RYB 879: School Teacher Who Took A HUGE RISK & Now Successful Online Business with Azul

By Scott Voelker •  Updated: 09/09/20 •  6 min read

I’ve got an amazing guest on with me today, my dear friend, Azul Terronez. He is going to share an incredible story that happened during the time he worked in the school system for over 25 years before changing careers and the story about how he started a business and went bankrupt.

He’ll also share his take action moment and how he overcame self-doubt and took a chance that changed his life for the better. He also has some creative tips on how to help you fix your problems in your life so you can come up with the answers to your own questions. 

How Azul’s Journey Began 4:10

I spent 25 years in education and was always dreaming about what I could create online. I had always hoped that I would be able to have more flexibility in the future. Because I have degrees in things that I cared about and not just what would pay the most or get me the best job.

Now I have always wanted to be a writer and make a mark on the world. I eventually got into a college program where I was able to do some theater and worked on sitcoms and television for a few years before I finished my graduate program.

That type of job is seasonal, and it came to the point where I couldn’t find another job and came across a teaching job that I ended up starting a day after I got the job. 

The Power of Apprenticeship 12:37

Even when I was a principal, I owned a shaved ice trailer that I took around town on the weekend. After that, I owned a fitness gym right before the market crashed. I lost nearly everything, including my house and car, when the gym when under.

I knew that I had to still be a learner and get my head back in the game. At the time, I had no idea what I could do online. I learn best when I have a mentor, and I had to find someone to help me in person. Then I took the approach of being an apprentice.

I knew that If I could figure out a way to be of service to someone I wanted to learn from, I thought I could grow and become better. My journey shifted when I started to find people that I wanted to be like and spending time serving and learning from them. 

Azul’s Take Action Moment 17:03 

I ended up taking a course titled “Business Breakthrough.” At the time, I didn’t have a business, but I signed up anyway because I wanted to learn from Pat Flynn and other successful people who were attending the course.

Now I had all these doubts because it was difficult to come up with the money to pay for it and had to take time off work to attend. I knew that I had to go all-in or it wouldn’t be worth it. 

Everything shifted when I decided to focus on giving and serving others. I reached out to Pat and offered to lead a meet and greet the night before the event because people were traveling from all across the country, and I thought it would be helpful for everyone to meet each other.

When I got to the event, I instantly connected with everyone after helping run the meet and greet, and it allowed me to help Pat without asking for anything in return. After sharing the book that I had written before I showed up, I also discovered that people didn’t care about the contents so much as wanting to learn how I wrote the book within 30 days. It was a huge help in launching my new career.  

Embrace What Makes You Unique 32:00

I think a lot of people that miss their opportunity because they mistake content for credibility. We’re all selling sunshine as creators, and there is nothing new that we’re offering. However, with a magnifying glass, you can amplify the heat you feel from the sun. You are just like the magnifying glass.

The way that you see the world allows you to hyperfocus and what makes you unique, allows you to build credibility with others, and help you stand out within your niche. 

Great Things Come From Asking Questions 37:57

The thinking behind a mastermind course is to avoid rushing into giving advice. The truth is the person has the answer within them and just needs clarity and help seeing beyond their fear and doubt by asking curious questions instead of trying to solve their problem for them. It’s important to ask questions, and you’ll learn in the process as well. Greater things come from asking questions than giving an answer. 

Scott’s Thoughts From His Interview with Azul 

It was so much fun jamming with Azul today. He is smart, takes risks, and is an open book that I love. I always learn from him whenever I spend time with him. There are things that are happening in your life right now that are preparing you for the future, even if you don’t know it yet.

So, think about where you are headed next. You can do anything that you put your mind to and do things that are outside your comfort zone. As always, I am here for you, I believe in you and am rooting for you. It’s time for you to go out and take action! 

Thanks For Tuning in!

“Remember, I'm here for you, I believe in you, and I'm rooting for you! Now it's time for you to take action and go rock your brand”! 

Take-Aways From Today’s Episode 

  1. How Azul’s Journey Began (4:10)
  2. The Power of Apprenticeship (12:37)
  3. Azul’s Take Action Moment (17:03) 
  4. Embrace What Makes You Unique (32:00)
  5. Great Things Come From Asking Questions (37:57)



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00:01 If I could figure out a way to be of service to somebody that I want to learn from. I think possibly I could become like, like them, like imitate them or grow from them. School is kind of messed this up. Do we think we're entitled to some job we're entitled to it once we graduate? And the truth is the only way to really grow is to become like a learner way. Hey, Hey, what's up everyone. Welcome to the rock, your brand podcast. I'm your host, Scott. Voelker a serial entrepreneur on a mission to help you. This show is designed to teach you to inspire you, to motivate you, to take massive action and build a future proof business. So whether you're just starting out or taking your existing business to the next level, this is your home. Now, if you're ready, I'm ready. Let's rock your brand.

00:53 What's up guys. Welcome back to another episode of the Rocky brand podcast. This is episode eight 79, and I'm just going to get right to it. I've got an amazing guest. I want to share with you today. Good friend of mine Azule [inaudible] and he is going to share an incredible story. He was actually a educator, a teacher, a principal. He was in the school system for over 25 years and then decided to change it up a little bit, but he also talks about how he started a business and went bankrupt pretty much and lost just about everything and how he had to start over. And also how one day one decision changed everything. And this is what I also call his take action moment. This is where he made a decision. He made a conscious decision to actually do something also being afraid or fearful because he didn't know if that was the right thing to do or started to self doubt what his decision had been, but he knew there was something more and he took a chance.

02:04 And it's a good thing that he did because well, you're going to listen to this, this interview and how it dramatically changed his life for the better. And he's just got some really good tips and tricks on how to get better clarity on fixing your own problems in your business or in your life. A really cool way of really digging in to yourself. So you can come up with the answer to your own questions. All right, so guys, I'm going to stop talking so you can listen to this interview with my good friend as all are right. Azore thank you so much for coming on the podcast, man. I've been waiting a long time to get you on the show and here you are. How you doing, man? That's God. I'm doing great. Thanks for having me on the show. I've been wanting to be on for a while.

02:52 So since we met a few years ago, this is a dream and an honor. Thank you. Yeah, we talked a lot. We were in a mastermind together on Pat Flynn's mastermind and you and I, and Steve had become really good friends. And, and I was in the process of writing my book, even before I met you. And if I had met you, I probably would have had you as my book coach. Cause that's kind of what you do, right? So, but you actually still helped me a lot through that. And by me sharing you even like where I was seeing it in and just, just different aspects of it and you really just made it a lot clearer for me. Um, and also were very encouraging. And when I was telling you about like the take action moment thing, you're like, Oh, that's awesome. I love that.

03:39 And I was like, you know what? You've got a great take action moment. We got to get you on the podcast, but that was a long time ago. So here you are. And I want to dig in to all of that. So first off, let people know a little bit about you and then we can dig into your backstory as far as like, I mean, you've been on a crazy journey. Um, but I think you're where you need to be right now. So let's, let's give people a little glimpse of who the heck you are.

Speaker 2: 04:06 Yeah, well, what's interesting about my journeys. Uh, my company authors, you lead, we help leaders write books that people love. And our goal is to create a brand positioning around their book, to help them build an audience, grow their credibility and authority so that the book does more than just sell it. It can ignite their, their business and grow it. So that's, that's what our company does. Uh, but I spent 25 years as an educator, you know, as a teacher, a university instructor for eight years, uh, you know, a faculty member and then I was a principal. So I spent a lot of time in education and a lot of the time I spent pushing against the system that was really hard to change. Um, and so when I made the leap out of the classroom, I knew it had to be for something worthy because I felt my work was worthy as an educator.

Speaker 2: 04:55 I just didn't feel like it was as impactful as it could be. So I was dreaming about what could I build online? Um, just because I had this hopes that somebody I could travel the world for my suitcase, uh, like some of my peers, you know, of course read the four hour work week. Uh, I've started listening to our, our mutual friend, Pat Flynn and Chris Guillebeau from the a hundred dollars startup. And I just realized that there was more to this and that's how I kind of got intrigued to start something that was more maybe suited for my talents, I would say.

05:26 And I think that you're, I think it's awesome that you basically taught for 25 years, my son who's 22, he's going into that field, knowing that he's not going to be a millionaire doing that, but he also knows what he's doing is, is what he wants to do right now. Um, and he's also wants to coach and do those sorts of things in that area. So, but he also knows that that's probably not going to be where he's going to end up. And I was just had a conversation the other night with him. And I was like, you know, my father taught me that every 10 years, your mind changes, but I think every 10 years you change and you want to go into different directions because you've learned so much from that last 10 years. And I was just having that conversation with him last night at the dinner table. And he was like, yeah, I kind of see that. And he doesn't, I think, want to be an educator for 25 years, I think, but he knows that that's what he wants to do right now. And he's okay with not being a millionaire right now.

Speaker 2: 06:23 Right. Yeah. Um, and that's, that's important.

06:27 It is. And so for you being in that, in that space, I mean, you didn't get into being a teacher to be a millionaire.

Speaker 2: 06:34 No, not for sure, for sure or not. No, I actually like a lot of people, I wasn't intending to be an educator. I have degrees and some people would call terminal. I have degrees in things I cared about, not in the hopes of getting a job. So I was really ambitious. I wasn't really academically strong, but I did get into UCLA. Uh, wow. And then I thought maybe, you know, I was the first one to go to college. Um, I was the one I thought the sat stood for, you know, that the fact that it was given on Saturday, I had no idea, uh, you know, all the things it took, but I, I had a lot of civics. I was really active in school and an Eagle scout and all these things. So I had a lot going for my, my background, but when I got into UCLA, I didn't know what I wanted to do.

Speaker 2: 07:14 I wanted to be a writer. I want it to be in film and television. I wanted to make a Mark in the world, but I had no training. I'd never taken theater classes. So I applied it as a theater major. And basically the application was blank cause I've never taken a theater class in my life, but I figured that's the way I'm going to school is to learn something. I was very shy and I thought it would help me get out of my shell, but I didn't get in, but I've been eventually got into a program called world arts and cultural theater where I was able to do some theater. And it was a program of nine of us that have a school of 50,000. So you can imagine how smallest program was. And then, um, I was able to use all my credits and I was working in television and I worked on sitcoms for a long time before I could finish graduate school. Um, and I worked in television. That was the spark that got me excited. You know, I start to work on who's the boss at night chord and Meredith children, Meredith children for three seasons. And I just enjoyed my work and I got to learn about how things get created. And that was really exciting for me.

Speaker 2: 08:12 In fact, for me. Yeah, no I'm in night court and those kind of shows that I used to watch just, you know, as a kid and then I'm on this, on the sets of these shows. That's awesome. That was pretty amazing. And I, I, uh, I really wanted to be a writer. So I started pursuing screenwriting as an undergrad, got my masters in native American film studies. Again, what are you gonna do with master's native American film studies besides professors? So I thought I was gonna be a professor. I found it very uninteresting to talk about your work all day long, but I was working in film and television. So I stayed in that field for a long time, working for shows and, uh, had a little break. I couldn't find a work like it's seasonal. Like you work on a show for a season and then the next season comes, you look for another work, but, uh, I couldn't get a job.

Speaker 2: 08:53 So I went back to the job board. I found one teaching and I had been directing children's theater. So I was working with kids, but I never really taught in a day in my life. So I went there and interviewed, like I was going for an audition, got the part or cut the job. And they handed me the keys and I was the, the teacher had resigned after a month of school. So I was in a classroom teaching one day after getting handed. The keys never taught a day in my life. So I was sort of thrust into teaching. I didn't know what I was doing, um, had taught university, but he never really taught kids, but it became this incredible journey for me. And, um, you know, I still don't have a degree in education, even though I have a certificate of superintendent certificate. I just chose not to get any more degrees. I just took the advocates to get the job.

09:36 That's funny. That's funny. So, okay. So you, you did all that now as you're doing the teaching and you're kind of in that mindset, was there anything in your head that there's something more, I just don't know what it is or is, or why were you just happy and content?

Speaker 2: 09:53 I thought there was more so that's why I got a degree and you know, I've got a principal's certificate because I felt like more could be done. And I've realized that it's such a stringent system to be inside of an education. It's a bureaucracy. So it doesn't change quickly. I had done things. So I owned even as a principal, I just shaved ice trailer in Texas, or, you know, on the weekends, I would haul that to festivals with my kids until I wanted to teach them that they could make their own money someday. And at second grade and third grade, they thought I was alluded to, if they wanted something and say, well, let's take the shaved ice to the pool. You can sell. If you want to earn a video game. They're like, Oh really, really? I don't know if it ever settled in, but I was trying to teach them something.

Speaker 2: 10:31 And then I also owned a fitness gym and right before the crash and I lost everything. And that was kind of scared me away from having a business. When you lose everything you have, like, my, my business was gone. My house was gone. My credit was shot. I was bankrupt. They towed my car away. Like I was broke like, no, not even anything. So I had to kind of go back to my roots and say, I'm just going to be a learner and return to the classroom and be a teacher. Cause I had left principalship to be a teacher because I felt like I learned more about being a leader inside a classroom than at, as the leader of the school. Okay. So yeah, I started coaching internationally, which was different coaching schools from Chile, Australia, Spain, and traveling the world as a teacher because I was teaching new innovative practices, basically teaching kids, not entrepreneurship, but high level project based learning how they could build something worth doing, not just, um, not just doing busy work is so boring.

Speaker 2: 11:31 Right? School's boring. That's it wasn't for me. So we started to, I start teaching screenwriting and a movie making and publishing. So my first published students back in 2006 were 12th graders are sorry, 12 year olds, because my belief was, if every eighth grader could graduate, you know, get out of eighth grade as a published author, then they could get any job they wanted. They could walk into McDonald's and go, Hey, don't have a job experience. So I'm not going to fill out your resume, but here's my first book. If you need someone who's committed, let me know. I'm nice. I just figured eight graders being published would take takeaway a lot of, you know, tick it off the list. So that's where I began. The poaching learning is with the young people.

12:07 That's interesting. I didn't know that part of the story either. That's an interesting story. I didn't also know that you owned a gym and I'm learning stuff today myself. So let's just go back to that really quickly. And then I do want to get into what really made the ultimate shift for you to become who you are today, which I, you know, I think is incredible. And, and some of the authors that you're helping, um, but go back to that time, right? Like you're down and out. Like, like everything is like bad, right? Like, I mean losing everything. I mean, like you said, like broke and your credit and how do you recover from that? Like how do you get out of how do you get out of that phone?

Speaker 2: 12:50 Yeah. I tell that story because I don't want people to think that it's all rosy, everyone who's making six, seven figures that it's always perfect. It's not always perfect. Um, the first funk was I I've got to get my, my head back in the game, you know, um, like I have to still be a learner. So I would take courses, I'd read books and you know, I didn't know what I was going to do. I mean, I didn't know. I had no idea what I could do online. Cause I tried the early days of, you know, creating ad sense. You know, I owned every domain that you could think of. You know, I built actually recovery from bankruptcy.com, which I still own. Cause I think that's a pretty good name for that. Yeah. Um, uh, cheap wedding ideas.com. I started trying to do these things and I couldn't really get traction cause I don't think I cared enough.

Speaker 2: 13:33 Uh, but I still wanted to learn and I learned best in person. So that's really, the shift started to happen was I got to find a mentor. I have this idea that mentorship has kind of been taken out of context and that a lot of people want people to help them like that, like be a mentor so that you can get help. And I took the angle of apprenticeship, which is, you know, back in the early days, you know, people were apprentice to a master. They would say, you know, at a young age to hear your job is to help the master sweep clean up all the filings from the metal work or, you know, deliver things or, you know, do whatever. And you get to learn by osmosis. You just learn a little bit here. Maybe you get to work on a piece of scrap, maybe your first chance to work on something.

Speaker 2: 14:14 But the heart of apprenticeship is servitude and servant heart. And a lot of people don't, they want a mentor that just give to them. And I figured if I could figure out a way to be of service to somebody that I want to learn from, I think possibly I could become like, like them like imitate them or grow from them. And that was where the idea for a book came about, which is 2014 in the summer, which is the art of apprenticeship, which is this idea of that school has kind of messed this up. We think we're entitled to some job we're entitled to it once we graduate. And the truth is the only way to really grow is to become like a learner. And I didn't know from whom did I want to learn. And that's where I started looking for character people. Cause I found a lot of people, I felt like, Oh, that's the thing, a little shady. And then I found a lot. Then I found people like Pat Flynn and Chris Guillebeau. I thought they had a lot of integrity. So I was like, these are the kinds of people I want to learn from.

15:06 Mmm.

Speaker 2: 15:07 So that's sort of, my journey kind of shifted when I started realizing you have to find the people you wanted to emulate and be like, and that was like the first mindset shift. And it wasn't in schools. A lot of my peers were, were thinking, why do you want to leave teaching? Don't you love kids. And I'm like, I love kids. It's not about that. But we tell them to dream a negative, anything they want. And here I am sitting on the sidelines, not doing it. Not because I'm not a good teacher, but because I just don't think I'm meant to do this forever.

15:35 Yeah, no, I think you bring up a lot of great points there and I love the part of being an apprentice because like you said, it's, it's kind of like an intern in a sense, but even deeper because you're actually with the mentor, right? Like you're with the, the pro the expert. Right. And you're just, you're not asking for advice. You just watching, you might ask some questions here and there, but you're, you're watching, being of service. Um, and you just get the benefits of being right there, looking over their shoulder and seeing the different moves that they're making. I love that angle. Um, so let's move into that because I know this story. I want to hear it again, but it's where you're like, okay. You know, Pat Flynn and Chris Ducker announced that they were going to do this one day business breakthrough thing.

16:25 And you're like, the requirement is you have to have a business of some kind. So you can work on that when you're there and Azule wants to go, but he ain't got a business. I didn't have it said business breakthrough. So I thought that's what I needed a business breakthrough. So what was your thought going in let's let's go right into that because this is a pivotal moment. I think that it's like, this changed a lot for you, but also there was a switch there that you had to say, you know what? I know that that's not what they're looking for, but I'm going to go anyway. Yeah. And if you didn't do that and listen, who knows where you'd be today,

Speaker 2: 17:05 Right? Yeah, no, you know, what's interesting is, um, Steve, my husband partner, he, he had just left a very lucrative career in, uh, healthcare administration, helping as a industrial engineer. And he had traveled the world. Simon got the idea that maybe we could do something different, but we didn't have a lot of money. I was a teacher back in the classroom. Again, you know, we were trying to support it on one salary with two kids in high school. Like it, wasn't an easy time to be trying to take a risk of any kind, let alone, um, you know, in entrepreneurship. So that was when it was the perfect time. So when it popped up, uh, you know, 20 spots sign up, I just bought it. Cause I knew it was baffling. I was like, Oh, finally, a chance to get in the room with the person I've been learning from like on the sidelines.

Speaker 2: 17:48 And once I did that, they sent the email saying, okay, give us your email list. How big is your list? What's your opt ins? What's your programs, which your website domain. And I was like, Oh crap. I don't even have an idea for business. Let alone any of those things. So what am I going to do? Like, I don't know what I'm going to do. So I had to been applying these principles at art of apprenticeship. I decided I would finish the book I had started out to do at about 30 days before this event. And so I wrote the book in 30 days and the day before I submitted it to the editor and I had gone to, um, the event and I said, I'll just share this notion of the art of apprenticeship and why I'm there. And that's the best I can do.

Speaker 2: 18:28 You know, maybe they'll give me some direction, but I put into practice this whole thing because I wanted to go. But all these people were six and seven entrepreneur figure entrepreneurs already. And I didn't even have an idea. What am I going to like, how am I going to add any value? I found out that people were coming from all over the country, which I was honored. I was in San Diego at the time where it was held. So I reached out to Pat, but you know, because he emailed me. So I had his email address. Now it's be like, you know, and I said, Hey, is there an event the night before I know people are flying in. They're just, is there anything that we can go to is like, no, we really didn't have anything. I said, well, I'd love to help organize it.

Speaker 2: 19:03 If you'll let me, you know, I'll find a venue where they can meet for appetizers or drinks and get to know each other since they're coming so far, I wouldn't be okay. He's like, Oh, that'd be awesome. What a great idea. And he's like, should I pay for it? Should I come? You know, I was like, no, you don't need to pay for it. And everyone would take care of their own drinks and you can't come. And he's like, wait, what, what do you mean? I said, well, if you come out, they're not going to get to know each other. And that's the point of this. So they connect with each other though. I really wanted to be pet. I knew that it would be better for his audience to serve each other if they got to be connected and not have the distraction of trying to get in with Pat.

Speaker 2: 19:39 Right. Cause that's what we all want to do. So I did that and he's like, that's an awesome idea. Thank you so much. It takes pressure off because Chris and I have things to do and get ready. So that's really helps. What happened was instantly the next day after half, the people showed up to do the happy hour thing. Yeah. The next day when I came to the event, everyone knew me more than, you know, like personally and those that didn't, they made introductions with the rest of them. It was like an instant like connection and in a way that not having a business didn't help me with. So that was like one way in which I applied, serve the, serve, the master, serve the person you're trying to, to be connected with. And that served as community. And I was really grateful for that.

20:17 Yeah. I think that's brilliant though. Um, cause a lot of people look at how do I ask? I mean, I don't know about you. I know you have a podcast as well. I get people requesting, you know, just different they're pitching people to come on the show, right? There's no give, there's not even, there's not even like, you know, so-and-so has a big audience of this. We'll share the episode with them. There's not even that like that would help. Right. But there's not even that it's like, so-and-so wants to be on your show because of this. And uh, you know, we, we really think they'd be a great fit. So here's all their, you know, all their credits, all the things that they've done. What do you think about having them on the show? And I'm just like delete. I'm like, I there's no value to me.

21:03 You didn't even tell me anything about like what you think the value is going to be brought in. What are you doing for me other than coming on the show to pitch yourself. Right. And so what you did I think is absolutely brilliant. And honestly, Kevin Sanderson, who actually is the organizer of our live event, which isn't going to be live this year because of everything. But he's the one that you showed up at a networking party. When I was speaking at an event, he organized a little bit of a gathering, right? He did it very similar to what you did. And then he approached me and said, Hey, have you ever thought about doing a live event? And I was like, eh, I, don't not really. It's a lot to do. And he goes, well, I used to run them for like Disney and some big hotel chains.

21:43 I'd be more than happy to help you with it and organize everything. And I'm like, really? And I'm like, well put some numbers together and let me know. And he did everything. He got back to me now. He's like a good friend of mine. I help them any way that I can, he still runs our R a brand accelerator live event. We're going to do a virtual. So now he's like, he's on the inside. And that's what he said. He goes, I just wanted to get close to you. Right. And it's the same idea, right? Like how do you help before you ask?

Speaker 2: 22:09 Right. And that's the thing. People don't want to be a servant. Like that's a servant heart. Cause he, he knew he had to do with no expectations that you would do anything in return. Um, and that's the hard part in paying attention to the small details of somebody's life, family, and business. And sometimes people who are genuine see that and go, wow, that's so helpful. And other times people who are takers, you've learned really quickly, that's not my tribe. So a lot of people make the mistake of going to very top setting. You know, if you want to get, you know, Gary of energy, do you think you're going to get connected to him by sending him messages? It's probably not as likely as if you went for the second in command. So I tried that principle, which I wrote about my book, which is if you can reach to this person second in command, they know as much if sometimes more than the person, who's the face of everything.

Speaker 2: 22:55 And they're the ones that often are gatekeepers serve them. Don't serve the top. So one of the examples is I really, I admired Tim Ferris. I don't know. I didn't know a lot about them besides the four hour workweek, but I knew that Charlie Hoehn who was his first hire was this first like person that worked for him, worked with him for three years to help launch several of his books. He'd help, you know, roommate sets he'd launch books. And I was, I wanted to learn from him. I found out who he was. I found out he offered like a mastermind. So I went and connected with him. I learned tons from him. We're really good friends now, but I learned a lot about how that whole world works by serving the second in command. And I got what I needed, which is how to understand the book launch.

Speaker 2: 23:34 And, uh, Charlie was really the mastermind around several of these big launches. So that's another example. Like you, you don't have to always go to the top and bug them. You can serve them. They'll find out about you eventually, if you're persistent in your servant heart. But if you're, again going to take, your reputation will be soiled eventually and people will, they'll see you coming and they'll run the other way. And they'll your reputation gets amplified, you know, when you're not there. So I worked several years helping people and that what happened at that day that I go back to Pat's event. When he showed up, I was blown away by the caliber of people. I'm still friends with many of them, if not all of them, which was what, what really struck people was. That's really cool that what you're talking about here, but how did you write a book in 30 days?

Speaker 2: 24:18 That's what they wanted to know. They want, they didn't want to know about the art of apprenticeship or this because they were all successful. They wanted to know how it's been. That's how I got my first clients. Were that okay, could you help me? And I said, sure. I felt confident as a teacher, I could help anybody. Um, so that's how my business began, was helping one person and then another, and just happened to be those first few people were people like Pat Flynn. So, you know, I kind of went in the reverse order rather than working my way up. I worked from the top down and kind of working with the other direction.

24:46 Let me through that. So you go there, you you're ready to kind of, how will your, your time to speak about what you're doing about your business? And you're like, Oh, I don't really have a business yet, but you can just tell you, could you just tell your story, how you were like, you know, I knew coming here, I didn't have my business, but I wanted to build my business off of possibly this book. And so I ended up having to get it done and I wrote it within 30 days. And the people are like, wait a minute. What you wrote that thing, is that how it unfolded? Did you have to share that story?

Speaker 2: 25:16 I shared the story of how I used to go door to door is like a four year old trying to sell paintings, which were coloring pages. I called painting when I was four and we'd come home with money. My mom would be, where do you get all this money? And I just had this incline that I could sell things to people if they needed them or one of them. So I always had this, I talked about this story in the book, how you get kind of a seed in your heart when you're young, somehow all entrepreneurs can kind of remember the moment where they kind of felt this urge. I said, but I served as a teacher and I've given them that way. And I, I just painted the picture of why I was there. And then the book that the thing I brought was this book.

Speaker 2: 25:52 Okay. Um, so that's kind of, I told my story, my entrepreneur journey, my successes, the failure was pretty fresh. It was really hard to talk about, but I went through the whole journey and I think people were captivated by this idea of your story can really sell you as a person. Um, I mean that book, which it didn't so millions of copies, it only sold in the hundreds, like, you know, four or 500 that year. But what did it allowed me to do is connect with people. And it gave me entryway to give my first Ted talk because, because as an author, you have credibility. So it's afforded me so much more than I imagined. I never built anything off of the art of apprenticeship as a business. I just speak about it to help people understand how they can reframe their thinking around learning.

Speaker 2: 26:34 Um, so that's kind of how it began. I started helping people. And the other thing to keep serving Pat, I had learned that his fare very favorite, um, baseball player was right. Uh, Ryan Nolan, who just happened to have be the, the, um, the owner of a team in Texas called the round rock express. And I, as a principal was invited to one of the games and onto the pitcher's mound. And I have a game ball that was signed by him as a followup for thanking him, for letting me be there. I sent him a gift giving him that, that game ball that was given to me, signed by him. And I think that just let him know that I was paying attention to them and that I knew what mattered to him. And I knew I was given that ball for a reason. It wasn't because he was my favorite player, but I knew I had to, it was the perfect person. So I just kept in the vein of like serving. And that's how I think keeping on the radar and serving people is how I kind of, kind of started to show up again. And again, yeah,

27:31 Let's, let's, let's kind of just dig into this one area though, because I think this is really important. Like you arrived there, but when you purchase the ticket and you're getting ready, like in all of this stuff, like what are all of the things in your head, the doubts and everything, because you could have just said, I'm not going to go, or I'm just going to get a refund and just not go now, because again, we're looking at, like, you can either jump over the line or stay behind the line. If you jump over the line, you might might get something right. You might actually change your life or you can stay back here because you're just afraid of that leap. I'm looking at that now, as you know, like my whole motto is like, the take action effect is really the take action moment that you had there. What was that like? Because there had been some back and forth in your head saying, Oh my gosh, I shouldn't have did that. Oh my God. Like what's, what am I going to do? Let's just dig into that really quick. And then I want to move on to

Speaker 2: 28:27 It's more stuff. Yeah. It was that, Oh, shoot, what did I do? You know, I didn't, I put it on a credit card. We didn't have the money to go in this one day event. It wasn't like it as business expense. Cause I didn't have a business. Like it was all these doubts. I had to take a day off work and get, get a coverage of my classroom. And it was the middle of the day, you know, the entrepreneurs stuff. They don't really care what day of the week it is. So it was a lot going on that I had to do, um, get rides for the kids, get to their practices. And I kept thinking, what am I doing? I'm writing this book. Um, yeah, what happened is, is I was like, if I'm going, I'm going all out. I'm not gonna, I'm gonna act like I belong there.

Speaker 2: 29:02 That's why I really showed up in the best way I could. Um, and I wasn't intending to do anything besides help people. And that's, that's when I realized that's all, this really is like, that's the thing. It's not about what do I get from them? It's what am I giving to them? And everything shifted in me when I realized I couldn't do this. I don't have to know. I just have to give. And every time I've given, I've always gotten more than I've given. It's really hard to out give people like, so I think that's when I shifted everything I realized, um, whenever I can find an opportunity to give or when people would call me and ask for help from my book, like, which is amazing. I'm you get people reaching out to you. I would get on the Skype. I'll jump on a call.

Speaker 2: 29:44 I'd love it. If they like you, you want to talk to me? I'm like, of course, like I want you read my book. Like, and they're always encouraged. Like I can't believe you did that. Yeah. But I think that's, that's what shifted in me is that I could win at this game. If I stay a giver, stay a servant and not try to figure out everything on my own. And from that point forward, I kept investing in myself because I was like, gosh, this is a risk. I can't see any returns yet. But after the first day I went and I started getting clients for business. I didn't even know I had someone else basically created the business for me by saying, well, you coach me. Yeah. I think that's, that's the place I kind of stay in when I go to anywhere.

30:18 Hmm. So, so it would be pretty safe to say that if you never went that day, life could be a little bit different. Right?

Speaker 2: 30:23 Know, Oh, I'd still be in teaching. Yeah, for sure. I'd be dreaming about, I'd probably read every entrepreneur book that would have come out. Right. Uh, I would have probably stacked up more books. I could have written, um, I just taking action to your point is the number one thing you have to do. Cause sometimes you are going to fail by taking action, but you, you can't think that not doing anything will actually get you somewhere. So that moment changed my life. I mean, it really does make a difference when you take that action.

30:54 Yeah. All right. Let's get into, uh, the people that you are helping and why, why pretty much you think, and I think you you've said this to me in the past, I'm pretty sure is that everyone's got something to share something to give when a lot of people are like, I don't have anything to give, you know, like I've been in corporate for so long. And what would you say to that person? That's like at this point in their life and who knows? I mean, as we change as we evolve and I think my father was spot on every 10 years, your mind changes, right? Like what would you, what kind of advice would you give to someone that's like, you know, I just don't know what I'm going to do with my life. I mean, even with now, everything that's happening in the world with the virus and all of that stuff, it's really shook people, you know, and said, Hey, you know, this career that you were going after is no longer there, or it's look at how fragile things are. I don't want to keep doing that. I want to do this. What would you say to that person that might be listening?

Speaker 2: 31:54 Yeah. That person who's listening. If you're, if you're sitting there thinking, well, who am I to write that, you know, I could write about this, but someone's already done that. Um, I think people miss their opportunity to be themselves be unique. So you're not the only one that talks about branding or the things that you teach. I'm certainly not the only book, coach or person that helps people publish. But what happens is people mistake, uh, content for credibility. So we're all selling sunshine as creators. Like everyone, there's nothing new. We're creating. Um, there's ample sunshine. You walk outside, it's free. You know, you can say I'm selling sunshine and draw a circle on the rousing here. By my sunshine. The guy next to me is like, well, I might have circles. I have more sunshine. And it just sort of seems ridiculous. But, but when I was a kid, I got, I got one of those science kits.

Speaker 2: 32:46 And then it was like a little magnifying glass. Oh yeah, it was cool. Cause you could see things up close. But the other thing is you can burn things like I was able to catch leaves on fire and burn my friend's leg. Right. And I, unfortunately I burned some ants. I probably owe some karma. But the coolest thing about that is the normally, you know, the sun barely warms your hand, but with a magnifying glass, it hyper focuses in ignites. And that's amazing. But most people misunderstand. The point of that. The lesson learned here is that you are the magnifying glass. You are your uniqueness. The way you see the world is what gets it to hyper-focus and ignite. It's not the sunshine. It's not the content. It's not what you're teaching. It's you, if you can figure out what makes you unique, what, why you see the world differently?

Speaker 2: 33:34 Because you were born the first in your family or you're the youngest or the oldest or your, you went to college or you didn't go to college. All those things make you unique. And sometimes we forget that. And as we heard Pat Flynn say, and I've heard Ray, Edward say, you can't read the label from inside of the bottle. You don't realize how amazing you are. And so you think you're average and that's a misunderstanding that we have. We're not unique. And that how we say it won't matter, but that's truly the way that people can be stand out in any niche or any, any places your, your view of the world can change everything. And that's what I encourage people to do is think about that. So that when you're going to write a book or start a brand, you're building on a foundation, that's uniquely you not based on the thing you're producing.

34:15 Hmm. I love the analogy of the sun and then the magnifying glass. And that, that right there just gave me a great visual. It's like, it's like you said, like, you can look at sunshine. I'm looking right outside right now. And I see it's on the sidewalk and it's beautiful and everything. But man, if I take a magnifying glass, I can make that a lot hotter and a lot more focused. And if we do that, whether it's even on things that we focus ourselves on, or if it's just us bringing the focus to people in a certain way, like we are the magnet

Speaker 2: 34:51 Glass, I love that analogy.

34:53 And it makes so much sense because it's so true, right? Like we all think, you know, why, why would anyone want to listen to me? Or why would anyone want to read my blog post or my whatever. Right? Because you have your own unique spin. You have your own analogies, your thoughts, your methodology, whatever. And you know, like a lot of people will say, Scott, I've heard this so many times. It's kind of funny. They're like Scott, you could sell me a surfboard. Right? You're just your energy. If you showed up with a surfboard, you never surfed before you said, man, you got to look at this thing, your, your energy and excitement would get me to want to buy it right now. You could use that, you know, negatively also. But you know, we're going to choose it for good, but I'm just saying like, it's how you show up.

35:40 And if you are very passionate about something and you believe in something, I believe that that is something that you should do. And you know, there's some people that are just building a business for the money, but there's a lot of people that once they get the money, they're like, okay, that was good. But now I want to do something that has more meaning. Right. I want to do something that actually serves, not just the people I'm serving, but also serves me internally because we want to serve at another level. And I mean, Tony Robbins talks about that about all of the different components that make us thrive. Right. And I think that's, that's a big one.

Speaker 2: 36:15 Yeah.

36:15 Yeah. So the one thing I want to bring up here before we do wrap up is there is something that you did at the mastermind when we're together and when we were all going around and it's very, it's very easy to be sitting around in a mastermind with like eight, 10 people and, and you have one person in the hot seat and then everyone's going around the room and they're, you know, they're giving their advice, their tips they're trying to help. Right. And I remember you said, you know, timeout for a minute here, let's do, we're going to do something different. And you started talking about this instead of like giving like the strategy or the advice it was to ask questions. And you had said, I want you to, to wonder, right. You kept coming up with this thing. I want you to speak to that. Cause that was really important for me. That was powerful for me. Um, can you speak to that? Yeah. I think if anyone's been a part of a mastermind

Speaker 2: 37:14 And maybe the, remember the original principles of a mastermind, it's, it's a group think concept. It's not just a bunch of people giving advice. It actually has very little to do about advice. Um, but when people, unfortunately, people don't really, I think this has a lot to do with that. I was an educator study that art of understanding what things are it's mastermind's job is to allow you to borrow the thinking minds of the people there. Um, but the best thinking comes from the, maybe the Socratic method is where there's better questions. There are better answers. So don't look for the answers, look for the questions. So the principle behind it is rather than rush to give advice. When someone says, Hey, I have a challenge here. I'm trying to do this. I'm trying to work on my funnel. For example, from my program, people watch in to say what they think needs to happen.

Speaker 2: 38:02 The truth is the person probably has the answer within them. They're either stuck, afraid, a little confused, lost in the weeds, all those things. They need clarity. They need help seeing beyond those things and the things that help is asking curious questions and not jumping to advice. So getting clear and probing deeper. So what's the reason behind their dilemma, their challenge, and allowing them to work their way through. It helps everybody in the mastermind, not just the person giving advice, because if you're an advice giver you, what are you getting by giving advice? But if you're a question you learn, that's when you also get value in something called a mastermind. And I think that's the thing that I try to help people with who are running these things. And some people get it, some people don't. And I thought that group did an exceptional job of like getting it. So that's the whole point of it. Again, the greater things come from questions, then, then do answers. Yeah,

38:54 You're right though. You're all sitting there thinking to yourself, Oh, maybe if you try this and maybe if you try that and maybe if you do this and we're really going to then overwhelm them with everything that they can do, but really have them come up with the answer on their own and really asking them questions. Like I wonder, you know, and, and from the

Speaker 2: 39:11 Air we're asking the question, we're not actually saying you should try this. I thought that was interesting. And that stuck with me. So I,

39:19 I appreciate that. And I thank you for that. I, I learned something just from that one session just to

Speaker 2: 39:23 About how to listen more and ask questions and let them do more of the exploring. Right? So many of us disguise our advices questions too, and we don't realize we're doing it. We think we're good listeners and ask good questions. This is, I always presume I'm not a good listener. That way I can entertain the fact that I need to try harder. So just always assume you're not a good listener. Um, mainly cause you've never been trained to be a good listener to anybody who says they have, I wanna, I want to talk with them and I'll tell you why in a minute, but consider yourself not a very good listener and you'll become better every time. But the thing is what I'll say, Oh, have you tried this question, Mark, which is advice, disguise as a question. It's not a question. It's basically you giving them advice. So you sound a little better. So be wary of that too. In your own words, if you're giving advice, that's disguised as a question because that's really not a curiosity thing. That's that's you wanting to know if they've tried something you believe they should try?

40:22 How would you rephrase that? Give, give us an example.

Speaker 2: 40:24 Yeah. So let's say somebody is building a funnel. Let's say somebody, you see something obvious. Maybe you think if they just did a better lead magnet, it would make their funnel. So rather than say, have you tried a lead magnet changing your lead magnet, which is a leading question to say, here's the advice you would say? What are the ways in which you've had people to opt in your list already and then would say, well, this, this and this thing, like, so which of those work better? Like, well, I don't know. I've never checked actually. Which one do you get more excited about? Like, you're just asking questions to figure out where they're going and made this, like, you know what? I don't even like lead magnet. Oh, okay. Here's the dilemma. If I would have told them goodbye, then I realized their resistance is they don't like them, me giving them the suggestion. They should have one won't fix that. Right, right.

41:11 Yeah. You almost identified the problem that they're, they're just, they're just doing the lead magnet to do the lead med because they've been told that that's what they should do. But in reality,

Speaker 2: 41:19 If they're, if they're doing

41:22 And for the wrong reasons, then that might be the reason why it's not working. So correct. Not saying you shouldn't do it. It's just saying like, Oh, I just kind of identified maybe the reason

Speaker 2: 41:30 It's not working because I didn't put enough attention in into it. Cause I'm not that

41:34 Excited about it.

Speaker 2: 41:34 Right. Exactly. And they've solved their own problem and by you asking questions. Right.

41:39 Right. No, I love that. That's that's awesome. All right. Well, this has been awesome. Uh, again, I I'd love to have you back on again, even just get more into the psychology stuff. I know you're brilliant at that stuff, man. Digging into the minds of people and just doing it in a way that is so helpful. Um, what I would like to ask you though, is how, how is business now for you with, with this whole virus thing? And I guess like, what are you excited about right now? Yeah. You know, in a time that's crazy.

Speaker 2: 42:12 It is crazy. It's crazy in the sense that we don't know when this might change or if it will change, it's just the, how the life will be. And I don't know me who knows for us the business is thriving because people have more time at home to write books. They're not spitting out discretionary money, traveling or buying things or being more cautious. But entrepreneurs and leaders know that, look, this is a good time to build my brand right now and get, get, you know, spend these X amount of six months working on a book so I can launch it next year when things open up and not wait until next year and be behind. So we find that we're, we're doing quite well and people are looking for that opportunity to help clarify their message because it's not just writing a book. It's well, what's the book that's going to make a big impact.

Speaker 2: 42:53 You know, our mutual friend, Jada sounder. And I, we just finished a book together that I was helping her. She had already had a book with simple green smoothies. It's done really well on Amazon and all the Barnes and Nobles and target, but she's running a personal brand book cause she's has, has grown. And the thing about it is there's so much resistance to a book because you're wondering is this the right thing? This is like forever. It's not like a blog post I can take down. What if it's bad? What if, what if my peers think it's, you know, all these things get in your head, no matter how successful you are and successful people don't know who to turn to. They're not going to take a course right there. They're rarely going to join a group program. They're really going to want confidence from somebody who's who they can trust to say, look, I'm a kind of a mess here. I don't even know what I'm doing. That's what they need so that you can go, okay, you can be a mess, but I'm going to here, gets you through it. So a lot of our work has just amplified currently. And I think you'll just keep growing and in good times and bad times, people buy books. In fact, in bad times, people buy more books than in good times because it's a low level cost of entry into someone's world.

43:54 Now I agree with you. And I think that Ray right now, you guys are you, you you'll be thriving. And uh, again, just, uh, helping people. I think what you're doing is helping people get their message out to the world, which I think is huge. Uh, you know, it's again, like I wrote my book, not necessarily, so I could be a, you know, bestselling author, which that would be amazing, but I wrote it because it was in here. And I knew that there was something else that I wanted to leave a piece of me behind, um, you know, where my family and for people to kind of know where I came from, but also to inspire people along the way that are like, Oh wow, I'm a lot him. So he can do it. I can do it. And just give them a little bit of inspiration and hope, but also some, some tactics and strategies. Of course, we all want that as well. Yeah. So as all, man, this has been awesome. I appreciate you so much. And uh, again, let people know how they can learn a little bit more about you and just even follow what you're doing online.

Speaker 2: 44:50 Yeah. Thank you so much. If they go to authors who lead.com, they can find our podcasts where we viewed, uh, having great New York times bestselling authors and wall street journal. You're often like the reason this is so great is that people can learn behind the scenes. It's not just talking about their book. It's like, well, did you write it? Did you get help? Did you, was it painful? You know, that's a really great place to connect with us. And also you can take our quiz there, which is what's your books publishing path. It's oftentimes people want to know like, do I self publish? Do I choose to publish? What's the best way for me to go before they even start writing, they kind of want to know. So that quiz helps you decide, uh, another great place to go. There. It is, is to take those quizzes or join our free summit, which is@theauthorswholeadsummit.com. And they can listen to 40 authors, talk about those things and get some advice

45:35 As well. I will link everything up in the show notes as well, but guys definitely check out every, every resource that is will has a, just a great guy and a, just a great company and really just doing good in the world. So again as well, thank you so much, man. I appreciate you. And we'll get you back on the show in the future. I promise,

Speaker 2: 45:54 I look forward to thank you so much for having me. It's awesome.

45:57 All right guys, like I said, it's always, always awesome sitting down and jamming with my good friend Zelle and I wasn't kidding. Right? Like the guy is smart. The guy takes risks and the guy's an open book. He actually helps people write books, but you get what I'm saying, right. Just a great guy. And I always always learn something whenever I listened to a Zol or if I'm in the room with a Zelle and watching him really work his magic. So you may want to go back and listen to that one again, or just go look up Azul and I'll have everything linked up in the show notes. You can find that by heading over to brand creators.com forward slash eight 79. But I do just want to highlight this before we wrap this up officially there's things that are happening in your life right now that are preparing you for the next thing.

46:54 And like I said, in that interview, my father taught me years ago that your mind changes every 10 years. And I believe that is true, but I also believe you as a person change every 10 years. And what you're doing right now is preparing you in teaching you for where you're going next. So my question to you is where are you heading next? And maybe you want to ask yourself some of those questions that is all pointed out and you can have a little bit more clarity on what you're doing, because guess what? You can do anything you put your mind. And I think it's proof that just by listening to that interview with Azule, you can do anything you want to, as long as you put your mind to it and you take some calculated risks, of course, but you do things that aren't necessarily always comfortable, right?

47:44 If you believe that you want to share something or you want to do something, you want to start a different business, just because you have more passion around that one, there's nothing stopping you. You can do it. All right. So guys, that's gonna wrap up this episode. Like I said, the show notes can be found@brandcreators.com forward slash eight 79 until next time remember as always I'm here for you. I believe in you and I am rooting for you, but you have to, you have to come up, say it with me, say it loud, say it. Proud. Take action. Have an awesome amazing day. And I'll see you right back here on the next episode. Now let's rock your brand.

Scott Voelker

Over the years I’ve helped thousands of people TAKE ACTION to UNLOCK their true potential on building their ultimate freedom business, by developing the skills to make them resilient, confident and FUTURE PROOF. I’ve clocked my 10,000 hours over the years working in the trenches myself and helping others build and grow their brands. I know the power in TAKING ACTION better than anyone and I’ve seen people lives changed as a result of it...including my OWN!