Control Time, Define Wealth, and Attain Purpose with Eddie Wilson

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If you get control of your time, then wealth will come. However, we need to redefine wealth in this country. Redefining wealth allows you to live within it. Eddie found true wealth. He learned how to be able to live today without sacrificing his sustenance for tomorrow. 

Don’t ever expend your resources; create enough passive resources that tomorrow is taken care of and today is good as well. 

Highlights:

{03:40} What makes Eddie a Titan

{11:20} Learning from failure. 

{15:36} What drives Eddie?

{23:35} Being a firstborn.

{28:20} Starting the first company. 

{34:50} How do you decide whom to help?

{46:40} Business Disaster

{52:10} Advice from Eddie Wilson

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Eddie Wilson Bio

Eddie Wilson is a husband, father, avid real estate investor, CEO, national speaker, and has a passion for business growth. Over the course of his career, he has built or run more than 100 different businesses, managed 4,000 employees, and traveled around the world speaking about business and leadership. It is his pedigree and experience that has led him to develop a business operating system that worked for him in systemizing and scaling his companies. Now he has released it for you.

Connect with Eddie:

https://collectiveinfluence.com

https://impactothers.com

https://www.linkedin.com/in/eddiewilsonofficial

https://twitter.com/impact_others

https://www.instagram.com/impact.others/?__coig_restricted=1

https://www.facebook.com/people/Impact-Others/100088103692903/?mibextid=LQQJ4d

Welcome to our show. I’m Carol Carpenter, and my co-host is Travis Johnson. Who is… My goofy Travis Johnson and our special guest today is Eddie Wilson, and Eddie has owned over 125 companies, and we’re just talking before the show, and he’s excited over 90 now but he appears to have a low exit count, earning him the moniker “the king of exits.” He is also known for developing the Empire Operating System, an operating system that systematically manages the growth of his company. If I could speak today, it would be wonderful, resulting in the best. 

Travis, are you going to pick on me from the beginning now?

Why don’t I enjoy waiting? That’s one of my things. I just don’t like waiting. Why does this problem exist in your life? 

We go.  

Well, I couldn’t wait, so I did it with whatever, and here we are. 

Right then and there? 

Right?  

Yep, immediately. Yep, so his current equity firm collective influence and is currently devoting a significant amount of his time to humanitarian nonprofit activities through his foundation, Impact others. Welcome, Eddie.

 Thank you; I am delighted to be here. 

Thanks for joining us. 

And as Travis is sitting there smirking, we know he has a question he wants to ask you.

Yeah, Carol, why are you so uncomfortable at the beginning of these things? It’s like you forget how to talk or something. 

Oh wow.  

We haven’t recorded in over a month because we took Christmas off and all that stuff, and I have been nothing but ruthless and unkind to Carol since our first day back. 

Yeah, we haven’t. He has been since the very beginning, yeah?

You’re going to make me pay when I see her this weekend in Florida. 

Me, basically, no. 

It’s easy now, 

Travis, since when have you known? me to do that. Come on, I don’t make anybody happy. 

I don’t know why weird things happen. I don’t know who’s to blame for them. It might be you. I’m pulling the price. I have no idea. 

Oh, oh, throw me under! 

Eddie’s like, “Do I even need to be here for this. Thanks for having me. You guys spent the entire time talking to each other. And you have a thing for eyes.

All right now, please. 

Candy for the show I. I guess I don’t know. What’s up, man? How the hell are you? 

I’m doing fantastic, thank you. 

I’m curious, man; you’ve done a lot, and everything you do appears to have a huge impact, and everything you do appears to be about you and what I want to know what? What drives you? What makes you a Titan? 

Sure, yeah. So obviously we’ve had lots of exits. We’ve, you know, had a lot of different companies, but for me, life has really revealed itself to have a purpose when it’s tied to something greater than yourself, and so you can only have so much money, so many exits, so many companies. You know, it all becomes meaningless and so on at some point. 

So, it’s been a journey for sure to get to the place where I am today, but so much of my time today is spent trying to create additional impact. You know, in the world, we have a nonprofit called Impact Others, and a percentage of all my companies, go to that. I have some businesses where all profits are used to benefit others and impact others Is it four legs, you know? feeding and educating children. We have a lot of orphanages and feeding centers. We feed around 4000 children a day in about 13 different countries, and then we do a lot of clean water projects in various areas, we do a lot of viable and sustainable business creation. 

It’s not just about giving money to those groups; it’s also about helping create jobs and opportunities for them. So we’ve started woodworking facilities in Laos and buffalo farms in India. And you know, taxi companies and Ghana, West Africa, and all of that kind of stuff.

And then, you know, lastly, it’s just about finding humanitarian good for groups of less fortunate people, and so all of that happens outside of the United States more by design and with intention. But we just give a percentage of everything that we do, whether it’s exiting a company, buying it, or selling it. Or creating it and riding the wave that we’re creating it all creates that, and there’s a lot of purposes that I find in that, and so I don’t know that I would classify myself as a Titan, but I think if I had Titan status, it would be more for what I’m trying to create for others than something that I’ve created for myself. 

Yeah, we find that so many people are in your position, and when they become others’ focus, that’s when all the magic happens. When I find myself in my own life, the focus is on me, it’s almost always negative when I’m thinking about myself or what’s going on. My situation is me, me, me, me, me. It will have a downward trend, similar to how the Travis Stock Exchange would trend downward. 

But when I start putting my focus on others and how I can impact their lives or just have a good life and, you know, provide them with value whatever the thing is, my stock is trending up, and I don’t think about or worry about all of my problems. 

Maybe I’m just distracting myself, I have no idea. I don’t know who runs the Travis Stock Exchange, but I know which feelings get it to trend in which direction. Direction yeah.  

Can I give it? Do you have a theory on that? Yeah, that’s that. 

What are we here for, exactly? 

Let’s jump right in, so you know one thing: a part of the journey that I’ve been on is really: why do I make the decisions that I do? It’s almost as if my first job was in a company when I was 24 years old. You, you know, make a couple of million bucks, and the first thing you do is go buy a sports car in a beach house and realize, well, wait a minute. That didn’t make me happy, so I’ve got to go do something bigger, right?

And the reality is that when you embark on this journey, you are constantly looking up at the mountaintop. You’ve got this peak. You’re trying to climb, and then you get almost to that peak, and all of a sudden there’s another peak. Beyond that, you think, “Well, maybe I should try for that peak instead,” and you abandon this peak for that peak. 

And life is just that journey, with or without your fulfillment, and one thing that I have discovered in my life is that a lot of times you think you’re in control, what I realized in my life is that I’m not in control. We can break all of our decisions down into conscious and subconscious parts. So, you know, every minute you make seven conscious decisions, and it’s like, you know, what do I eat and which direction do I go to work? And those are conscious decisions, you know, but your mind makes 30 to 40,000 subconscious decisions per minute. 

So, the real question is, “Who is in charge, your conscious brain or your subconscious brain? “The reality is that your subconscious brain is completely reliant on you; its role and function are to keep you alive and safe, so every trauma you’ve experienced in your life. Now you know what creates this subconscious ticking bark that starts putting you down this pathway, and so you start making all these subconscious decisions. Pain-avoidance decisions will keep you. It’s safe, and it’s why, you know, a woman who’s in a relationship where her husband or boyfriend is abusive finds herself in the next relationship. That’s also abusive. You know, it’s like, “Why do we go from area to area repeating the same thing?” And if you ask them, they will say, “You know, I’m not doing it on purpose. Doing that, you know, it’s like it just happened.” 

Well, I believe that our subconscious choices shape so much of our lives. And I’ve done some deep work in attempting to remap the subconscious because I believe my subconscious is in command. You’re referring to the Eddy Stock Exchange, right? For example, I believe that I believe to some extent when we are constantly controlled by something that is attempting to keep us safe. You know, it’s all fear-based action. Then it always goes downhill.

There are only two emotions in life: fear and love. And so, you’re either pursuing something out of passion and desire or you’re running from something because it’s scary. It’s going to hurt you. And if you’re subconsciously in control, you’re running from it because it’s scary and is going to hurt you. And so a lot of my life is spent trying to live to avoid those subconscious fears so that I can conquer what I truly want to do in life, even though sometimes it’s painful because the end of that road is fulfillment. So, how do you like my theory? 

Yeah, it’s a pretty good theory.

That is show-cut printing. We’re done now, but

We can’t even produce a show anymore. Has anyone answered all of the questions? 

Because, as I know you know, all of us get raised, and we have these. Beliefs and their limited beliefs are right, and they come from a mindset of fear and scarcity. I’m sure our parents, you know, were raised in the time frame they were. They were raised with the same mentality, and so we just kind of absorbed that mentality. You know that chain that cycle as we grow up and it’s difficult to break. and it is up to us to do that? And recognize it like you’ve done your work, recognized it, and moved forward.

And yeah, it stinks. Sometimes you know because Every bit of you in there The back of your mind is going. Don’t do that. Don’t do it; it’s all yours. just going to fail, but That’s what the result is. Failing is a great thing. I mean, we learn from it, and if we do succeed from it, we learn so much more, like, why were we afraid to begin with? 

However, if your subconscious is driving the bus, you must stop it at all costs. Avoid failure because failure is painful. You fear that. So you run from it. If your conscious brain is driving the bus, you will frequently either collide with it or flee from failure with the right perspective.

I grew up in a very amazing home. I mean, it’s not like I have anything to complain about from my childhood. You know, there isn’t a lot of trauma sitting back there that I have to deal with. You know, some people might look at my life and go. Maybe there was trauma, and as I look back, it’s all about how we interpret what happened to us. 

So, you mentioned growing up, and I grew up in a home where my father had a very secure job and decided he wanted to be an entrepreneur. So, he got rid of his operating engineer job. There was a lot of security, and he went out and started trying to create his own company and was broke for three or four years, like I remember, oftentimes having very little to eat. You know it’s like, you know, rationing at the Wilson household. For example, what do we have and how much can we eat?

I remember some Christmas moments where there just wasn’t a lot going on, but I look at those moments and think those are the greatest Christmases I remember. You know my dad was intentional. He was on the floor with me. He was playing. He may have been in the bedroom, you know, with his head in his hands, bawling his eyes out because he didn’t have gifts to give his children. I regarded it as a fantastic opportunity. I mean, Dad’s with me, you know. 

Fast forward 20 years. The way I operate my business and the way my dad operates his business is radically different. You know my father; I always say, “You know, we talk about the Empire operating system.” 

Business is divided into five stages. There’s starting up, then perseverance, then viability. Then you go to scale, and then succession shows where I sell. My father owns all of my businesses. His business will never lose viability, right? I’m not going to do it. It’s too scary to go to the scale. As he always does, It will go to He and I owned the excavation company together. The way I run an excavation company is Let’s go get City contracts are state contracts. Let’s do three or four states at a time. Let’s go buy $5 million for the equipment. Hire 30 people. Let’s scale this thing.

The way my dad runs. It is like, “Let’s buy one piece of equipment.” Let it pay for itself. Have one employee. Then we’ll have a sufficient number of jobs lined up. Then let’s go buy another piece of equipment that’s very secure. My dad’s had this company for I’m not sure how long it is; it probably makes a million dollars a year. It’s had the same three people work for it for the last 15 years. You know, I’ve bought and sold 100 companies since the one he’s right about, and he owns three or four, none of which have more than two or three employees; very secure, you know, and he’s got it spread out. Just in case you know, one of them didn’t do well one year, and he kind of created his life.

I look at that and I think I would hate that. Rather, I’d see a company fail than fail to scale. You know, I have no interest in businesses unless they scale. But it goes back to childhood, right? As I see it, what my father did was a leap, you know, by faith or craziness or whatever was driving him at the time to leave his secure job and become an entrepreneur and start businesses. He removed fear from me, right? Like you, I get the benefit of looking back at that. The experience is going well. What’s the worst that can happen? We have a great time at Christmas without any presents, but we did get each other, I think that’s fantastic. I now consider it a wonderful experience. 

My dad looks back at it and goes. I’ll never go back to that moment when I had to sit there and try to make something happen because I had nothing to give, you know, so he lives in this place of scarcity and security. I live in this place where people would say he’s reckless and You know, lives crazy in business, and it’s like, but you take the same experience, and I went the exact 180-degree opposite way of him. You’re right, and it’s true. You know, it comes down to perspective more than anything. You know, it’s like, yeah, the same thing you’re afraid of. I may fear somebody else might find it a massive catalyst for success.

Was it that thing that have you obsessed—obsessed with scalability and succession? Like, why is it that the little thing that drives you?

Yeah, I want to. Know what there is? Somebody inside of me wants to know how everything works. I don’t know if you’re like that or not. Where it’s almost as if you have to. Yeah, I have to know, you know. So, I am both obsessed, and it’s just obsessive. Sometimes I don’t need to complete it. It’s just that I have to know why. and until I scale a business. I feel like I don’t know. If I truly understand its capability, what it takes to get there, who the people are, and what it will take to get there. There’s something about not knowing it that drives me. And usually, I don’t feel fulfilled or excited until it’s so large that it dwarfs everything else anyone has ever created. And it’s like, OK. Now I’m learning something that I couldn’t have learned otherwise. 

Yes, that is funny that you say this because my boyfriend’s wired the same way you are, and he won’t be interested in a business plan of any type unless he can scale it and he can see it. And it’s something I’ve always asked him. Like why is that one thing that is extremely important to you, and must go because it is not worth doing; If it isn’t scalable?

I have the same because, to me, it does. I think it goes back to childhood, as I talked about. I have no fear of losing everything, and you know, today, with all the businesses and things that we’ve created, you know that. Like my family is looking after my next generation, probably two or three generations are being looked after. You know, like if the accountants, the CPAs, and the tax architects did it all right, right? As if we’re taking care of ourselves downstream. 

You know, for me, it’s like money; it doesn’t matter, and I don’t know that it ever did. I never really chased money, but that curiosity to see what I’m capable of and there’s just something inside of me that I feel like I have to explore. I need to understand what I’m capable of, as well as my limitations. But not only that, I need to know what everybody’s limitations are that are in my circle. 

As a result, I feel like I push everyone to an uncomfortable level, including myself, my wife, and everyone else. And it’s just like… kids, it’s like there’s just something there, and I think to me it’s more of an intense curiosity. I want to know what people are made of

I’m just keeping an eye on Travis’s head, not yeah. 

I feel like there’s some great commentary about to come from Travis.  I’m not sure if that’s correct. 

I know. I think he’s thinking about something, but he’s trying to gauge it now because of what we said before getting on this podcast. And you know, he made a comment that he thought was intensely funny in his head, but it didn’t come out. Right?  

I’m sorry, I was just buffering. I had a slow Internet connection running through here.

 I love, love, love the curiosity. We talked about this a little in our previous interview and highly intelligent people want to do something. And once they’ve solved the puzzle, or whatever it is that piques their interest, they become bored and move on. and that I’ve struggled with that. I always want to do something new. You know, I have something like a Rubik’s cube on my desk that I remember learning how to solve when I was taught how to solve it, taught other people how to do it, and understood stood why that mattered. 

And then shortly after that, I did the 4×4, 5x5x5… all that all the stuff was great, is stuff like, eat, and I was like, well. The hat I know that it doesn’t, I don’t have a linin of Things I figured out.

But if I go Back up and look furthermore if you think back to when video games first came out—say when Nintendo had a video game in your house, and you could go through and learn and get through all of Mario’s levels—you can find all of this in The Legend of Zelda. So I’ll go back to those games, but this time not out of curiosity, but because it did for me when I was young younger, know what I mean? Like whelk about something like curiosity, it’s one of my favorite things. I’m looking. And that And that I, like many people, have this stuff behind me so people can see it, but I’m looking at my bookshelves and all the things I looked at, like, what were all the things that drove me to pursue all these different things and learn all these different experiences, and why that mattered? 

People ask, “How much stuff does Travis likes?” How is like” How is it because, for example? soon with the thing. I want to try something new. As I said I previously stated, I wrote five books on podcasting last summer, and people seem to enjoy them. w many sales do you have? I have no idea,” I say, and they do. like, like, but you All that effort into we, it, yeah, but it wasn’t because I wanted to make a ton of money doing this. I wanted to do it because I wanted to put something worthwhile while and give it a shot. Do you know someone who was going to answer the questions I wanted to challenge myself with? And I do something like that in that short time frame, and as soon as it’s over, I’m like, “All right, what’s the next cool thing that I’m going to do?” What is the thing like? 

I had a website built, and I had all these photos of all this crazy on there. They’re like pictures of me skydiving, and I’m at the pyramids on the beach in Dubai for New Year’s and all these different things, and I’ve done them. I don’t think I’ve made near the money that either of you has made, but I’ve found myself in situations where I’ve been able to do those things. And people are like, “How do you have the time?” I was like, “When I’m going there, I always want to do like one thing I haven’t done before.” doesn’t have to be crazy. 

Some of the stuff ends up being crazy like I spent a weekend in Dubai with a friend that’s crazy. Well, we were already in the Middle East, right? We’re already like 45 minutes away by plane ride, so it’s like I flew around the world to go do it. We walked around the Gold Souk and some of old Dubai. We went and haggled with somebody overcome nuts… That’s a whole other story… but we ended up running into a friend of his named Akio, whom he met in Japan, and Akio moved to Dubai to open up. No kidding, Japanese hibachi, where every other Japanese anything in Dubai is sushi. So, he got the only Japanese hibachi. I’m probably not even saying it right. Probably some other word, but that’s just the word that popped into my head when we met up with him, and then we went to him.

Then we went to an Irish village. “You, my friend, let me take you to a place I know somebody I end up with,” Akio said. I grew up in trailer parks and foster homes. I’m now with an American I met in Bahrain, and I met a Japanese in Bahrain. And then we met in Dubai. And we’re members of this yacht club. We’re walking out on the peninsula between all these $75 million plus yachts around a campfire watching TV.’s that are set up in front of the yachts smoking hookah and drinking in a Middle Eastern country. And I’m like, “How in the **** did this happen?” I don’t even know. like when you look at that. Imagine, how did you do that? 

I’m like.  I like it; I’m not sure. I just wanted to do something different. 

I just went with the flow. 

I opened myself up to whatever the experience is, and when I went over to do things, things happened.

On that trip, we also ran into Akon around 3 a.m. We also want a hot air balloon ride. We also like that all these things keep stacking up because I don’t want to do the thing I did yesterday, which is frustrating when you know the laundry is the same every day and the dishes are the same every day. Or are you going to do some house maintenance? I’m like, “God no, I don’t want to like.” I don’t want to do housework as if you didn’t have any. You’re going to do some maintenance, or you won’t have a house. I feel like I should get someone else to. You know how to do that. I don’t want to do that. 

So, you and I had a pre-conversation? To the host of the podcast: You were saying that you were the eldest in your family and that you have a younger brother, and I always find that fascinating. Birth order is obviously how children are born and firstborns, and I believe Travis is also the eldest of you two. 

I am the firstborn of two children, and we discussed this phenomenon in flight school. One of the Psychiatric flight doctors comes in and discusses how we want to proceed now that we have all of this data. We’ve asked questions like, “Who in here is a firstborn?” and more than 90% of the students in my flight school class were firstborns. There were like two people who weren’t.  Something about that drive for the bone? 

Yeah, I just thought of the first. Yeah, like they’re overachievers and they want to be in, you know, the most elite of elite groups, right? And I find it fascinating. Obviously, for somebody like you, that’s done. What you’ve done being a firstborn, you know, maybe there are differences between you and your brother. 

Yeah, yeah, so I told you about my youngest brother when we were talking earlier, and there are two of us, but I think there were four of us, and I’ve had two siblings pass away who have a completely different dynamic, right? It somehow amplified my youngest brother’s Activity and so like I’m the one that wants to keep everybody safe because I’ve had two siblings pass away. And my youngest one is like 

Were they in between? 

Yes, in the interim, and I have a sister. Yeah, a sister, a brother. And then my youngest brother. And so my sister passed away when I was younger. My middle brother died when he was 19 years old, so my oldest sister, who had a heart defect, underwent surgery. And you simply did not make it, my brother got diagnosed with a very rare disease and ended up passing away when he was, I believe 19, but my younger brother lives with people who are crazy and reckless. Abandoned right. 

It’s like you know as we do, I don’t even know if I will live tomorrow, so, you know, let’s do this, and so it’s just funny. I think we were already predisposed. That’s because it’s comparable to the firstborn. You already know what the baby of the family is like, but it’s been amplified. 

Yeah, I’m sure losing and all that, but he didn’t play a role in that, you know, because those events had already occurred by the time he arrived. It’s not like him. You experienced them firsthand. 

No, he lived with him as well because my brother is 10 years younger than me. But then the brother who passed away was eight years younger. So, there were only two years between them, so he was 16 or 17 years old when my brother passed away.

So, he didn’t necessarily like my sister’s passing because he was younger. But, yes, I did have that experience with my brother. But yeah, it’s just like that. I think it’s that impending doom that just creates this recklessness in him, which is fun. 

Yeah, well, you know, I think so. 

You know. It’s awesome.

He said something like, “Well, ****. If I die tomorrow, you know, have I done everything I want to do? Let me go. Just try every nutty thing I. can come up with. 

Yeah, so, like, I’ll be traveling the world for my non-profits, and Levi, my brother will text me and be like, “Where are you at?” and I’ll say, “Thailand,” which he’ll like how are the waves in Thailand, can I fly over tomorrow, let’s go surfing like that as if it’s his thing. Yeah, he’s just wild, you know, and he’s awesome. He just had his first. They just had their first child, and he’s a riot because he’s so reckless. And then it’s like it’s kind of taming down a little bit. We saw it for the first time at Christmas, but we’ll see. You never know which of his children will be crazy, and for the time being, helicopter parenting. I don’t know yet. But it’s. What could be better? 

Only time will tell.

Only time will tell. 

But it’s fascinating to see that kind of dynamic within a family and to see the firstborn being so responsible.

And then you see this all the time with family members—some trauma, some whatever. You generally get one or two results. You either get extreme safety and responsibility or you go completely reckless. That’s what it looks like with me, and my sister looks like Eddie and Eddie’s brother. And I bet you That it is repeated all over the world with nearly identical results: one becoming extremely responsible, and the other goes You know what? Let’s light this fuse. We’re going up right now. What are you? We’re new to skydiving.in Alaska, and you’re like, yeah? You’re going to freeze your **** off.

I mean, if You’re listening to this right now, and you’ve got us on social media. Be like. Are you the reckless one, and we know you’re not because you wouldn’t be answering your question on social grounds? We know you’re the responsible one. Tell us how you’re responsible and how your sibling is. a lunatic. We want to hear about it. 

That, and I’m super interested because, you know, seeing that you’ve had, you know, over 125 companies with your first company that you ever started, what was the drive for that company, and why did you, you know, start it? 

Again, it goes back to curiosity. 

I was actually in radio and television and built a show that we sold to Fox. That was my first exit, but it was unintentional. It had good ratings. We had created it. They purchased it. That was my first exit at 24 when we got our first paycheck. 

Then it was this curiosity. If you could build something that someone else needed. It feels like it has exponential value over the dollars that you’ve created, but could you replicate that process? And so I started an advertising agency. We went out and signed Buffalo Wild Wings, which was our big deal. We were the agency of record for Buffalo Wild Wings. And so now you have this contract, and we’ve got a bunch of other clients, but then the bigger agencies are coming after us, so, well, we’d like to buy that contract. So we’ll launch by buying the entire agency, and then we’ll negotiate and sell the agency, and then everything will be fine.

So, I felt like it was like this. It wasn’t intentional. It was over curiosity. What else could I create that looks just like that? And then, as you start honing in on that curiosity, you realize that there are three things that every person trying to buy a company asks you every single time: “So what?”  Have I just designed something? What are they going to ask me? And then I will. As a result, an exponential exit was obtained. It was just that easy.

So, the three things they always ask you are EBITDA or bottom-line dollars. They always ask you what your IP is, you know, like, “Why can’t I go create this or buy it off the shelf?” You know what makes you special. And then lastly, what type of operating system do you have so that if you are not here, it will continue to operate the way you have built it to operate?

That’s why I created the Empire operating system: so that you can sort of overlay it, as we do. I think there are like 14 or 1500 companies in the United States that use Empire. You just overlaid your business. It’s the same language, for example, KPIs; the same structure; the same dashboards; and you’ll know when to go exit, it’s as if you can appoint someone else to run this company. Isn’t this the instruction manual? Like it’s an operating system, so then it was like, “Well, why can’t I exponentially do that?” 

Why can’t I do that with 20 companies at once, and you’re into 20 companies? And then it was like that. You know, we had 86 companies running concurrently in 2000. 15 companies under the Affinity Group, including insurance companies, mortgage companies, and tech companies, and, like I said, there was no rhyme or reason for it? It was just a big ball of companies you knew, and then it was nice. I just got the first offer to buy one or two, and I was like, “Let’s just start selling all of them,” you know. And so, we end up selling 76 companies in one year.

And so now I’m on this journey. So the way I built collective influence is community-driven, so I have these top-of-the-funnel community drivers because I believe I love a community like something rewarding and fulfilling about building a community. 

So, for instance, we bought a company called Fit Con. Fit Con is the nation’s largest fitness convention, right? So, imagine Comic-Con, but for fitness. And then it’s like, “OK, there’s a three-million-person community over there,” and then it’s like downstream from that we’ve bought hormone replacement companies, you know, hormone therapy replacement companies and supplement companies, and it’s like because I can create this downstream vertical, this community already tells me these are the products I need and desire. “Well, I’ll go, I’ll go buy them and better serve you with them,” 

 And so now it’s got a lot more rhyme or reason to this private equity firm because we’re essentially building communities, and really, those communities today are the fitness industry, the real estate industry, and just general entrepreneurship. 

And those are the three verticals we’re servicing right now, so we’ve got 13 assets. You know, now that we’re aligned under those, the crazy part is that once you create these people and build successful businesses when you sell them, they continue to be successful, which is extremely rare in this day and age. Usually, it’s like when the founder leaves, the whole thing falls apart. 

When you have an operating system like we have and we sell a successful business and it stays successful, they come back and say, “Can I buy another?” Can I buy another? Can I buy another? So, just this year, we’ve sold three companies, and the exit is this year, or, I’m sorry, 2022, for which I’ve just begun collective influence. By the way, in 2022, all 13 assets were used in a single year. This year, we’re worth around $400 million. I started it roughly in January 2002. We sold three companies last year for $91.5 million. Of those three companies, we’ve got another five in the pipeline to acquire in Q1 this year. 

And so the first group of companies that I sold was the 86 companies, and we did $1.27 billion in about five and a half years. That was the peak of what we did I want to hit a billion this time in two years, right? So it’s like, how do I? It’s that curiosity thing again, like pushing yourself to a level where you don’t know if you quite know how to do it, so it’s like you got to just create that next level of opportunity. So that’s where we’re at today. 

Does anyone else feel like they need a nap after that explanation? I need to lie down and cover my eyes with a cold towel. 

I was fired up about it after that. 

Determine what the **** I’ve been up to. You know what I’m doing with my life.

I don’t.  

I’m doing this. I have no idea how to do this podcast; I get fired up about it so much. 

So, after this, we’ll talk about the media and the podcast company because I have some ideas. 

Oh, I love it.

Yeah, there you go. There you go.

You were also talking about something you were familiar with in the non-profit sector side of the business. How do you pick the individuals whom You want to help or be touched? 

There’s something serendipitous about the people that you come in contact with, and now there’s so much need in the world that there’s no way you could serve it at all. I’m so overwhelmed by the amount of need that comes our way.

But for me, staying present is key. You know one thing my dad taught me as a kid? Was he constantly saying that, at times, your most valuable resource is that you manage your time more than you manage your money. He did that by saying things like, when I went to buy my first car, he would say, “How much is the car?” I said, “I want to buy this car.” How much did this car cost? It cost 1800 bucks. He said no to both you and me. How many hours does it take? How much do you get paid per hour? 5 bucks an hour. OK, it costs you X number of hours of your life. Are you willing to trade X number of hours of your life for that car? I had to associate time with purchase because my father would never allow me to associate money with purchase. As a result, I’ve always been extremely time conscious. My poor kids get the same You know, I lecture all the time. Simply treat it via osmosis. 

That’s why you care about scaling more than anything else because if you can’t scale it, it’s not worth your time.

It is not with your time.

Right?  

If most people are amazed at what my CFO and I go through every year, I log every hour spent at work and what task I’m doing. It’s very time conscious. It was driven into me, and so I can tell you exactly how many days it worked, how many hours I worked, and you know, and then he’ll go through and say, “How much capital did you raise?” How much money did you create because of your activity? And so then I divide that all down, and, well, every hour of my time is worth X amount of thousands of dollars. And you know what I mean. So that when you go to a meeting, you wonder, “Is that it? “It’s easier to say no when it might not be worth $10,000, you know. And so, I make my executives do that as well. 

But with that being said, something happened in my life. I was so focused on that, but then I started going. My wife and I were on a trip to Honduras when I saw this need for the very first time, and I won’t go through the whole story, but the basic story is, you know, that I had a buddy that had a feeding center that was feeding some kids. He couldn’t feed all of them, and I watched half of them get fed and the other half essentially not be able to be fed.

And, you know, as an American, you’re like, “I’ll solve it.” It’s like just. Let’s just go get him some more food, and he’ll be fine. So he hops in the truck and goes to buy more rice, chicken, whatever. It was, and he was like, “Look, here’s the deal.” If you’re not going to feed those kids, for example. It’s like I have to make that bad choice every day. He was like, “You’re not going to feed those kids for life.” “Don’t feed your ego,” he said as if you’re either in this or you’re not. Let’s not go back as they did. They don’t need to be fed today. They need to be fed for life because there’s just no hope. 

And so, my wife and I decided that would be our first one. So, we truly believe that. That’s kind of what the serendipitous thing I’m talking about is like. So we were just there, and it’s just like, OK, like we have the power to accomplish this. 

And then it was like there was something so gratifying about being in those places where I stopped watching my watch and stopped worrying about the value of my time. Because the value of time was exponentially increased by all these people. And how do you value that? And so, I had this, you know, quintessential problem. And it was like, “How do I value what I’m doing right now?” You know, like, and because everything was based on value. It’s like that in my life, and then it just translated into… Well, there’s way more value here in helping these kids than anything I could create for myself.

So much of what I was creating was self-absorbed, and there was something more gratifying. I’m not doing the traditional thing. You know, creating the traditional life I had so we’re sitting there, and then we just started snow bawling from there.

And then it just seemed like, our goal was to assist anyone who came in with a deserving or needy story. If we could help at that moment, we would take it on, and so we just kind of said, “You know what if it comes our way and we know we can do it, there’s no reason to say no, like the homeless person we make so many of excuses for why we can’t help, and it’s like the American way, you know, like, “Well, that guy’s probably got a drinking problem.” I’m not going to give him a dollar because he has a drug problem, right? It’s like we do all these strange things. And then we passed it on to our kids. And so we just decided, like, what happens if every time we get presented with the opportunity to help someone or something?  That’s why we just said yes if it’s within our power. 

This resulted in the establishment of 13 orphanages over a six- to eight-year period. And now we’ve got 26 orphanages and feeding centers, and my kids in the back seat will say, “Dad, do you not have cash on you?” Can you not help the homeless guy who’s standing by your window? Do you know? So, it’s like it’s just kind of transcended. We’ve all learned the “you know” way of life through our families, so I’m not sure I have a great way of saying “how do I choose this person over this person?” I think it’s as if there were a person in front of us. If there’s a group of people we can help right now, that’s why it’s called collective influence. Why I want to get to a billion so quickly is because I’ll take 10/ 15/20% of that billion and distribute it throughout the world. And so, it goes. I want to create more so that we get to feel that more. 

So, then you can just say yes. A lot more often, saying yes feels so much better than saying no. So, it’s like you’re just you. You get those opportunities all the time, you know, and we’ve got a board full of them right now. I believe we have eight or nine items on our list that we would like to complete. Take and so on, depending on how we feel this quarter, we’ll take those on and just keep rolling.

 And do they? I know it just kind of comes. to you, but is there a way you know it comes in other ways where someone else might refer to you? Or do they see your website and try to sign up for something? Is there any other of getting your attention? 

For the first time, there are. We’ve begun accepting donations. It was just always something we, so we did it formalized the nonprofit maybe five or six years ago, and you know, it’s all over social if you look at the impact Others are on social.

Impactothers.com, you know the website, and then we’ve got all these outlets, and what we’ve done is create regional directors. So, we have like a regional director in Pakistan and India and Ghana, West Africa, Nigeria, Peru, Lima, Bogota, Colombia, you know Brazil, and I believe we have 19 regional directors. And they’re responsible for maximizing the dollars we’re willing to give them to create the most impact there. And so that’s why, you know, we’re creating sustainable jobs there may be cases where it makes sense.

In India, where we have two orphanages for children of parents who died from leprosy. So, there is still leprosy in India and the parent… you know, in India is a caste system. So, once you’re diagnosed with leprosy, your kind of cast out, and you go live in a commune. And those parents will eventually die, but leprosy isn’t, you know, really easy to contract today, so the children rarely, if ever, get it, and so the children are dealt with as the lowest position in the caste system is now.

When you have leprosy, you are of the highest caste. Your children and you don’t get access to education if you’re in the lowest income bracket. You don’t have access to food. You don’t get access. I mean, not just like a college education, but even grammar like these kids can’t read and so one are against Yeah, so we started. “You know what? Let’s see if we can help there,” 

So, we started a leper colony orphanage there for the children of the leper colony after their parents passed away because usually most of them are just out in the streets begging. And so we started by saying, “Let’s provide them with education.” Let’s start providing them with food. “Let’s bring them in and have our director there,” he suggested. Eddie said, “You know?” If we had water buffalo, we could provide milk, and I’m like, “Wait a minute, water buffalo give milk,” and he’s like, Yes, and he says they produce far more milk than a dairy cow. And I’m like, “And people drink this,” and he’s like, “Yes.” He was like, “You can make a lot of money off of it.” And I was like, okay. Well, how much does water buffalo cost? 

So, we went over there. We created a water buffalo farm. And it was about 100 bucks. It costs about 100 bucks for a water buffalo, but they produce gallons of milk, and then we can go. Then they go sell them in the marketplace, so we have. We create jobs, and then it creates sustenance, so out of that water buffalo farm, we were able to open an entirely new orphanage to that we didn’t have to just give money. And so that’s why we say we’ll create those sustainable work environments because they’ll create more income that then allows the community to grow. 

So avocado farms are in Honduras, and woodworking is in Laos. It’s like we’re also trying to create those sustainable opportunities too because those kids don’t just need to be educated. They also need to be taught to work, earn a living, and, you know, reconstitute into society. 

Yeah, you want. Everybody to thrive. 

Did you feel like you were being approached with the water buffalo idea did you think you were being taken for a ride?

I feel like that every day. I’m the skeptical one, and so is the guy, he said. So, there’s this 13-year-old kid, and he’s like, “Go with him, and he’ll take you to the farmer,” and I’m like, “Okay, so I’m walking.” down the street with a 16-year-old. 

No chance: I can’t do it. I’ll go, I’ll go, you know. A hot air balloon ride in Dubai but I’m not going to follow this kid to the water buffalo farm. 

Yeah, and so, like, I go there, and so we work it all out with this farmer for me to buy all these water buffalo. And so, we buy all these water buffalo. And so, I say to this 13-year-old kid: So, how do we get these water buffalo back to our place, because we have a pen and everything set up, and he was like, “Watch! “So, he just starts tying all their things together and he’s leading like this 13 or kids leading like 50 water buffalo down the street like all in a caravan, and I’m like, “Wait a minute, what are you doing? “You can’t make stuff like this up, you know. 

You need a permit for that in the US. 

Yeah, I know, right? Yeah.  

What you could do is add 3, none of this fifty. I mean, you would need things like underpasses on trains. And, by the way, animal control must be calling you. Like, who are you? Knowing we’re just moving them from over there to over here, we’re creating a water buffalo farm. Sure, the only farm you’ll visit is the funny farm. 

Farm, that’s right. 

Oh, it just sounds so incredible. The most important thing is everything you’ve created and is doing with your right community. No matter where you are or which industry you’re in, I mean, I do it even in my businesses because the community is important to me; why would I think otherwise? 

The letter. Do it right. 

Yeah, absolutely.  

There’s something inside of us that just desires community. And you know that once you feel that belonging, it doesn’t matter if it’s an orphanage or a fitness convention. There’s power in the community, and to me, there’s also power like that in that community. Then, if you can point in the right direction, you can make an impact on others. 

No, absolutely. You spoke a lot about the successes that you’ve had and what makes you tick. I’m curious about your biggest business disaster because you can’t make anyone believe it’s all so shiny. 

You are aware that I was on a podcast the other day. Both my wife and this guy asked me the same question. He said, “Umm, give me one of your failures,” and I was like, “You know, and I was like.” I don’t. I don’t think I could come up with one, so I look at my wife and She’s like, “Oh, I’ll tell.” You and it are like, yeah. 

I’ve got a list; I’ve got a whole list right here. 

I was like, maybe I should, you know? Yeah, call her in here because I struggle with that because, to me, it’s that mindset we talked about. It’s as if this is a massive failure, like, I don’t know. It’s so, like, yeah. I mean, I’ve had some disasters. 

Particularly since entering COVID, and I’ve got event-based businesses, I’m like, screw the government. I’m just going to run events anyway. You’ve seen it before. doesn’t go well. You know, if you don’t just like it, it backfires fast.

So, we, you know, struggled through COVID with event-based companies; I put on the only in-person event in Las Vegas during COVID, but it was one of the worst decisions I ever made, you know. And literally, every person was escorted by a police officer or another type of escort, and they were kept at arms’ length. This was the case. It was like, “Why are we even doing this?” Is that stupid, yeah? So, at the casinos, everything was closed.

I mean, it’s like I’ve done a lot of crazy stuff like that. I’ve bought businesses where the due diligence just wasn’t that great and the person just flat-out lied and it wasn’t even close to what they said. I bought This is a business that I purchased. 

I’ll leave you with this: I bought a business it was supposed to be where you could send out controlled substances, right? As a result, controlled substances are prescribed. We have to have a doctor’s network where I bought it. We purchased it last year on September 28. That was the closing date. We did not know that there was this thing called COVID exemption. That is, they made telehealth available nationwide, which meant you didn’t need a license in every state. As long as you had a license in one state, you could actually take telehealth calls, write prescription medicine, and so we’re on this fitness journey trying to create this. 

This company on the 28th, we got a notice from our doctor that we were non-compliant and operating illegally on October 1st, it appeared as if I had only purchased it two days prior. What do you mean we’re illegally here? It’s like, “Oh yeah, the COVID exemption expired,” and it was like, “So you know, you jumped, so then it was like, “Oh, you have to have.” 49 more licenses are needed to do that, and that’s going to cost you. You know, it was like $250,000 and six more months. And we have salespeople lined up to take the calls. We have doctors ready to prescribe. We’ve got, you know, the pharmacies ready to ship, and it’s like everything comes to a screeching halt, you know?

 But we’ve had stuff like that. You just, you know, to me, it’s all perspective; you work through it, and I feel like the thing is what came out of that. It was an even better opportunity, so it’s all about perspective. 

Oh, I love it. I love it. If people just wanted to get a hold of you, where would they find you? 

Sure, I’m active on all the social channels: LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. I’ve got all of that running, and that’s the easiest thing. You can e-mail me at eddie@collectiveinfluence.com. 

Do you get into those TikTok dances? No. 

No, no TikTok dancing for me. Have no sense of rhythm. not enough rhythm for TikTok dancing. 

You found your passion; that’s not dancing. On TikTok. Exactly. There are probably some parents out there who need to hear that it’s OK. It’s OK if you can’t get the TikTok dance down like you do when you fall, only because it doesn’t hurt us personally, but it probably bruises more than your ego. So go ahead and say no TikTok dances. If that’s not the case. 

That’s fine, though. That’s right. That’s right.  

My wife laughs hysterically at that ****; she doesn’t like what you’re laughing at. She’s like, “Look at this idiot in Columbus.” Fill in whatever city you choose. Yeah, like, what are they doing? He’s like, “Yeah, you didn’t check the area before they started doing whatever TikTok dance.” And now they’re interacting, so I adore people who are willing to be…I don’t want to say dumber than me, I’m wanting to do something that I’m not sure about. And please, please keep my wife entertained by doing so and then recording It. It’s very exciting for me, but then you don’t have to. There are other ways to excel in life and grasp hold of your zone of genius, and Eddie’s found him with his propensity for leaving businesses as soon as possible. And by offering assistance whenever possible, 

And if you had any advice for anyone right now, it would be to figure out what to do in their world. What advice would you give him? 

Yeah, I think that’s what it comes down to. You must be able to control three things at all times. Every person should control three things. First and foremost, your time. If you cannot get your time under control, it’s like when people chase money. Chase your time, chase it daily, and get very specific about what you allow into your life and what you do. You will spend time there. 

I remember going to Steve, we bought stock in Apple at one point just so that they would take me on this tour of Steve Jobs’ office, and you walk into Steve Jobs’ office and there is a motorcycle, a desk, and a painting. And we were talking to his assistant, and I said, “Why are there only three things in this office?” Yes, and she was like, “Well,” and she said And when he comes in, he will only take one device. He’ll either take one iPad, one cell phone, or one computer, but he won’t take more than one device, and we were asking her why, and she said because you’re used to spending time on anything that is not important to him. He said he has the motorcycle because it’s beautiful. He has a desk because it’s practical. And he has the painting because it’s creative.

And she said that’s it, and it was like, and it’s just. As if it were natural. There’s just this little reminder that people who are doing great things in this world do not waste time, you know. It’s also critical to gain control of your time. 

The second thing is that if you get control of your time, then wealth will come. And wealth…. With all of these social media influencers, we need to redefine wealth in this country. And for everyone out there who easily acquires wealth, I believe that redefining wealth to allow you to live within it is important, and wealth to me, which allowed me to do what I do today, was simply a simple redefining. 

What I did find is wealth because I want to be able to live today without sacrificing my sustenance for tomorrow. This means, I don’t want to ever expend my resources; I want to create enough passive resources that tomorrow is taken care of and today is good as well, so I don’t need a lot if I don’t need a lot tomorrow. 

So, if I can figure out how to live within my means, then I can. I can kind of pull that back, and so wealth is, you know, having enough today for me to live, to eat, and to be what I need to be without taking away from tomorrow.

And then Lastly, it has a purpose. It’s time, wealth, and purpose. The purpose is so important because you have to have something to attach your life to. If you get caught in that rat race of “next mountain peak,” “next mountain peak,” “next mountain peak,” you’ll be 80 years old and completely unsatisfied. 

You know, for me, it’s attaching everything in life to a purpose, and so when I go to me, it’s like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, self-actualization pinnacle. I feel like there are three steps to self-actualization. Number one is to get a hold of your time. Understand what wealth is, define wealth, and then ultimately attach everything to a purpose, and I believe your life will begin to take care of itself. At that point, you know you’ve linked things to their intended purpose. And all of a sudden, it’s like you wake up, fulfilled and happy and full of joy, and I just get to live a fantastic life, and it’s not because I’m doing, you know, crazy things. It’s just because I am satisfied with what my life is creating, you know. And so that’s my advice, worry about time, wealth, and purpose.

Thank you so much for being our guest today, Eddie. It’s been fantastic.

Thank you. 

 

 

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