Steve’s Arizona GunSlinger Hot Sauce Business Failure
Jack Butala: Steve’s Arizona GunSlinger Hot Sauce Business Failure. Every Single month we give away a property for free. It’s super simple to qualify. Two simple steps. Leave us your feedback for this podcast on iTunes and number two, get the free ebook at landacademy.com, you don’t even have to read it. Thanks for listening.
Jill: This is Jill DeWit for Land Academy. Welcome to our cash flow from Land Show. In this episode, Steven and I talk about 1 of his biggest failures, it hurts that I’m a gunslinger. Steven, I can’t wait for our listeners to hear about this story, so they don’t make the same mistakes.
Steven: It hurts me, it’s a bad memory.
Jill: So sorry about that.
Steven: I’ll share it for you.
Jill: I hate to put you through this, but hey, before we start the story, let’s take a question from a caller.
Steven: Dale, from Vancouver asks, “So really, you don’t need a real estate license to do this? Can you please explain?” This is an interesting question Jill, you want to take it, or do you want me to?
Jill: I want you to take this.
Steven: It happens a lot.
Jill: It comes up a lot. You figured this out years ago, and I like your explanation.
Steven: I’ll give the short answer first, and then I’ll tell you why. The answer is you can do it with a license or without a license, and in that effect, there’s almost no difference at all. Somewhere along the line, probably a lot of years ago, somebody planted this idea in the American public’s head that you have to have a real estate license to be an investor, and nothing could be further from the truth.
You don’t need to have a dealer license for a car dealership to buy a car, it’s the same thing, so no. Very, very, very intelligent people make this mistake. It happens weekly to Jill and I, that people are running out getting a real estate license so they can be a real estate investor. The truth of it is, this is my pain, a licensed real estate agent is kind of subject to a different liability situation, or risk situation than an unlicensed person, because theoretically a licensed real estate agent, at least on paper is more experienced and they should know better. In reality we know it’s really based on experienced and that’s about it, so no, you don’t need a license, but here’s my recommendation. Real estate is cool, in most places it’s pretty inexpensive. Out here it’s about 500 bucks for 2, 3 weeks of education. I always recommend going to real estate school. More education is always better in everything, not just not this.
Go to school. Hey, maybe you might decide to take the exam at the end and become an agent, and decided that it’s for you, but at the very least you’re going to spend 3, 4, 500 dollars and get a tremendous amount of value in a real world experience and learn about stuff.
Jill: It’s true.
Steven: Then at the end decide, so no.
Jill: Well I did this way too.
Steven: Jill and I are not licensed.
Jill: We’re not licensed, but [crosstalk 00:02:41]
Steven: Nobody here is licensed.
Jill: As an investor, it’s you buying your own assets, you’re not representing somebody else to.
Steven: Right Jill.
Jill: It’s different when you’re representing somebody else. That’s where the difference is, but people somehow they … For some reason it gets blurred, and I don’t know why. Like I’m buying something for myself and my company basically.
Steven: Yeah, I think the blurriness comes from … I agree with you, it’s very blurry. The blurriness comes from the fact that there’s a huge machine. There’s a huge economic, political machine of people that are very, very interested in having as many license reorders as possible. If they’re 1 of the top 5 largest special interest groups in Washington. That’s what these fees are about, and these mandatory associations. Realtors have to spend a lot of money just to be licensed, and that all goes to that political machine, even though it might not be in our best interest any longer in the 21st century to have real estate agents. There’s a lot of varying opinions on that. They make sure that that MLS is in place, and that people are making, you know, for better, for worse, it’s in place and it’s going to stay there for a while.
Jill: I have an interesting current even topic to interject here. Our own state governor Doug Ducey in Arizona, is actually, I just heard on the news this week, I have a very short commute, but I apparently pick up on a lot of things, which is really funny.
Steven: I don’t think you came directly to work.
Jill: I tried well. Getting my coffee [crosstalk 00:04:07]
Steven: I think you got to pay soon.
Jill: I go for ice cream.
Steven: I think you stopped and flexed.
Jill: It’s totally, no one goofing off. No, he is actually looking at changing some of our state licensing requirements saying, “Do I really need to have a license to be your barber?” There’s some things that he’s even recognizing that we’ve gone a little bit too far.
Jill: Landscape architect. They were talking about that. Like there’s actually a license for that, which were on the radio, they were laughing like … right? That kind of sounds like I’m mowing your lawn. Do I need to be licensed to operate a lawn mower on my lawn? No, that’s a little too much.
Steven: I like this governor, he questions everything.
Jill: He does.
Steven: I mean, I’m going to eat my words, because in the end he’ll probably steal all the money, but …
Jill: Wow! His other people around him that are keeping an eye on things, like our treasure.
Steven: Yeah. Jill’s little brother is in the state treasure. It’s funny.
Jill: Yes, it’s funny.
Steven: For a lottery it is.
Jill: It is, but anyway, I just think that’s interesting. That maybe sometimes too they’ve gone a little bit too far, and like you’ve said, why? Is it a political thing? Like getting political, but there you go.
Steven: You know, we all know people who … When I buy and sell a car, I always use this car now Jill because everybody can really identify with it, or maybe I should stop using it. If you think I should stop using it [crosstalk 00:05:30]
Jill: Are you tired of having it?
Steven: … Call 888-735-5045 and leave your answer to that question or anything else that’s on your mind.
Jill: Feel free to tweet me about this too by the way, I’d like to hear what you have to say.
Steven: Yeah, so you know, a lot of people the way that they buy and sell a car is very natural and normal. The list comes up, they go back to the dealership to get another one, or their old car is worn out, they go back to the dealership to get another one, and they say something like this, “I just want my payment to be XYZ. My old payment was $520, and I want my payment to be $520, what can you get me into?”
Extremely intelligent busy professional people, that’s how they buy a car, and that’s how they always will buy a car. Financially it doesn’t make any sense, but it fits into their lifestyle, and I think people are used to buying houses that way, primary residences that way. They call real estate agent that they know, and they say they need a house, “I only have on Sunday to look at it … I have 2 Sundays to look at these houses. Can you show me what you think? I need 3 …” They make it happen.
There’s a convenience factor to do that and I think that’s great. There’s nothing wrong with that at all, you’re paying for the service. As an investor as we are, you’ve got to really question a lot of those things like that, that the system is in place, because you want to make as much money as possible and do the right thing.
Jill: I agree.
Steven: Well that was a long way to answer that.
Jill: I agree. I want to inject too real quick. You know, if you want to tweet me, it’s @JillKDewit or @thelandacademy.
Steven: Jill has just taken over our poor excuse for social media effective like last week, so this is a great place to talk about that, you know?
Jill: Thank you. I want to make some changes. I want to start saying some stuff, so I know that our listeners are all dialed in, because they are podcast people and they’re good at this stuff.
Steven: We have to pat ourselves in the back for a second. We have not spent 1 single dollar in marketing, and this company has done … I’m talking about Land Academy now. In fact you know what, I don’t think I’ve ever spent any money in Land Stay, it’s all word of mouth.
Jill: It really is.
Steven: Organic traffic. We don’t have an Edward’s account. Marketers are reaching out to us now, because it has gotten pretty large, and they’re saying, “You guys are off your rocker. You need to spend a little money, and do this, this and this, and like social media, so we’re starting.”
Jill: Funny. I said it the other day, and our number 1 employee said, “Yeah, that’s totally right. I love your comment with this guy on this call.” We’re accidentally doing pretty well.
Steven: Yeah, this all happened on accident.
Jill: I don’t really know what I’m doing.
Steven: That’s not good. That’s not a compliment.
Jill: Yeah, I know. Hey, but the good news is, when you have the right message in your good people, it will get out.
Jill: That’s my point.
Jill: Can I get on to the topic here?
Steven: Yes, please.
Jill: This is kind of my time to interview you about this Steve, and I am really glad. I have 5 questions I would like to ask you please, and this is for our listeners, and I want them to learn about this because this is a good story. Please, my first question is, what was the background of this person that came to you with this business idea, and can you explain the business idea?
Steven: Yeah, I’m going to tell you this short story.
Steven: This guy, this is long, long, long before I ever met Jill, actually long before I was ever in the land business. I was very young, acting as a long term care acquisitions person here in Arizona. There is a much different woman in my life back then, and she had a former [crosstalk 00:09:15]
Jill: What’s different?
Steven: Yeah, totally different woman in a lot of ways. I mean, she was actually a different person with a different name, and very different from you Jill.
Jill: Thank you. It’s a waste that that was kind of vague. I just [crosstalk 00:09:28]
Steven: Totally different female.
Jill: Okay. Not like Jill Stacy, Stacy Jill.
Steven: No, no. That’s a schizophrenia thing.
Jill: It is not. Quit saying that, you’re silly, okay.
Steven: This girl who is now incredibly successful, Jill, and I still see her, actually Jill and her are pretty good friends, but … I’m not even going to use her name at all. Her former boyfriend came to me and said, “Look. I know you guys … You’re doing pretty well with this long term care thing, I have this business idea. I want to do this hot sauce, like Tabasco, but it’s called Arizona Gunslinger, it’s special … It tastes good and everything.” He’s like, “I need 4 grand, I get 50% of the company or something like that, but I need to launch this thing, and I got it all figured out.”
With my big huge ego and my silly testosterone, whatever age I was, idiocy, I said, “You’re off your rocker. This is my girl now. I’m not wowed at ever going to business with somebody that’s like a former boyfriend, and on, and on, and on.” I didn’t even look at the proposal.
Steven: I thought he was like … He was sticking his hand out, I thought he wanted a hand out.
Jill: What financial situation were you in? Was it like a hardship or it had nothing to do with the decision?
Steven: It had nothing to do with the decision. I could have written a check for $4000 like water.
Jill: Okay. What commitment was needed from you at that time?
Steven: We didn’t get that far.
Jill: You didn’t even get that far?
Steven: No. That’s why it’s such a … By the way, Arizona Gunslinger is a hot sauce like Tabasco that’s on every single restaurant table. I don’t care where you go, everywhere in this country. This kid went off and found another way, talk about commitment, and he’s killing it. I think he sold the company now. I never met the kid, never. It was on the phone, I just said, “No, no, no.” He really tried to convince me.
Jill: What? Okay, so was it more than 1 talk?
Jill: Oh! It was 1. What made you make that decision so quickly and not even take a step back and look at it? Was it ego? Was it …?
Steven: I got distracted by a girl.
Steven: That happens to all of us.
Steven: Doesn’t it? Didn’t you ever make a bad … I don’t want to turn this around you, but do you ever make a bad decision based on, you just got distracted?
Jill: No. You know, honestly, well … Yes.
Steven: Yeah. I wasn’t going to answer for you. I know at least 3. Like you’re in the middle of 1 right now.
Jill: Yeah, you’re 1 of them. There you go. Oh boy! Did I?
Steven: You’re neck deep in the middle of a bad decision right now.
Jill: Yes, I am, Jeez! Don’t let this fill your uppity you. I’m just kidding. Now, okay, so what would you [crosstalk 00:12:34]
Steven: I’m going to parlay this into your friend’s connection. We’re not going to name any names, but when you’re done asking these questions I want to parlay this into why your Walmart friend is so successful, because she did not get distracted, she actually listened to somebody in her life and went off and knocked it out of the park.
Jill: You mean her husband.
Steven: Yeah. Let’s finish my stuff. My tragic story. Let’s finish it with her wonderful story.
Jill: Okay, right. Here’s my last question for you about your tragic, horrible, failure in this business opportunity. What would you do differently?
Steven: Well I would have … here’s the moral of the story, and if you take anything away it’s this, just check your emotions at the door, check your whole thing. There’s no emotion to anything. If you’re ever in a situation like that where somebody, you know, at least hear the people out. Take a lot at how organized they are, if it fits within the stuff that you’re all about, forget about your emotions or whatever and take a look at it, and you’ve got to have some money at the time, and really never want to see that $4000 again in my example, which that was a situation I was in, and I’ve always been in that situation.
Have a conversation with yourself and say, “Hey, “I’m never going to see this 4 grand again, that’s the worst thing that can happen.” I learned a lot from that, and I probably tell you that story way too many times. I think you end up hearing it because I tell it in front of other people like right now, and yeah, don’t do that.
Jill: I think about it often because we went into restaurants and the kids and I have to hide things off of the table, before we sit down for you to sit, because you’re going to look over and go, “Oh!”
Jill: Cause like that, yeah, some days it hits you and you’re like …
Steven: If you don’t know this [crosstalk 00:14:18]
Jill: Quick, hide the condiments, hide the condiments.
Steven: … Consumer goods like that, like little bottle of hot sauce and toilet paper and toothpaste and little like health a beauty aids make up some of the highest profit margin material [crosstalk 00:14:37]
Steven: … highest profit margin stuff like perfume too that you can possibly imagine. There’s maybe 25 cents in a bottle of hot sauce, maybe. I think it’s probably less, and I’m not talking about shipping, I’m talking about that actual cost a good sold.
Jill: I’m embarrassed because I actually own Channel mascara.
Steven: That’s a [inaudible 00:15:01].
Steven: Makeup. Anyway, man! This is a depressing show for me. You know you’re going to have a tragic thing happen in your life, and, “God! I never want to think about that again.” Now we have to do a whole damn show about it.
Jill: Hold on a moment. Steven, this is never a bad thing. Look at all the positive things that you learned from that experience.
Steven: Yeah, you’re right. [crosstalk 00:15:21]
Jill: Hey, it could have been … Oh my gosh! It was hot sauce. What if it was Microsoft? Or what if it was something big that you passed on? It’s okay. Trust me, I think you’re doing fine. I think you’re in a good place, and that’s what I hope everyone takes from this show personally is don’t beat yourself up for it. You made the best decision with the information that you had at the time. Granted Steven was a little more emotional, I’m not, you know, but he’s not going to do that again.
Steven: That’s right.
Jill: You’ll never do that again.
Steven: Yes, that’s the value.
Jill: It’s okay. You learned from it, and you move on, and that’s important. You want to ask a few … You want to ask something.
Steven: I know you have this friend. I don’t know the whole story. I think that you do. I know the basics of it. I know that she extremely professional her whole life, but she changed gears and … Do you know this story, like a sandwich shop. Go ahead and tell the story.
Jill: A sandwich shop?
Steven: Please don’t use any names, but yes. It’s a great story.
Jill: Sandwich shop in Florida and it involved cookies. It all started around this cookie thing, and selling the cookies, now I’m going to get some of the story wrong, but it grew into working for a small manufacturer making cookies. They’re delivering their cookies to them at the sandwich shop, and I think the sandwich shop they decided they didn’t really want to do that anymore, I’m growing to other things. Anyway, she ended up working for this small operation, and she would go out there and kill it selling cookies, and she quickly learned that she could sell cookies by the masses, and she was really good at getting herself in front of the right people.
Long story short, she would pick up the phone and call people including Walmart, and she would get orders of 100,000 cookies and come back and say, and the guy are like, “We’ve got to buy a truck tomorrow. How are we going to …?” She’s like, “I don’t know, but you’ve got to do it. Because I promised this, this and this. You’ve got to make these cookies in this quantity by tomorrow kind of thing.” Because she would sell it, and it grew into this huge thing.
Steven: Yeah, they got into Walmart.
Jill: Then she ended up working for Walmart.
Steven: Oh really?
Jill: Yeah, in a [crosstalk 00:17:36]
Steven: Oh, that’s right as a buyers?
Jill: Yeah, exactly. She eventually got … She would go back and forth to there and it was a big thing.
Steven: Well, the way I heard this story was, you know, her husband who I know very well, we know both of these people very well. He doesn’t even talk about it, but she said, it was all because of him 1 day saying, “Look, pick up the freaking phone and call Walmart. What do you have to lose?” That’s the way she tells it.
Jill: She was persistent. She was good too. She would show up and persistent, and get in there man. She has a lot of … We talked about on a recent show too, a lot of, what’s the word when you’re … Security. She’s very [crosstalk 00:18:18]
Steven: Oh, self-confidence.
Jill: Very self-confident.
Steven: Yeah, she does and she should.
Jill: She should, and that’s just …
Steven: A lot of people take that as arrogance. I don’t take it that way at all.
Jill: You can be arrogant, but you have to … There’s a fine line between confident and arrogant I think, and that’s a good point to make, but it’s a really good story too, and in the end what was really kind of funny too, well because they got bought out. That’s what it was. They got bought out, and so she talking about it for another year, and her husband again said … He sat her down and helped her realize what the value of what she brings to the table, so she demanded this insane salary and they paid it. She was 1 of those where she’s like, “Oh my gosh! I can’t believe that just happened. No.”
Steven: That’s great.
Jill: That’s part of the stuff that’s in my book that I’m working on. Women for some reason we’re afraid to stand up and demand what we’re worth, and she’s worth it, and they said, “Absolutely.” They paid it. They worked this very [crosstalk 00:19:21]
Steven: That’s great. That’s a great story. That’s winning. We all can learn something I guess. What’s the moral of the whole thing, Jill? I think I can put it in 1 word.
Jill: Please do.
Steven: Listen. Be a better listener than you are a talker. If someone has got a proposal in front of you are you’re being all uppity about it, just calm down and listen. If your husband is saying, “Call Walmart”, Listen.
Steven: If your wife is saying, “This is a good idea this land thing”, listen to her. If she’s saying, “It’s a super bad idea”, listen to her, she’s probably right, or whatever.
Join us in another episode where Jill and I discuss your all important success in real estate investment and in life.
That was a great show, those are good stories. It was kind of a psychotherapy session for me more than anything.
Jill: I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to push you through that. Everyone, Steven is lying on a couch right now, and he’s got Kleenex next to him, and I have a notepad in front of me. I’m just kidding.
Steven: You know what happened right after that? I went bought 2 laundromats instead, cause that guy really did inspire me, and I sold those for a lot of money.
Jill: See, it led to something good.
Steven: Back then, this is right when the internet was starting.
Jill: It’s hard. You can’t beat yourself up for past decisions. We all do it. I do it. I go, “Gosh! What was I thinking? I should have followed through with that.” At the time it felt right, and it’s okay.
Steven: On that note, let’s go buy some property.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me directly at steve@LandAcademy.com.
I would like to think it’s entertaining and informative and in the end profitable.
And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes.