In a world where most people are selfish, one of the best characteristics a person can have is being selfless. Demonstrating such trait is Travis Rosser, author of You, Inc. and co-founder of Kajabi, an all-in-one online membership and course platform that has helped customers redefine themselves as experts, free themselves from the traditional notions of a job, and live more fulfilled lives. Using his wealth for the betterment of the world, Travis reveals that doing things that have a significant impact on people’s lives and achieving milestones in his journey fuels him to do more. Learn more about the good work that Travis is doing in the world and how he’s changed a lot of lives in this insightful interview.
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Using Wealth To Change The World with Travis Rosser
Money, Beliefs, And Making A Difference
I am super pumped. I met a gentleman at a fantastic event and we just hit it off. We ended up doing some cool things together. We flew through the air in Las Vegas together and then we ended up going to a great show, sitting in the first row. This show is going to be primarily focused around business. We’ve done a lot of shows and it ends up going towards the passion and the love and the talent of the person that I happened to be speaking with. Travis has done some amazing things. Most of you that are in business, just Google the name, it was Kajabi. He’s one of the Cofounders of Kajabi.
One of the great things that we do with this show is we are trying to inform the audience and deliver value. It’s not necessarily about any of us being like, “Look at what we did.” It’s more around the idea that if you’re interested in business, if you’re interested in a unique conversation around the idea of politics, if you’re interested in vitality from a perspective of having more energy to be able to do your own life and to talk about philanthropic and charitable giving. I think that’s in the soul of pretty much everybody that’s out there. This is about a unique perspective so that you can apply these things to your life and improve your own position. One of the greatest things that I love about Travis is that when I asked him the question about what he had done, a lot of people get in and they’re like, “We did this and I’m living in this big house and I’m doing all this stuff.” The very first thing that Travis said to me was, “We’ve helped people make over $600 million.”
Aside from the time we spent together and the meals that we shared and that stuff, learning that him and his wife were very servant-minded, very humble people for all of that they’ve done. The fact that that’s one of the very first things that he would say he’s proud of, speaks to the conversation that we’re going to have. Also the book that he wrote, You Inc. The book is literally, genuinely, it’s even titled You, it’s about you. You’ve been married for three years to your beautiful wife. I’ve met her. She’s hilarious, beautiful, talented and all that stuff. You’ve got two kids. One of the other things that I love that you said was you didn’t have any contacts when you got into business. You’ve spent twenty years, you’ve been doing software. I’m taking away everything that you could say about yourself.
A lot of people dabble in different things. I think that’s a big problem and a big challenge. You dabble when you don’t have a specific outcome that you want to achieve. You dabble when you are afraid of failing. You dabble when you’re not committed to a specific outcome. One of the things I love about you is that you decided, “I’m going into software.” You spent twenty years in it. You paid your dues. You came from cubicle land, then you ended up going out and creating this thing that helped people make $600 million from directly using your product. That’s a phenomenal story. I want the audience to give you a great big warm welcome. Follow him, we’ll give you some contact details. I’m proud to introduce my friend, Travis Rosser.
Thank you. I am honored to be on the show. It’s a cool opportunity to talk to people and make them realize that they have a business inside of them. My number one passion is to make everybody realize that there’s a business that they could start.
Talk to us a little bit about your journey. Everybody that’s reading this is somewhere on the spectrum. There are many people that are out there saying, “There’s one-size-fits-all scenario,” but there’s genuinely a spectrum of you might be thinking about a business. You might not even be thinking about a business right now. You might just be going to a 9 to 5. You might be just looking for a job. All the way from, “I don’t have a job” to the other end of the spectrum which is, “I have a successful business or I have multiple businesses.” You’re going to grab some value. The path that you walked, how did you get your start?
I like how you said, “I was focused but I wasn’t that focused.” I just happened to go down a path. It started since I was a kid. I had parents that had normal middle-class jobs. They were fixed paychecks, they were both teachers and I watched them live paycheck to paycheck. It planted a seed inside of me like, “I don’t want to live like that. I don’t want to be stuck with only a certain amount of income.” Ironically, I’ve found myself after college in my 30s in a cubicle and I’m getting paid great to build software, but I was stuck with the fixed paycheck again. It was then when I started trying things. Back then, Audible had come out. I started reading all kinds of books. When I read books like Rich Dad, Poor Dad and The 4-Hour Work Week, my mind just exploded. I was like, “I need to be doing more than just working in this cubicle.”
Back then I tried everything you can think of to make extra money from selling junk in my garage on eBay to building websites and flipping them on eBay, to doing additional consulting. Back then we called it moonlighting. Now they call it side hustling. I started trying things. I always wanted to find a way to make more money because I looked at my world of cubicles and I thought if I get promoted, I’m going to go to that corner office. I get paid a little bit more. I have to work a lot more and be stressed out. I don’t want that. It set me on this journey to figure out how can you make money, especially using the internet. I eventually found guys like Frank Kern and Brendon Burchard and Jeff Walker, these guys that were doing information marketing. That was the beginning of the path that led me to have the opportunity to build Kajabi. That’s the quick version that got me to where I am now.
You mentioned money a couple of times. You wanted to make more money. I’ve avoided talking about money because it’s a sensitive subject. A lot of times people when they speak of it, they’re speaking of it in a way that, “You should be living in a bigger house.” To me, that’s such a douchey way to approach the concept of money. I dug into it a little bit. I had multiple conversations. One of the things that I realized is that the idea of money is it’s a spectrum. There is all the way at the one end, which is money’s the root of all evil, to people that are very pragmatic with it that say, “Money is a tool for me to be able to advance the world that I want to live in.” You stated in a non-emotional way. A lot of this comes from how we’re raised and the outside influences. What do you believe about making money?
Money is a result of putting energy towards something that has value. At a job, you can only do that to a certain level. You only have so many hours, you can only advance so high, but when you look at the world on a larger scale, what if you could treat something that could affect more people? What if it could affect people while you’re sleeping? I always wanted to think that way. Eventually, there were no restrictions on how much money I could make. To me, money is freedom. Money is new opportunity. Money is eventually your opportunity to make a dent in the world and make a real change. If you can bring in enough money into your family, into your household, it changes everybody around you. It changes the future of your kids. They can afford to go to college.
The reality is I saw my parents struggle and it was because they had these limited paychecks, they had limited mindsets. They definitely believe that money was the root of all evil. I think money is just a number on the scoreboard. I believe we were made by a creator and that creator wants us to create. When we don’t create, we’re not following the way that he or she made us. To me, money is something that we create. It doesn’t make you happy. When you have it, you then have an opportunity to do more. I like being on that side of it because I’ve been on the other side when you don’t have it and it sucks.
It’s interesting that you said the creator because I’m not a big religious guy and I know you are. As a foundation of who you are, that’s a big piece of you. I think that there’s something bigger than me out there. I use the word, God. I’ve also used the terminology Universe in that perspective. One of the things, the fundamental pieces, because I decided to do research. You get interested in something, you dive into it and you want to know more about it. It was the same thing for me in religion. One of the conclusions that I came to is that whatever it is that created us, even if you believe were some universal accident, that there’s something bigger out there and that thing in all mythology, in the Bible, and in all teachings across the board, that entity is creative. To use your words. This is interesting. I’ve never spoken about this publicly.
[bctt tweet=”Money is a result of putting energy towards something that has value. ” via=”no”]
One of the instances that’s true is that we’re all of that bigger entity. We’re of God. We come from Jesus. Whatever belief system you come from, I’m zero judgment but we are of that entity. One of the greatest things is the universe continues to grow. We know that it’s growing. That means that there’s an all-powerful creator that’s continuing to create. If we’re of that, why wouldn’t we understand, as a fundamental belief, that we are creative? We can create our own universe around us. It sounds to me like that’s your belief and what you’ve executed in your own life is that, “I’ve got this entity,” which I wish I would have had it when I was younger. I came across this a little bit later in my foundation. Talk to me a little bit about your parents because my foundation is my adoptive father was a bad guy. He went to prison when I was seventeen for attempted murder of me and my mom. I learned a certain way to look at the world from him and from that deal and I had to unlearn all of that stuff. I’m always interested in people that have a decent upbringing. What were your parents like? What was your upbringing like?
I grew up very middle class in the middle of California. Central California is where all the farms are. I grew up on a farm. My dad had a twenty-acre farm. He was a teacher, a football coach and also a part-time farmer. He was very old school. He was very all about hard work, putting his nose to the grind and he’s working super hard. My mom was a kindergarten teacher, so she’s very sweet and everything’s kindergarten to her. They were good people but they had such limiting beliefs. Their beliefs were that we just hope and pray. Hope and pray was their whole world. I had a lot of that in me, which I do consider a lot of that good. However, now I know how much important action is beyond just hoping and praying. Hoping and praying gives you belief and it allows you to know you can do the thing, but you still got to move forward.
In my world, every Saturday was get to work, go outside, work on the farm. Everything was about sports from my dad and performance. I was a kid who stuttered my entire childhood. For ten years of my life, I could not talk. I would not be able to talk like this from about nine years old until I was about eighteen. Then it started going away and pretty soon it was gone. In my world, I sat and I thought a lot. I was outside all the time on the farms. I was dreaming about life and I was obviously looking at things that were growing and that were part of creation. I witnessed all the seasons and how important the seasons are. We had a vineyard, so in the winter everything dies. Things die and we literally go and we cut off so many branches, good branches.
I have so many farming stories. By cutting off those good branches, that vine produce more fruit the next year. I had tons of those kinds of stories that were pounded in my head. When I turned eighteen, I went and worked on this other farmer’s property. He’s a wise guy. He would plant seeds in our mind every morning, then he would leave and he worked for nine hours. I learned so many lessons about nature and about God. I didn’t realize back then, but they were about business. That was the childhood I had. It was dreaming about something else. I didn’t want to stutter. That was the first dream. I didn’t want to be trapped like my parents. I wanted to do great things in my life. Just being a dreamer. That’s what I do with my kids. I have an eleven and a sixteen-year-old. One of them wants to play for the Ducks and the other one wants to be a movie director. I’m always trying to encourage them to dream. Plant the seeds of dreaming right now and stay in that mode. That’s what being an entrepreneur is, you have dreams and then you go after them. That’s the secret weapon right there.
I love that mentality and I love the fact that you connected the word action to it. To dream, that book came out, The Secret. Even some of the authors who I’ve gotten to know, they miss that fundamental piece of putting it into action. The two that I’m thinking of specifically then said, “Here’s the mistake,” then they tie it together in their current teachings. It’s interesting because you and I come from very different backgrounds. Yet we’ve ended up in a similar place in life and business, in belief systems. I believe that there are principles that when you learn them, I learned them later in life. I learned them because I wanted to be a better example for my children.
My first son changed my life when he was born. I got out of dealing drugs and collecting money and all this stuff that I used to be involved in instantaneously. One of the things that happened with me was I got beat up a lot by my adoptive father. I would be locked in my room until my face would heal and I had a Bible. In that Bible, something popped into my head. That same week I got stabbed in the chest is the same week that my son was born. It was that sins of the father. For those of you that are concerned, I don’t know the numbers behind it, but there’s a passage in the Bible. It talks about sins of the father were born onto the children.
That essentially said to me that my actions were now going to affect and impact in a negative fashion if I continued the life that I was leading. It would continue to impact negatively throughout generations of my family. I wanted to stop that. I’m glad that you told us your father and how important because to hear that makes the approach not easy, but easier because you’re ingrained. I’m sure you’re doing the same, like you said with your kids. You’re encouraging them as opposed to putting a weight on their back and having it weigh them down for something that maybe they’ll figure out on their own or they’re going to repeat that over and over again. What’s something that you learn when you’re a kid that you do the opposite of now that you teach your children the opposite of now?
Following the norm. My parents are very religious, so it was always like make sure you do these things so that you’re not sinning, you’re not going to go to hell. Make sure you go to school, get good grades, then get a good job. That was the path that they were taking me down. That path led to desperation. I eventually did finish school. It took me a long time. I flunked out. A lot of things happened. I finished school, then I got the job. I’m in the cubicle and I’m like, “Is this life?” It was depressing and it set me into a crazy depression.
I had also followed them and picked the first person to get married and I did what I thought I was supposed to do, which then made me a zombie. Sitting in traffic in Southern California and completely miserable because I followed the path that I thought I was supposed to, that I thought was modeled after me. I didn’t realize that I could go out and create the life that I want. I have that power. I don’t just pray and hope that one day it happens, but I can start journaling it down and visualizing it and taking steps and making changes. Back then, I didn’t know that. My parents made it seem like this is the world. You’ve got a job. Make sure you budget your money. It was depressing to me.
This show is so valuable to people because that’s the stuff that most people skip over. Most of the people that are reading this have gone through that period of time or maybe square in the middle of it or they may encounter it on their way. I want to get into your book. I’m anxious to get there but I think setting the table for everybody about that timeframe. You get out of school, you get married, you get a job. I understand that path very well. Tell me a little bit about what you did to cope when you started. You fall into a depression. What were you doing to cope with it?
Eating too much, looking at porn all the time and escaping into that, which is weird that that happened. That was something that I felt funny because I’m a guy, porn happens but nothing like when in the past. That was such a part of my life that it was like I tried to escape that. I’d eat too much. It was a lot of trying to escape and huge depression. Considering suicide when I had healthy kids. I was married and I was miserable and I didn’t realize that. I had a good job. I owned a home, but I was miserable. It was a dark time, for sure. I look at other people in the suburbs and people are still living that way and I can’t believe that. It blows my mind that people choose to stay in that space and not make a change.
That’s so powerful. I’m letting that sink in a little bit for our audience because the main thing that you said there that’s so powerful is that people try to escape. There are so many routes of escape, there are so many vehicles of escape that people sometimes they’re like, “How come I’m not advancing?” Porn is a big deal. That’s a way for men to escape and to not have any accusations made against them and to avoid the interaction with a real female, which is difficult for all of us men. It’s never, “I’ve got this interaction with my wife or spouse or significant others.”
I was avoiding that. I was avoiding the spouse. It’s funny because we went to Tony Robbins and he talks about all those human drivers. You can find those drivers in the weirdest places, even like porn, which is crazy.
It’s escaping. That’s something for everybody to think about. Just sit down and write the things down that you know you’re escaping into. I have a specific escape now that I chose, which is to escape away from all the people and the stuff that I’m doing. I go to the movies by myself and enjoy a movie completely by myself with my phone off. I found that was a lot healthier vehicle for me because I think everybody needs to escape every now and again. You’ve got to recharge. Especially with men specifically, it’s testosterone. Women recharge by talking and men recharge by not talking, which is a lot of the conflict. Choosing your escape and what you’re going to do is very important. If you are radically chasing your dream. This is where I want to transition a little bit because once you figure out how you’re escaping, you start to look at the chunk of time than it takes up. It wastes a lot of time.
When we look at our real exchange in this world, it’s not money. It’s time. It’s an equalizer. You have 24 hours. Anybody that is reading this, you have the same 24 hours that they do. It’s what do you do with that 24 hours. It could be going into a job. As we transition into what I think is a very dynamic blessing for the world that you bring, which is your book and your thought processes behind it, is that when you figure out whether you don’t have a job, whether you’re working at a job that you hate, whether you own your own business, whether you own several businesses, whether you’re in place in life where now you’re going to pour yourself into philanthropic-type stuff and giving back, one of the key components has to be what is it that you’re chasing. Get very specific about that.
I used one of the bigger examples, and I want to get an example from you too, is that when we are working on the consulting side of our business at Anton Jae. We went in and a lot of what we do is gamification. You can’t gamify a business until you understand why people are playing the game. We do a lot of that work in the very beginning in working with a company and we sit down and it’s always like this. We say, “Why are you working here? If we could give you Mickey’s magic wand and wave it over your position, what would that produce for you?” The immediate answer that everybody gives back is, “I want to provide for my family or I want to be a good employee.” They give you the answer that’s on the surface that they think you want to hear. We don’t want to hear that. We’re looking for deeper.
[bctt tweet=”The internet is the great equalizer; it removes all myths.” via=”no”]
What is it that if we could help you, because if we don’t know what emotionally moves them, how can I build the job to be able to provide that for them? That’s the whole key behind gamification. One of the most impactful ones, we were doing this conversation and it was difficult. I was like, “Tell me,” he’s like, “I want to send my wife to Hawaii.” “No, you don’t. I know you do, but no, you don’t. That’s not the thing.” “I want to do a good job here.” “I know you do, but that’s not the thing.” He stopped and he sat back and a tear started to come down his face and he said, “I’d like to take my boy to the Final Four and I’d like to go to the NBA finals,” and just weeping. We have no idea. Everybody in the room was crying and we don’t even know why we’re crying.
It was so deep and finally, when everybody stopped blabbering, I said, “Why is that so impactful for you?” He said, “My dad, for years, wanted to take me to the NBA finals, wanted to take me to the Final Four and could never afford it.” He says, “It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do. Here I am, 45, 46 years old and I still haven’t done it. If I don’t achieve that, I feel like I’m letting my dad down. I feel like I’m letting my son down.” He’s wearing this mantle of something that he wants to do that he hadn’t allowed himself to admit to himself because he’s very giving. Most people are very giving people. He hadn’t allowed himself because then what if he failed? That’s another big piece of it. “What if I fail? What if I can’t do it? What if I’m not smart enough? What if I’m not pretty enough? What if I’m not handsome enough? What if I don’t speak the right words?” We took that and we built that in and we were able to figure out his job and how he could achieve that. That opens up so much. Give me some powerful story for you that hits people in the gut or hit you in the gut. From the emotional standpoint. For you to be able to get where you’ve gotten and do the things that you’ve done. People that have never achieved the level that you’ve achieved, they think, “He’s lucky.”
No, not at all.
Some people may be born with great resources, but it’s what you do with those resources. The example that was given to me is what happens to most people that win the lottery? They’re broke three years later. It has nothing to do with the money. It has to do with what you’re doing with that tool in your own life. Are you growing it or are you shrinking it? What’s the emotional kick for you that puts you through those dark days, those challenges, the things that you’ve had with partners, the things that you’ve had with a job, a bad marriage? What was the thing that you saw in the future and where are you headed?
It was always about growth and expansion. When I was a kid, it was like, “I don’t want to stutter one day. I don’t want to struggle like my parents.” It was never about more money, even though money is part of that. It was never about buying that house. It was always about having these milestones that I was heading after then I would get there. I’m like, “I’m going to push myself even further. I’m going to go here.” Some of the biggest and most significant ones was when I turned 40. I am 46 now. My dad lost the farm that we grew up on. He financially made some bad mistakes. The next thing you know, he’s signed these papers. He basically sold the farm for pennies because of the debt it had. I’m like, “What happened? How did you do that?” It killed me.
For the next couple of years, I’m like, “I’ve got to grow my business. I’ve got to do this.” I was able to go back and buy this incredible farm that my parents live on to this day. Those are the kinds of things that drive me, is to have the freedom to do powerful things for my family, to do powerful things for other people. Sometimes I go to events and I meet people that will walk up to me and say, “I’m a millionaire because of you, because of Kajabi,” and that’s powerful. I want to do more of that. I want to do things that I know affect other people in a great way because it gives you so much fuel. It’s way more powerful than money in your bank account, than a nice car or whatever. It’s about the opportunity to give back in a way that changes people’s lives. I was desperately wanting that as a kid. It was more about the stuttering than it was about money. I always want to go back and find ways to help that kid and these are ways I feel like I’m doing it.
That’s beautiful and you are. I remember we would have a very small amount of money for back to school clothes. That was a big driver for me. We would get hand me downs and we’d go to Red Cross and all those places that thank God they existed. I would go and kids would make fun of me and all this other stuff when I would go. I remember one year, my grandma and grandpa, they said, “You do your own shopping this year. Do your own shopping.” I had enough money to get a brand-new Denver Broncos T-shirt, a brand-new pair of pants and a brand-new pair of tennis shoes. They’re like, “You spent all your money,” and I go, “I don’t care. I’m going to walk in on day one wearing brand new clothes for the first time in my life.” Since then, that’s been a driver for me in my own life, then it switches. Those people that have listened to me before will have heard this. They will understand what I just said and my belief system is in perfect alignment. I believe that we’re put on this Earth to become as good as we possibly can. That’s learning, that’s reading books, that’s going to seminars. You’re talking to a gentleman here that built a multimillion-dollar company that went to Tony Robbins to further his education.
A lot of times people think that when you’re at that level, you’re like, “I’m done.” That’s when you start drinking and you lose that passion. When you lose that passion, you lose it for life. I believe that we’re put on this Earth to become as good as we can be for the purpose, the inherent intrinsic purpose of serving other people. That’s my simple belief. Religion aside, all of those are so that every day I’m challenging myself and then I know that true joy and happiness comes from serving other people. What you said was there was a period of time where you had to go to work and you’re like, “I’m getting the farm back.” Then you went to work and you made that happen. I’m sure that that’s a big component of your book and what you teach people is have something that lights you up like that. You’ll surprise yourself of what you’re capable of and then you can never go backwards. If I was able to buy a farm in a couple of years’ time, what else am I capable of?
Something I think about these things too that I want to do. When I was a kid and I was on the farm, I was not only talking to God like, “Please help me speak.” I would think about if Henry Ford had the ideas he had and Edison had the ideas he had, “God, could you give me ideas? Do these ideas come from you? If you could create or you inspire those ideas, can you give me an idea?” This is coming from a kid that struggled in school and I was terrible. I think about that to this day, about constantly trying to tune in to what God is trying to tell me and then to be brave enough to go do it. Every time I’ve done that in the past, powerful things happened. I’m constantly trying to figure how can I hear God better, like going to Tony Robbins. That was a great way to shed a bunch of baggage I was dealing with and taking chances in reading more books. All these things allow you to do these things that are beyond where you are.
I love that because you’re leading by example. I think that’s missing in the marketplace. The whole reason this exists is because there were so many fakers out there that are building, “Call me up. Sign up for this, that and the other. You’re going to be a multi-bazillionaire.”
They’re everywhere. They drive me crazy.
They’re literally everywhere. They’re in front of a helicopter that they rented for $125 for the hour to fly around Maui. We’re not here to tear people down, but we are here to say that the reason why people like Travis exist and he has a quiet personality when you’re out with him. He’s not rambunctious. He’s not trying to get attention drawn on him. Those are the kinds of people that you want to seek out in a crowd. You want to find the person that is speaking the least because they probably know the most. They’re probably most willing to help you. That’s what I have found to be true about Travis, just the little bit that I’ve gotten to know about him and the people that you hang out with and a couple of people that I talked to that knew you before we did the show.
You’re very well-respected. Take us to your book and the premise behind it. You’ve already told us the premise and I want to set the stage just a little bit better. In this day and age, we’re living in an era where we have one million more jobs than we have people to do them that’s available to them. We have the lowest amount of unemployment in the history of the world and we have the most opportunity available to us. You have the two warring tribes that the world’s coming to an end and the world is perfect and neither one of them is right. What this show does is we talk about the messy middle, which is one side or the other.
When you’re looking at building You Inc., when he starts to talk and starts to give you some of his feedback, I want you to listen because even if you are an employee, you have your own business inside of that organization. You have a business idea inside of you to step out and do your own thing, but you also own your own business in the company that you work for because you are creating value in return for cash. If you could do that better and you have a reasonably intelligent owner or CEO, they will understand if you go into their office and say, “I want to make more money and here are the things that I think that I am capable of. If I helped produce this result, will you give me part of the spoils? I would always listen to somebody like that. That’s why we built our gamification.
This is important. I want everybody to go out and buy this book. It’s on Amazon. It’s an Amazon bestseller. It’s done well because it’s practical information and something that we need to hear deeply in our hearts and our spirits right now, to be able to move you from where you are and where you want to go. Tell us a little bit about the book and you already set the table for why you believe that way. Tell us some of the key takeaways and why somebody should buy your book. What’s the information in it?
The book is called You Inc. and the idea is that everything about you could become a business. I start the book with this quote from Jay-Z where he says, “I’m not a businessman. I’m a business man.” It’s about focusing on your life as if it was a business. Just like Jason said, the things you do at your job, things you’ve been through can potentially be a business. This concept came to me as I was building Kajabi. Ironically, I was led to build Kajabi, then after I built it, I realized this movement that was happening where people were taking what they know and turning it into businesses. That’s what the book is about. It’s going to walk you through these things called the Four P’s.
[bctt tweet=”You could actually monetize the things that you love, and it is incredible.” via=”no”]
Tell everybody who doesn’t know what Kajabi is. What is Kajabi?
Kajabi is an online platform that allows you to upload video content and then plug it into a shopping cart that then will give you the power to sell this content. People are selling content on everything you can think of, from weight loss to yoga, to how to fly a helicopter, to how to get out of debt, to how to use Microsoft Excel. Everything you can think of, they’re monetizing this knowledge. We live in a world now, thanks to things like YouTube and Google, every time you need to know something, what do you do? You go and you start Googling it. You watch YouTube videos and you learn it yourself. Kajabi allows individuals to then monetize and sell that knowledge. People have made over $600 million doing this, average people going from zero to millionaire.
I’ve heard a lot of their stories. Their stories are in the book. There are twenty stories in the book of real people. In fact our good friend, Dr. V, is in the book, his story. It’s incredible. I would have these moments where I would be interviewing customers just like this and we’ve both would get goosebumps or we get teared up. That’s when I realized this is way more powerful than me building this business. There’s a movement here and it was amazing to see it happen. I’m getting goosebumps now as I talk about it because when you share what you’ve been through and what you’re good at, not only does it change your world because income starts coming in. You’re going to change other people’s world. That is powerful. The stories are incredible. They’re all in the book.
That’s why people need to read the book. Let’s tease them now. We connect that in our world, we say fall in love with the outcome of your client. A lot of people don’t do that, “I’ve got to pay my rent, I’ve got to pay this, I’ve got to pay that,” not understanding that the premise is serve first and reward later. Let’s get into some of the practical application that they can take off from this show. What is Four P’s?
Let’s go straight with that serve first. You serve yourself first. This is how this entire process starts. You’re going to start with you. You’re going to focus on what you did. These are the Four P’s is your profession, like your job. People have made money doing Microsoft Excel, how to fly helicopters, getting out of debt, all kinds of things like that. The next thing is passion. Are you good at playing golf? Are you good at flying drones? There are even ladies, they made $800,000 doing calligraphy. Teaching you how to do calligraphy. The things you love, you could actually monetize and it’s incredible. The last two are problems and pain. This is where the real kicker happens. This is where the magic happens because our pain and our problems, the fact that you’re reading this, you’ve overcome those things. You’re maybe in the middle of it and you’re dealing with it, but you’re learning how to live and maybe live beyond those things.
What if you could take the things you learn and share them with other people? That’s happened where people in the book have shared getting over a divorce, dealing with massive back pain and avoiding back surgery. Being a professional singer and losing your voice. People have learned how to rehabilitate their voice and then they share it with other people. There’s even a guy who teaches you how to start a landscaping service. He’s number one. If you search how to do a landscaping service on YouTube, Keith Kalfas, he’s going to come up. Keith has told me stories about how all he does is teach you how to start your business, but people have contacted him and said, “Keith, your videos literally saved my life. I was in that moment in my life and for whatever reason I’m on YouTube. I watch your silly video and it changed everything.” That’s the real power of all of this. When we take what we’ve known and what we’ve experienced and share it with someone else. Powerful things happen.
It’s so powerful and such a deeply needed message. There’s a lot of industry out there that gets paid for us to hate each other. As we transition from business and talking about those valuable lessons into the political arena, I’m not concerned with who you support or whatever. Politically, it’s an equalizer because in business you can’t be racist. You can’t be sexist. You can’t be homophobic. Those things end up causing you problems and challenges. You can have your own beliefs about whatever you want to have but in business, you’re serving. That’s the core component that’s missing from politics. They’re out there making promises and gathering money so that they can win their re-election so that they can go out and make more promises. That’s a challenge. We now have a business guy that’s in the White House. Whatever you think about him, they’re looking at it differently.
There’s no doubt there for sure. I wish more business people were in politics. In fact, that’s how it started. If you look at our history as a country, many of the men, and unfortunately there was only men at that time that could do that because of how the country was set up, but they would come forward and they were business owners. They would come and serve, whether it was in Philly or in Washington, and they would serve to make this country better, to create a space where we could pursue happiness. It’s gotten so far off of that.
We literally fought a war to get away from a ruling class that thought they were smarter than us, that thought they could control things better than us. Now all of a sudden, because we have abdicated that responsibility to professional politicians, which is nothing more than an oligarchy, which is nothing more than a ruling class.
They make promises that then people vote based on those promises to get those free things to get them elected. That’s not a good space for everybody. Even the people that are getting the free things because eventually it’s going to run out. I’m sitting here talking about a book called You Inc., but the reality is the more freedom you have as an individual and when you’re incentivized to do great things for yourself, your family, then other people, all of society would be better if we could somehow nurture more of that and not be in the space of blaming other people, pitting groups against each other. In fact, when you’re going to the Tony Robbins stuff, you could see how easily society gets in that space of hating and blaming and putting it on other people.
The reality is when we focus on ourselves first, make myself better, fix the things that are wrong with me and then how can I help make my family better? What can I do to make them better? What about my neighborhood? How could I make that better? Then my city and keep going. With the internet, we can affect people all over the world. Unfortunately, politics doesn’t do that anymore. They only restrict us. They’re supposed to protect us and do that stuff but it’s so much about restriction. Here’s another good example of how I see politics. Politics drives me crazy. I was doing jury duty a few years ago, which in Orange County, once you do jury duty, once you’re on their radar, you’re doing it all the time.
I’m up in the Orange County State Building. It’s fourteen storeys high in Santa Ana. It’s the break and I’m looking out over the parking garage and it is filled with homeless people. There must be 500 homeless people in there. I’m sitting here like, “I’m at the Capitol of the county and they had porta-potties for them and trash cans. That’s cool, but aren’t they down there talking to them?” In California, I don’t know why it’s like this, but there are homeless people everywhere. If I was a politician, I would be down there talking to them like, “Why are you here? It’s drugs, you lost your job, it’s mental health, whatever it is.” Survey and solve. Why aren’t we doing it like that? That’s a passion for me. You talked about philanthropy. That is something both my wife and I are going to try to figure out how can we help get rid of homelessness? I think politicians in California are allowing it to happen because they know the current administration, that makes them look bad. There are many homeless people in California. I don’t understand how, why now versus other times when the economy is a lot better and it’s a lot easier to get a job.
Let’s take from the business world. You incentivize the activity that you want to see. If we keep giving money to politicians to do nothing and to solve no problems, then they’re going to do more of that. That’s why you have the big fundraisers. That’s why they’re spending three years and 342 days of it trying to raise money because we as a people have accepted it. What’s happening in Venezuela, which is a tragedy for that beautiful country? The people that were there voted that in, expecting to be given things for free. They voted it in. The people did. Now they’re trying to take it back and that ingrained power, they got all the money, they’ve got all the power, all of the guns, all of this stuff, now their people can’t fight back against it and they’re literally having to eat and kill zoo animals to feed their family. Aside from the three million that could get out of the country.
That’s the scary thing is you say they voted it in and they made that decision. There’s a part of me that worries about that, but then there’s a part of me that knows the internet is the great equalizer. No matter what the bigger sites try to do with free speech and stuff, the internet removes all myths. I believe that religion is different now than it was when I was a kid because of the internet. When I was a kid, there were three TV channels and the local newspaper and that was it. All information went to that cycle. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people here that don’t know much about anything.
As I sold my company, I was so grateful to have these checks that were massive. I bring it to the bank and the people are like, “Holy crap.” I remember I made the comment, “50% of it goes to the government.” They’re like, “What are you talking about?” I’m like, “Once you make a certain point, you start getting taxed outrageously.” This lady had never even heard of that concept before. That’s what’s hard is when someone can make a decision for everything, but they don’t know everything. I wish there was a way to where people could know more, because the more the better you’re going to choose whoever you’re going to choose when it comes to politics. The bottom line is we live in a world where most people don’t know what’s going on.
The people that follow this show, they tagged themselves the Misfit Nation. It’s a bunch of people who have messed up in their life. Then they figured it out to a certain degree and don’t want to be out there being beat up by people for the mistake that they made ten years ago or five years ago or whatever. I made the mistake, I apologized to the person that I made the mistake with, then I started to rebuild my life. We trademarked the term called guilt reparations, which let’s say you and your first wife had a problem, then you get into the business world and there is a rumor that your marriage has ended, it was terrible. Why does that become anybody else’s business? It’s guilt reparations. You made it right, however you had to make it right with your ex-wife.
[bctt tweet=”When you change your own life, then you can change everybody else’s life around you.” via=”no”]
I make it right every month when I write a check.
That’s the only person. Why should we have to apologize to anybody else because nobody else was impacted? It’s guilt reparations. We’re supposed to go back and feel guilty for something that impact you whatsoever. The idea behind that is that the Misfit Nations reading the things that you’re saying and they are educating themselves. You look at repressive regimes. Why was it illegal in this country for a period of time for women to even be able to pick up a book?
Now you’ve got the internet, now you look at repressive regimes around the world. Why don’t they want Google? Why don’t they want the internet? Why in North Korea can nobody have a computer and get that information? I was doing some work down in Africa, in Ghana and we were down there doing some stuff. I stopped along the side of the road to buy some gold from this little kid that was on the side of the road and he was pulling it out of the river and stuff like that. I was just there. I’m going to buy some gold from the kid. I was like, “How much is it?” I knew London spot on what the price was at the time for an ounce of gold. I offered him at the time it was $800. He goes, “$800?” He goes, “No, $1,200.” I’m like, “Why $1,200?” He pulled out his cell phone and he goes, “London spot price.” I’m talking in the jungle in Africa. It’s the great equalizer.
If you are ignorant now, and I’m not talking about repressive regimes where you can’t get this stuff right now, but I’m talking in America, especially in Europe, in places where freedom of information is fairly available to you and you choose to be ignorant, now that’s on you. The great opportunity is that you can go to all of these places and learn all these different things to be able to do whatever it is that you want to do to make that extra income. It’s available. The best economy in the history of mankind and womankind is happening under your nose.
What are you going to do about it? My suggestion is that you understand the great equalizer is you being able to outserve somebody at what you do well. That will provide for you and your family and be very specific about your outcome. Lastly, make sure you get the book, You Inc., because it’s going to help you with those tools along the way. I don’t push very many books. I don’t push very many people’s stuff. Everybody knows that. I believe that this is one of the greatest books that you can put in your hands if you’re thinking about moving your life forward.
Let’s talk a little bit about once you cover those bases, the hierarchy of needs that they talk about. The hierarchy of needs is a triangle, you can Google it. We’re not going to go deep into it now. Talk a little bit about once you get those bases covered. I know you’re a humble guy and you don’t want to talk specifically about what you do, how much money you give. I know that, but for the audience, talk a little bit about the experience. What drives you to give philanthropically? What does it do for you personally and what are some of the things that you’ve seen when you do give?
The biggest thing is I always want to give because I do believe that the ideas and wealth I got came from God, so I want to give wherever I can, especially when it comes to things that have to do with where I go to church. That’s important to me. The next thing is I want to give and do things that I know changes people’s lives. When we first got on, I talked to you about how I went to Africa. I first went with Saddleback church. They’re like, “You need to go to Rwanda.” I went to Rwanda and we were volunteering with this orphanage there in Rwanda. If you guys know anything about Rwanda, you know they had the huge genocide. A million people were killed in 90 days, which left hundreds of thousands of orphans in the country.
As I was on this trip, it was more about we were giving, we were doing things but I was like, “What if we could create something bigger there? A way to actually impact these kids’ lives?” At this point, they’re teenagers. They’re just getting in their twenties. We had this crazy idea that what if we built a coffee shop. It was such a dumb idea at the time. I don’t know why we thought we should do this, but we planted that seed and we’re like, “We are going to build a coffee shop here in Rwanda,” and it was right next to this university. We knew that if we could build this place that students would want to come to and we could have the local church help manage and facilitate that, then these kids could learn how to manage a business, how to manage inventory, how to do marketing, how to work with money. They could work on their English skills.
It allowed us to create the space that impacted a lot of their lives, where they went on to getting jobs in hotels. In Rwanda, a job a hotel is a great living, like being able to speak English and serve and make tips. You’re doing well there if you’re making money like that. Over three years of struggling and traveling back and forth and buying equipment and driving four hours across the jungle and trying to plug it in and the outlets are wrong and it would blow up. It was such an amazing experience to build something that impacted someone else’s life. That’s the giving I love.
That’s why when I see homelessness here, I’m like, “What’s the solution?” I can keep writing big checks to companies, but what could I do that would change it? Whether it’s food, whether it’s drug rehab, whether it’s mental health or job training or housing, I don’t know. That’s why it bothered me that day when I’m right at the place where all the politicians live and they’re not out there, not stop thinking how can they help them and fix the problem? I don’t know if anybody focuses on that. There are a lot of great organizations that feed and provide clothing and do a lot of things, but how can we actually change? That’s the charity I want to be involved in. As I expand and my wealth expands, that’s where I want to put my resources towards.
Whatever you figure out, count me in as a resource. I’m with you.
I appreciate that.
For the readers, on that perspective, you read Travis say two powerful things in everything that he talked about in philanthropy. It also can be parlayed into your business to where you work with your relationships with whatever it is that you do. He said two key components. He said, “What if? What if I could?” I would write that down and put it on a poster board and put it up on your computer and have it on your screen saver. “What if?” That opens up a portion of your brain that now becomes curious. It opens up that area that allows you to be creative, as Travis talked about that creativity is what has driven him and the heart to serve and his ability of being in an industry that he’s been able to tie these things together. It’s interconnectedness. The other thing that he said was, “How can I?” When he was thinking about the homeless scenario. How can I do something different that would impact somebody else’s life? If you add into your life, just those two things, “What if I could” and “How can I?” Those are two great statements. If you got nothing else from this show and you implemented those two thought processes, those two statements into your life, I think you’d be much better off. What do you think, Travis?
I think that it starts with you. It starts with yourself. When I was in that cubicle, that’s what I thought, “What if I could do this?” The next book I’m working on is called the You Inc. Side Hustles. It’s about expanding beyond your paycheck and doing side hustles and how many opportunities there are. It is about making it a little bit more here and then realizing, “I’m wasting too much time. What if I did this?” Growing and changing the world is the same way. You change your own life and then you can change it everybody else’s life around you.
Everybody that knows me and follows my career knows that my private equity business is just a group. I had to figure out how to have a business and not be there because I didn’t like to have to be anywhere. My side hustle turned into a private equity business. It happens all the time. That turned into a consulting business to teach people in business that we’re good people, how to make more money, get more time so they could do more good. It’s the pebble in the pond and that’s where I think you and I are completely aligned. I’m looking forward to our friendship many years into the future. I already know you’re fun to hang out with because we had a great time in Vegas, which started from Dr. V and his Heart To Serve.
We were both there to serve and to speak of each and I’m glad our paths crossed. As we wrap up, we talk about vitality here, not for the purposes of having a six-pack, but for the purposes of how do you maintain your optimum level of vitality and energy to be able to do the things that you want to do with your life. What are some of the life hacks that you’ve done to keep yourself in shape and to keep your energy levels high and your mental clarity high? What are some of those hacks?
[bctt tweet=”We only have so much time. Remove things from your life that are toxic.” via=”no”]
Energy is huge. Energy is the thing that I focus on the most because we only have so much time. If I can have energy throughout the day, I can do more things. Ironically, the first one is going to be remove things from your life that are toxic. I know that when I go way back and I was looking at porn all the time and my life was terrible, there were things I need to remove. I needed to get divorced. That was hard for me to swallow because I came from a Christian home and it was such a bad thing, but you need to remove toxic people from your life. It does not mean people need to get divorced. That’s just an example but it could be a friendship, it could be a business, it could be a job. They’re toxic. We look at toxicity like mold in our house. People freak out about that, but they’ll work at a job that’s totally draining them. That’s the first thing is remove that.
The next thing is I meditate every morning. Now I’m doing the Tony thing, the whole breathing thing. I start off my day in a positive state of the what ifs. I have a journal that’s right here with me right now. I’m writing down things all the time of the things that I would like to try to do one day. I might write down where I’m stuck and then what can I do to change to get unstuck in those areas. That’s huge. The last one for me, exercise. I live in Rancho Santa Margarita up in the foothills. For me, it’s mountain biking, getting outside. I love that. I continue to meditate while I’m out there. You put on some headphones, listen to Tony or somebody and I’ve had the best revelations out there in the stillness of nature. It takes me back to when I was a kid probably.
Simple things in an otherwise jam-packed life. There are kids, there’s the wife, there’s travel, there’s your business, there’s philanthropic stuff. You are a busy man. I want to say thank you. Everybody that wants to check out and get to know more about Travis, it’s TravisRosser.com and go find his book. Support this man. He’s doing good work in the world. He’s changed a lot of lives and I know he’s working on some secret stuff that he can’t tell anybody about, but I’m sure they’re going to be massively impactful. Just let me know. I should be on speed dial for when you can talk about it. I know that we’re going to get a lot of feedback on this and how valuable it is. For the Misfit Nation, on their behalf, I want to thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to come here and to teach us and to give us some guidance. I think it’s going to help and change some lives. I appreciate it.
Thank you. It’s been great being here.
It’s my pleasure. Have an awesome day and I’ll see you sometime in the future.
About Travis Rosser