that he basically just kind of picks a new place every three months and right now he is in I forget now it’s either Croatia or Ukraine he’s in right now because he has been back and forth between the two. But a lot of people, but you’re right, a lot of people got to Bali. Bali is cool but it’s also kind of remote. I’m not going to say it’s third world but you don’t have the general services you have in Europe.
JT: Internet connection can be hard sometimes.
BC: That gets tough. You can forget about going to see the cinema because you’re not going to find a nice big modern cinema to go see a movie. You’re not going to see theater to go, if you’re into ballet or plays or something like that. You’re not going to see that sort of thing there. But you would see that in like Bangkok, of course. You would see that stuff in Bangkok, it’s a huge city. A lot of people go there. I’ve got a guy that I do some work with that lives in Bangkok, an American guy. Laos citizen, grew up in America lives in Bangkok now. Works with an offshore bank that we do some business with.
But you’re right, it’s not well regarded. A lot of Europeans that are let’s say backpacking through Europe, they really do congregate into Eastern Europe. I’ve got tons of friends that are like Italians and Germans and Swiss that they end up here. They come here. Like Riga actually, it’s kind of funny actually, because Riga is like the UK stag party capital. British guys come here for their stag party or bachelor party. You probably know what it is but maybe some of the listeners don’t. Every weekend I go out on a Thursday, Friday, Saturday, there’s always multiple groups of 8 to 10 to 15 guys out on stag parties because compare here to London, it’s crazy. A decent hotel in London is going to cost you $400 a night. A comparable hotel here costs you $50.
JT: Oh really? Nice. So people should maybe visit there. Now I am going like ooh maybe I should come visit there. It’s not something that I ever thought about going there, especially like Tim Ferriss’s Four Hour Work Week talks about going down to Argentina and those places but I haven’t heard too much of this so this has been interesting.
BC: I’m actually going to Ecuador. My conference is Panama and then I am spending about a week in Ecuador after my Panama conference next month. I didn’t really have enough time to get down to Argentina. I want to make another trip to Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Brazil. My wife’s brother actually lives in Brazil too.
JT: You’re all over the place. So why don’t we get back and talk about when you were 21 you were in the States. Where did you grow up in the States and then how did you start your first business?
BC: I’m from North Carolina originally right in the middle of the state, Greensboro, so you’ve got the southern accent by now, right? I think it has gotten a little more mellow living in Europe but ten years ago it was really southern. Now I think it has mellowed a bit just from association. I grew up in North Carolina right there in the middle of the Bible belt. My original company was, it evolved over time but originally the company we started out assembling bicycles at Wal-Mart.
JT: Okay, so through Wal-Mart.
BC: Yes, anyway it’s one of these funny stories. Like most entrepreneurs have some funny little story the way their business started but I was actually shopping in Wal-Mart. I was maybe 20 or 21 something like that. I was shopping in Wal-Mart and there was a guy in the outdoor garden center area working on a bicycle and I stopped him and I asked him where something was. I just assumed he worked there and I said, “Hey where’s the dog food?” or whatever I was looking for. He said, “I’m sorry, I don’t work for Wal-Mart, I’m just a contractor here.”
My mind was open and I guess that’s one thing, I don’t want to get off too much of a tangent here, but as an entrepreneur my mind and probably like most entrepreneurs’ minds are constantly open. We’re constantly looking. A little bit of this is ADD I think.
JT: I’ve heard that before.
BC: Sometimes I’m like squirrel at a laser light show. But anyway, my mind was open and I’m constantly, I mean I really started working when I was 12 and it was always odds and ends stuff. I had different jobs. Worked at the go cart track, UPS, grocery store, all that stuff, but my mind is constantly open thinking about new ways to make money, new types of business ideas, ways to maximize the current business, that sort of thing and walking through Wal-Mart, it just like it snapped immediately in my brain. It was like you got to be kidding me.
Wal-Mart sells, one Wal-Mart store sells thousands and thousands and thousands of bicycles a year and there’s a couple of thousand Wal-Mart stores in the United States. Imagine scalability of that business, if you can hire and train people to build bicycles. So I know this sounds cliché but literally that happened in a split second in my brain sitting there talking to that guy and I was like you’ve got to be kidding me So I got to talking to him for like 10-15 minutes or something and I said, “Hey man, I’d like to talk to you more about this. This is fascinating to me.” I said, “I know you’re at work, how about we exchange numbers. We’ll chat about it later when you’re not at work because I don’t want to take your work time away.”
So we exchanged numbers. I called him a couple days later and I said, “I am looking to start a business.” I said, “I don’t know anything about building bicycles but I know everything about selling.” Of course, I was 21 I thought I knew everything.
JT: I know everything about selling, yes.
BC: I mean, of course, that’s how all kids are, right. At one point maybe I’ll grow up and realize I’m not really as smart as I think I am. But we chatted and I said, “Hey would you be interested in starting a small business doing the same thing?” He was like not really interested, you don’t know nothing about building bicycles and I said okay, fine, whatever. But I got his company name, I called his company up that he worked for and I said, “Hey are you guys hiring by chance?”
He goes as a matter of fact yes, we just had an opening. So long story short I went to work for the company. I won’t go into too many details but we had some problems at the company and I really only worked for that company for about two months I think, less than two months and I was out and I started my own company doing the same thing.
BC: I was 21. Our first year in business, I say our because I was immediately hiring people. Now I’ll make one mention about perseverance because this is something I think a lot of people maybe with the job mentality they don’t really understand, you always hear oh this guy just came out of nowhere and is an overnight success. Well it’s not really like that because, you can ask my buddy Billy Murphy, a lot of people thought he was an overnight success with Blue Fire Poker. That’s not true. He spent years developing his skills at poker and networking and that industry and meeting other professional poker players to build his network.
He couldn’t have just started Blue Fire Poker like that, if he didn’t know how to play poker professionally and make money at it and he didn’t have the contacts. So people think that but anyway people think about an overnight success but I literally quit that job working for that other company and I must have visited 60 or 70 driving all over North Carolina and Virginia visiting stores. Literally driving to the store, walking to the office and asking to speak to the store manager and just asking him straight up would you be interested in hiring me as your contract bike assembler. Finally I found one store in Durham, North Carolina that took me in and helped me get stated and this and that.
JT: That’s what I was going to ask you about. Like how did you pull it away from this other company that had already been there doing it. But you went to 60 stores and got like no from all of them and finally got a yes.
BC: Yes. I can’t remember exactly, it was at least 60 stores I went to before I finally found one that said, yeah, yeah, okay we’ll hire you, how much do you charge? I undercut because I knew what they were charging and just like anybody else, that’s what you do when you don’t know how to really…
JT: Get in.
BC: Yes, when you don’t really know how to run a business you just charge less, right? That’s the deal. I undercut his price and got in and started. In our first year in business, we did something like I think it was $129,000 in revenue and I was busting my butt. I mean really, like I remember that first Christmas.
JT: I bet. Christmas with bicycles, oh no.
BC: You would assemble anywhere from 30 to 50 a day in your 10 hour, 12-hour work day. After a few weeks, I had like 3 or 4 stores that were hiring me because we would go in, me and the couple guys I hired we’d go in and build a lot at one time. An average Wal-Mart sells about 3,000 bicycles a year and I remember the first Christmas I had a point where I drove to one store, worked 12 hours got in the car and drove to another store and worked 12 hours, drove to another store worked 12 hours and I did that circle where I ended up I was up for like 70 hours nonstop.
Not just awake but up on my feet working physically working and so it was pretty tedious. It was pretty tedious work. It was pretty intense.
JT: Yeah, a little. How did you even manage to put a bike together after 70 hours of working on it.
BC: I will tell you I remember my last day of that circle and I said, “Enough of this crap. I’ve got to go get some sleep. I can’t take this anymore.” I remember driving home on this highway and I hallucinated and started seeing things on the road. At one time I hallucinated and thought I saw a brick wall right in front of me on the highway and I slammed on the brakes and came to a complete stop with the tires screeching, like coming to a complete stop and I’d come to a stop and looked up and there and there is nothing there.
JT: Yeah. I shouldn’t do that again.
BC: I probably shouldn’t do that anymore. That was exactly my thought. That’s probably a bad idea to keep this up. So the first year we did about $129,000 in revenue. Second year we did like $720,000 or something like that and our third year we just broke over a million in revenue.
JT: Tell us about that growth. I mean you went from 100 to 700 so you must have not been driving around doing it all yourself. Tell us about that growth.
BC: I had lots of guys working for me at that point. The business evolved over time and we actually got out of the in-store service business completely and evolved into an installation provider where we had contracts with Dick’s Sporting Goods, Sports Authority, Sears, Costco and places like that. So if you bought a pool table at Sears and you paid for the installation, when you go to check out and they say, “Hey would you like to pay $300 to have this installed in your home?” Yes. You pay the money.
That order generates and sends an email, it would have sent an email off to my office to receive that order and then we schedule the appointment. So we did installation service for most of your major sporting goods stores. Then we also did for fitness we did warranty repair service for like your three largest home fitness manufacturers.
JT: So how did you undercut? There must have already been competition, right? There already was for what you were doing with the bicycles. There must have been for installations. So how did you get in with those big companies without undercutting like you said, because that was a bad idea last time.
BC: Of course I started with undercutting. I mean that’s the naïve way to start your business but sometimes, I say it’s the naïve way but sometimes it’s the only way to start in the business and then you have to establish yourself as a legitimate source for that service or that product or whatever and then you build your credibility and you raise your price over time. Sometimes that’s the way it goes. Quite honestly I joke that that’s a silly way to go but I probably wouldn’t have even started in business if I charged the same or more than my competitor.
It probably wouldn’t have happened, especially being Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is so adamant about price control. If I would have went in and been ten cents higher than the other guy they would have been like nah.
JT: So you’re using their own medicine against them. But how did you actually go in and get in Dick’s Sporting Goods? Was it you guys just had really good credentials already? You were good at customer service? Like what really set you guys apart?
BC: Actually our first real sporting goods contract for in-home services, at the time we were still doing in-store services. At that time we were mostly doing work for Home Depot and Lowe’s like barbecue grills, lawn and garden equipment that sort of thing. So if you go to a Lowe’s or Home Depot and you see that whole lot on lawnmowers, that big area of assembled barbecue grills, it’s always a company like mine that would have built those.
JT: I didn’t know that. That makes sense so their employees don’t actually have to do that or learn how to do that. But that’s really interesting.
BC: It’s tedious work and it’s very repetitive work and if you work for Lowe’s, your job is customer service and you cannot get any volume of barbecue grills built in one day if you’re constantly being asked where the peat moss is, where the round point shovels are, you know, and where the fluorescent light bulbs are. You’ll never get anything done. So they contract that out and they give it to a company that has no customer service relationship with Lowe’s and they say you go hide in the back and build as many barbecues as you can today.
JT: So how long did you have that company?
BC: 12 years I think.
JT: Wow. You were in the states the whole time like working on that?
JT: How big did it get?
BC: Well there is 27,000 zip codes in the U.S. and we, for installation service, we covered 18,000 zip codes.
BC: So about two thirds of the country. Now it wasn’t like we covered everything in every region. For example, Sports Authority, for example, we did all of the west coast. We did the west coast, we did the southeast and the northeast but we didn’t do the mid Atlantic. We didn’t do the Midwest. We didn’t do the southwest. It was other companies that had that contract. Sears we had different parts of the country. Sports Authority was our first big installation contract. That took me four years to land that contract.
JT: Really, tell me about that. How did you actually end up getting it and why did it take you four years?
BC: How did we end up getting it was just persistence. Just damn annoying persistence I guess. Why did it take four years is because I’m the world’s worst salesman I guess. But it was basically we talked to a lot of stores and some regional managers. They kept telling us oh you have to, there is a specific office in Sports Authority that had, they were in charge of store services, which this falls under a store service. We actually got our foot in the door before Sports Authority was as big as it is.
We worked for Gart’s Sports first. They’re in Colorado and Sports Authority was actually a combination of three large sporting goods chains. Sports Authority was out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Gart’s was out of Denver and then there was a third one that I forget the name of it now. We ended up after about four, we were pursuing Sports Authority and we ended up getting a very small agreement, like one district really like ten stores of Gart’s Sports. Then in the same year we ended up starting to do some backup service for one district of Sports Authority stores because I had just been pounding them for so long. Hey give us a shot.
JT: Pounding them giving, like were they annoyed? Because I figure people get annoyed after awhile. Were they actually annoyed with you? Because that’s not a good way to start either.
BC: Absolutely they were annoyed. Of course. But really the thing is, if you’re not persistent in business, you’re going to fail. I mean that’s all there is to it. One of my favorite quotes is “You only fail when you quit.” So, if the director of sports services or the vice president of store operations of Sports Authority got a call, an email, a letter, a birthday card, a Christmas card, a St. Patrick’s Day card, whatever, if he was getting that stuff, he kept seeing my name and my company name for a couple of years. At some point, I knew that one of the other service providers would fail and I would hit him at the exact moment where he had a pain point.
So every couple of months they were hearing from me. It wasn’t like hey Chris, just thought I’d call, give me a call, you know, give me a call, give me a call. It was just I’d leave Chris a voicemail, “Hey Chris, this is Bobby, just wanted to check to see if you had any needs in any of the districts. We’ve expanded our service offerings. Just let me know if you need anything.” That was it or an email or something like that.
After a couple of years, actually I went in over the four-year period and finally got a couple of meetings with them. It was funny. We had one meeting and me and my vice president of sales were there and we were like yes we got this! We knew we had it. The meeting was going perfect. Everything was perfect. A year later we get a phone call. You’re like you got to be kidding me. We thought we had it nailed, you know. A year later we finally got the phone call and that’s when we kind of started with just one little district and basically it was because we were persistent and they said hey we’ve got these I forget 6 or 8 or 10 stores or whatever it was that are having a problem. Is there any chance you can go in just as a backup provider until our main service provider gets their act together. My emotional reaction is no, I’m not going to go in there and bail somebody else out.
JT: Second choice?
BC: Yes, exactly, right. I don’t want to be the, you know…
JT: The girl on the side?
BC: I like the girl that could dance, right. But whatever. We sucked it up, swallowed our pride and went in and just kept staying persistent and finally they got us in the door.
JT: So how do you get through all that?
BC: Our contract ended up being, that one contract ended up being almost $4 million a year.
JT: Persistence helps.
BC: It paid off eventually.
JT: So how do you get through all that rejection? If you went through 60 stores the very first time, is that just something innate with you that you’re totally cool with rejection or is it something that you really had to work on?
BC: Lots of training.
JT: That’s what we want to hear. We don’t want to hear that you’re just good at it. Okay, tell me about that.
BC: No, just persistence. It’s just a mindset. Like I said before, my favorite quote “You only fail when you quit.” Come on, I’m 38 years old. I can’t even count the failures I’ve had. I’ve had multimillion dollar failures. Some guy that gets emotionally distraught because he loses his $40,000 a year job, give me a break. I’ve had years where I’ve lost seven figures a year. I don’t mean lose it like it was in a briefcase and couldn’t find it. I mean like business was doing so poorly that we ate cash.
JT: It’s hard because it’s all relative too. So the $40,000 that that guy has he feels like that’s all of it but you’ve have tons of wealth and if you lose that much, it really depends. So tell me about one of the hard times. One of the times where you were maybe the first 60 stores that you tried to do but you went home and you were like is this ever even going to work? What did you do to get past it and just keep moving forward anyway?
BC: Well the first 60 stores you can imagine driving all over North Carolina and Virginia was costing a lot of gas money and a lot of Wendy’s drive-thru, right. At the time, I basically had no money. I think I had a negative, well I know I did, I had a negative net worth at that time and I think I might have also had a negative income as well. I racked up a bunch of credit card debt just driving around to stores. Just paying for gas, filling up your gas tank, driving around for several weeks at a time – no, no, no, no.
But a tough time I could tell you one really tough time I had. As I told you, we started the business with Wal-Mart and a few years into the Wal-Mart contract, in my mind, I just knew, I knew, I knew we had to diversify our client base. Initially we really only had Wal-Mart that was it. So I knew I had to diversify my client base. So after one year we had already started to do some work for Toys R Us and we were actually doing quite a bit of business with Lowe’s by our third and fourth year.
So we weren’t like tied to any one client. I mean yeah Wal-Mart was still a big chunk of it but Lowe’s was also a big chunk too. I think it was 2000 or 2001, I can’t remember, somewhere around there, we had just busted our butts through Christmas. I literally would have Wal-Mart stores call me at 6:00 in the morning saying I need six guys here today to build 250 or 300 bicycles. Are you freaking kidding me? Like seriously, I can’t just make people appear. We made it happen. We did whatever we could. We shifted people around. We shuffled people around, whatever.
My attitude has always been for the customer you always, always do whatever it takes. The significant difference between do what it takes and do whatever it takes in my mind anyway. So whatever year that was, 2001 or ’02, I forget now, I think it was 2001 actually, literally December 27 I got a letter from Wal-Mart saying they were canceling our vendor contract, that they were no longer going to use us for outsource bicycle assembly in the stores and they had decided all of our stores they were going to hire their own in-house crews to do that. This was December 27 like two days after Christmas, right. So yeah!
Back then we were probably doing somewhere around $3 million a year in business and Wal-Mart was probably about a million or a little more of it and it said effective immediately and I’m like you’ve got to be kidding me. So I am immediately on the phone calling, because I had a couple of area managers that had their teams in different areas and what happened basically is the region of Wal-Mart, the region in the southeast region where we worked for Wal-Mart, what they did was the regional manager decided that it was just too expensive to hire us so he had all of his district managers and store managers offer all of my people jobs to work in the stores. So it was like a double slap in the face.
JT: Well at least you didn’t have to fire people. They had somewhere to go. You never know. Look at the bright side.
BC: Yeah, but I also had other business too and I lost a lot of people which meant now I had to go back and re-staff for the other, mainly for Lowe’s.
JT: You got screwed over big time.
JT: Thank goodness though you diversified because if you hadn’t beforehand you would have been out of business, at least for a short period of time until you sort of pulled things back together.
BC: Oh yeah, that would have been a door shutting moment for sure. We had a few moments like that but whatever. Over the years I diversified into other businesses too. I had a lot of real estate, warehouses, office buildings and stuff like that. I also owned a restaurant for awhile. That was a silly diversion, but whatever.
JT: Okay. It’s funny because you have a ton of experience in many different businesses and I know we really sort of only got a chance to go over one and I know you have to actually get on a bus too so what I want to do is I want to talk about a couple more things but I want to invite you back again to come back, because there is a huge thing that I really want to talk about which we’ll tease right now maybe for next time you come back, if you say yes.
You have degrees. Most of the time, I just talked to Lewis Howes who I interviewed, a bunch of different people that I interview, especially there’s a book that just came out called the Education of Millionaires and it really talks about how a lot of millionaires don’t either use their college degree or never went to college. You have two degrees and a masters in entrepreneurship from MIT, which is huge.
BC: And I almost have a law degree.
JT: Are you serious?
BC: I’ll have my law degree in December.
JT: That’s huge. Number one you love learning, which I think all entrepreneurs do, but you sort of are pulling into the other side of it, the really academic that people are sort of shying away from now. It’s really expensive to get degrees, which for millionaires shouldn’t necessarily matter. They have the money, but a lot of the times we’re saying that that’s not even as quality of an education as learning it yourself and going meeting people and learning from people that have already done it. So what made you decide to go into that route?
BC: I dropped out of university when I was 19. I only had three semesters in. Let’s say I really only had two because I dropped out in the middle of the third semester and had five “F”. I didn’t even bother dropping the classes. I just said screw it I’m not showing up because who needs college? I don’t need that. In reality I didn’t need it. I didn’t go back because I’m trying to, I’m not trying to get a job for God sakes. I’m fairly certain I am unemployable at this point. I think I’d be a beggar before I’d be an employee again.
I went back and it was just one of those things. I thought yeah it’d be cool to kind of check that box and check it off, to accomplish that goal because I thought when I dropped out when I was 19 that one day I might go back and finish. So I thought what the heck, let’s do it. Let’s go back and finish. When I was in school, in university, the second time around, as an adult, I didn’t really pursue the degrees like an 18, 19, 20, 21 year old pursues a degree, I pursued the courses I thought were interesting. My advisor at university she kept telling me like what are you doing? This class is not even in your degree.
I’m like I don’t care it’s cool. She’s like but it’s going to take you an extra year to graduate. I said seriously this is really no big deal if it takes me another year. Like it’s not that big of a deal for me. She just couldn’t wrap her head around the fact that it was my end game was not the quickest way out of college as possible. I don’t even have to work right now so what difference would it make if it’s another year or two or whatever. I got the bachelor degrees concurrently. They were at the same time. I got two bachelor’s degrees both with minors. So I have a BS in international business with a minor in Russian language and then I have a BS in finance with a minor in economics.
JT: That’s crazy. That’s a lot. That’s a lot of schooling. But like you said, if you were just interested in it, that just made perfect sense. That’s sort of probably how it came about where you are like I am interested in that, I’m interested in that, I’m interested in that and then you got your degrees from it.
BC: I’m fascinated with economics. I mean economics to me is the science of decision making. I mean that’s more or less how I explain it. I’m fascinated with economics from that perspective. It’s a way of analyzing decision making. I like the way an economist thinks about things. So I thought it would be pretty intriguing to get that degree in economics to kind of, well it was a minor, minor studies, but I thought it would be intriguing to get that thought process of an economist.
But at the same time, the international business was interesting because it had an international scope and whatever and I thought well you know one of the reasons I chose that is because it had a full language requirement and I actually didn’t do one language, I did two. I did Russian and Spanish.
JT: That’s funny you live in Latvia and you don’t speak the language there but you speak Spanish and Russian, that’s awesome.
BC: Everybody in Latvia speak Russian. Half the population is ethnic Russian anyway.
JT: Oh really? Well that works out well for you.
BC: I did the full schedule like start to finish at the university of both Russian and Spanish concurrently. Like my advisor was like are you absolutely mad? What is wrong with you? Nobody does this. Are you insane? I’m like, yes, that’s cool. I want to learn Spanish and Russian. She’s like nobody does both. I’m like I’m not everybody, back off. Mind your own business. She was so floored that I was going to do that. But anyway, then I did the masters in entrepreneurship at MIT mainly because I was a member of EO, Entrepreneurs Organization. I don’t know if you’re familiar.
JT: Oh yeah, most of our millionaires actually come from that. We love the people in EO.
BC: I had been in EO for many, many years and I did an executive education program at MIT which was mostly EO guys that did it. So I did that mainly because of the people that were doing it. I could tell you the education there sure was good. The connections I have now, I mean, I can’t even begin to monetize the connections that’s created for me being in that program.
JT: That makes sense.
BC: Now I am doing law right now. Actually I am finished with all my coursework. Now I just have my thesis to finish now. But I did a masters in law and really the only reason I did that is because I had the finance and economics academic background. Financiers and economists have two completely different way of seeing things. Economists basically look at things from a rational choice viewpoint whereas a financier looks at things strictly as a quantitative measurement.
Economics is more qualitative and finance is more quantitative and then I figured it would be cool to have the legal perspective because that is a completely different way of problem solving and rationalizing, a completely different thought process is from a legal perspective. I’ve had so many people ask me so are you going to practice law? I don’t want to be a lawyer.
JT: Are you kidding me?
BC: But it’s the same thing. People are like why would you get a law degree if you’re not going to practice law? I don’t care about practicing law. I care about the thought process, the research methods the lawyers use to research and solve problems.
JT: That’s awesome. For you, it’s all about the learning and it sounds like in general you’re just in this learning mode constantly and most entrepreneurs are. I think that’s what so amazing but I’ve never really talked to someone who has gone the traditional route. That’s why people thought you were crazy because that usually doesn’t happen. There is not a lot of people like you that go back to that traditional stuff in order to find it, which is really interesting. Awesome.
I know you have to get on a bus really soon so I am going to ask you the last question that I always ask everyone and it’s what’s one action that listeners can take this week to help move them forward towards their goal of a million?
BC: God, one action, that’s tough. It’s tough to have one. Actually I am going to stick with the quote I’ve used a few times in the interview thus far is “You only fail when you quit” and it’s persistence. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people that have failed because they just, they say it didn’t work out so I am going to go back to my job. I’m going to go back to my fallback. So many people they allow themselves to lose. Persistence, I mean I would love to say I am an overnight success but let’s be honest, nobody is an overnight success. I mean everybody says oh look at Steven Jobs or look at Bill Gates or whatever.
Come on, these guys aren’t overnight success. They’re fantastically successful but this is not something that happened in 30, 60, 90 days or even 5 or 10 years for them. This was a huge, huge process for them.
JT: I was just thinking, if you stopped after 50 stores, your whole life would have been different. Like if you didn’t go to that 60th store.
BC: Right. But I wouldn’t have stopped if it took me 300 stores.
JT: That’s awesome and crazy. You’re a little crazy and that’s what I love to see because you’re like I don’t care, I’m just going to do it no matter what it takes.
BC: That’s the way it is. I think that is, from my perspective and from all the entrepreneurs I know, I have a pretty decent network of highly successful entrepreneurs. I mean I have been in an EO for many moons. I’ve been in EO since my 20s. I know lots of guys that have built some really, really tremendous business and I know, I’ve seen guys of all different political backgrounds, religious backgrounds, from all different walks of life but one trait that I see that runs, the thread that runs through all of them is the inability to quit.
JT: I am going to quote that, that’s awesome. Thank you so much, Bobby. Where can we find out more information on you? We didn’t actually talk about Global Wealth Protection at all, which is really important for entrepreneurs. So tell us about where we can find that and more information on that stuff too.
BC: Okay, I’ll just give you like the little, if I’ve got time, like a two minute elevator pitch so to speak. My company is Global Wealth Protection. The website is globalwealthprotection.com and our firm provides asset protection and offshore planning for entrepreneurs and investors from around the globe. Our clients are basically people that are looking for more privacy, freedom and protection of their wealth and in a lot of cases, our clients are looking to internationalize either their life or their assets. So we have clients fulfill that need.
We use a lot of different offshore planning tools, offshore companies. We actually do a lot of domestic asset protection planning as well. One of my partners deals exclusively with our U.S. client base. A lot of tools like LLCs, domestic LLCs, offshore LLCs, offshore companies, trusts, foundations. We help clients set up offshore bank accounts, offshore brokerage accounts. We help put them in touch with investment partnerships, real estate developers, that sort of thing. We do education. We are doing a conference in Panama next month. We have 14 speakers from all over the world.
We’ve got law firms coming from New Zealand, Panama, Russia, one law firm from the U.S., all over central and south America. Two of the biggest real estate developers in central and south America coming to talk about asset protection, offshore planning, how to get a second passport, offshore banking, real estate investments in really central and south America, that type of thing. We have 14 guys coming from all over the world. Our conference is actually in about four weeks. If anybody is interested, the website for the conference is www.globalescapehatch.com.
Now I will say that conference is almost sold out. We only have a few spots left. We’ve been marketing that for the past couple of months. I know one of our places for accommodation is completely sold out and we have an overflow hotel we are using for attendees. Basically, that’s what we do. We help people protect their money and internationalize their life and their assets.
JT: Awesome. Now what’s your typical client? So everybody who is listening, if they know, they can go with you or not. Do they have a specific net worth or anything like that?
BC: Not exactly. I’ve got some clients that are just internet entrepreneurs. They run ecommerce stores or they have some information marketing products or services. They really just need to know how to properly structure their business. A lot of times for an ecommerce business, a lot of times the best option is an offshore company. You can minimize your taxes that way and you can, depending on the nature of the company, it takes a lot of planning. A common misconception or misunderstanding is hey I’ve got an ecommerce company, I live in Kansas, let’s just start a Kansas LLC and we’ll be done with it.
That’s really the smartest way to go about it because, if you’re serious about your business and you’re serious about having a real company doing real business, you really ought to be taking some precautions on the front end to set up your company the right way in the beginning. Anybody can go down to the Secretary of State office and fill in the forms. There’s a couple of things to consider. Some states are better than others for registering your LLC. I could tell you for U.S. based ecommerce providers, the only state I would register a company is in Delaware.
A lot of different reasons but basically, if you’re making these types of decisions without doing your homework and without getting proper counsel, it tells me you’re not really serious about your business. So I have a lot of clients that ecommerce guys, internet entrepreneurs, whatever and a lot of them are highly, highly successful. They’re people maybe like Billy Murphy that people look at and say that’s a cool website but God if they only knew how much business Billy actually does, they would be completely floored.
But then I have a lot of U.S. based real estate clients that are real estate investors. I have some guys that are as small as just a couple of rental houses to guys that have shopping centers. I have one client that has, he owns probably 20 shopping centers with anchor stores like Target and Kroger so very, very high net worth kind of a guy. But then I have guys that have 6 or 8 rental houses worth $50,000 each and they only have 10 percent equity in them too.
JT: Well that’s really good to know because you assume and what a lot of people do is they wait until they get big enough or something like that. But what you’re saying is it’s not about that. You don’t have to be a millionaire before you start doing this stuff. You should really start thinking about this before and entrepreneurs like to ignore that stuff and just go full steam ahead on what they do. So it’s good to know that people out there are like you that can really help us out.
Awesome, Bobby. Thank you so much for coming on. I really appreciate it. Everybody else really appreciates it too. Leave your questions and comments for Bobby in the comments section of this and thank you so much. Have fun on your trip to, where are you going?
BC: I am heading out here let’s say in about 30/40 minutes. I am going to Vilnius, Lithuania, which is actually only a couple hours down the road here. So I am taking the bus. They have the luxury bus with the lounge in the back, which is quite cool. So I am going to get some writing done in the back of the bus. You can watch movies. They got coffee and hot cocoa and watch TV and stuff. It’s not like Greyhound in the U.S. This is more like a business class plane ticket.
JT: Nice. Awesome.
BC: It’s actually really nice. It’s actually much nicer to take the bus to Vilnius than it is to jump on a short flight.
JT: Really? I’ll have to try it sometime. Awesome. Thanks so much, Bobby. I really appreciate your time. Have a great trip.
BC: No problem. Take care.
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