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Elijah Desmond 0:00
I had so many dreams that were outside of the box, so many dreams that nobody believed in, but I’m going to tell you what I believed in them. And I had to be the first person to stand on stage confidently on my two feet. And look everybody in the eyes and say, I believe, before anybody else believed in
your listening to BizNinja Entrepreneur Radio. This show was created for entrepreneurs, business owners, marketers and dreamers who want to learn from the experts of today and drastically shortcut their own success to build a business that supports their dream lifestyle. Since 2011, Tyler Jorgenson has been interviewing business thought leaders from around the world, a serial entrepreneur himself, Tyler also shares his personal insights into what’s working in business today. Welcome to biz ninja, entrepreneur, radio.
Tyler Jorgenson 0:57
Welcome out to business, entrepreneur, radio, I am your host, Tyler Jorgensen. And for over 10 years, I have been interviewing today’s top entrepreneurs and bringing their stories to you. It’s been a wild ride of interviewing people for this past decade. And as we start yet another season of the show, I always like to kick it off with someone who can bring the heat and bring the fire and so I brought my friend and colleague on and someone who I greatly. I have a lot of gratitude in my life that I get to call this person a friend, because his entrepreneurial story is really remarkable. So welcome out to the show. Elijah Desmond.
Elijah Desmond 1:35
Hello, hello, everybody. Man, I wish we could play some music. But we might get taken out this goes up on YouTube or apple?
Tyler Jorgenson 1:40
Oh, yeah, it gets tricky with all the new DCMA stuff. But Elijah, you’ve got a one of the coolest entrepreneurial stories that I know. But my first question for you is, when was that first moment in your life, when you realized that you were an entrepreneur?
Elijah Desmond 1:56
Man, I don’t know if you if it was, if I was an entrepreneur, or when I want to be a go back to what I want to be as me as like probably a seven or eight year old kid walking into the basement, it was turned into a beauty salon of my dad and going down and asking him for some money to go buy some new shoes and the ball. And I needed a bus money too, because I was gonna get on the bus. And that wasn’t on by myself as a eight year old, I was going with my older cousins. And he pulled out a wad of cash like big huge wad 20s Hundreds ones for every kind of word. He pulled it out. And he just given me money. And he probably gave me like 100 and something dollars. So not that much. But it seemed like the most money in the world. And I got this repeatedly over and over every single time I would go and ask for money. And I got money this one time and I walked up the steps and I want to leave. And my my real name is Elijah. But my nickname is Bo and I’ll never forget, he goes oh, cool back down here. And I’m like, oh my god, I walk back down the steps. And he’s like, him, me back that money. And I’m like, why? And he’s like, you’re gonna learn to say thank you. And he really didn’t give me the money back and I walked back up the stairs. And I’ll never forget walking out of that door like, Man, I want to be like him when I grow up. And I’m gonna have my own business one day. And it’s just been engraved in my head that I’m going to be an entrepreneur just like him so I can have the ability to give money in real life.
Tyler Jorgenson 3:36
But you know, what’s interesting is that you are one of the people that I’ve experienced in my business career who embodies gratitude? And that story seems like it was part of that build in that part of who you are as well.
Elijah Desmond 3:48
Yes, absolutely. I mean, the words I appreciate you go so far. You know, a lot of times people want you know, things like material things go far, you know, getting somebody a little a little bag or something or a little pen or a little water bottle. But a lot of times looking somebody in the eye and saying like, I appreciate you like that goes so far, because the opposite doesn’t go far at all right? You work your butt off for somebody and they don’t just say like, Thanks, or I appreciate you. It stops perfect.
Tyler Jorgenson 4:18
Absolutely. So your journey of entrepreneurship wasn’t as it’s like most of ours was not like a straight road. So you you started in as a dental professional, right and then tell us a little bit about the journey of how you went from like having a job back to like coming back to the entrepreneurial world.
Elijah Desmond 4:38
Absolutely. Well first off, let’s go ahead and call it like it is I was on war I was slain warheads, those things that are real sour your bike, taste it in your mouth right now. I was slinging warheads sounds like 25 cents per warhead or five for $1. Eventually I sort of have my mom get the big boxes from Sam’s Club and I made a lot money as a kid. And then eventually I moved on and learned that my lawn mower worked for the yards other than mine. And I started using that lawn mowers and wheeling around the city. And my dad’s on the weekends, and the lawn mowed. It needed new wheels pretty soon. And then I got a second one. And it was pretty easy for me to go to knock on doors and to say like, Hey, I’d love to cut your grass for $10. And even though I was under charging, like people knew it, I was this like cute little kid that was just out there hustling doing the right thing. And I would get like a double or triple tip sometimes so and I knew I was under charging. I knew what I was doing. But I did a really good job and I over delivered constantly. And I had repeat customers I grew that business. You know, it’s funny. After I stopped mowing lawns, one of my dad’s biggest businesses today is a lawn mowing, a lawn care service. And so anyways, I started mowing lawns. And after mowing lawns, did picking strawberries as a kid always had two three jobs. And one thing led to the next I realized like I didn’t like hard work as in picking up the manual labor, sweating on time I like to sweat it is when I go to the gym and said, Man, you know, my uncle’s, a dentist, my answer hygenist. My mom’s office manager, I want to do something where I’m an air conditioning. And that led me down the dental space. And I went to school to be a dental hygienist tested in a college early at 15 years old. And six years later, graduated, moved to Hawaii started the first of 20 businesses, mostly in the dental space. And now in the events space. It’s not just in dentistry, crypto events, veterinary events, nursing events, basically a big, big in the event space DJ emceeing and so anyways, the entrepreneurial world does started at, you know, the warheads and started small stuff. And now it’s led on to some way bigger things.
Tyler Jorgenson 7:01
Yeah, you’re doing some huge things, you host events you come in. And for people that don’t know, Elijah is a awesome DJ. And an amazing emcee, he brings amazing energy to any room, you got some really cool, you’ve got several different paths, right, which I think a lot of people there is a saying that the man who catches to rap or who chases two rabbits catches none. But you are someone who I see pursue multiple parts of your personality and your vision. How do you balance growth with being focused? First off, here’s
Elijah Desmond 7:36
what I believe, I believe you can you can chase a lot of rabbits, but it’s the way you chase them. Right. And so I also believe in in casting a net and chasing rabbits in the same area. So at first as an entrepreneur, I used to chase like, really colorful rabbits. And I would trip over my own feet. Right? That’s, that’s, I mean, I’m 35 years old. I’ve started over 20 businesses, right? So I can’t say like, when I was younger, but I mean, I’m still pretty young, I think, right? But look, I used to chase a lot of really colorful rabbits and all over the place. And as the years progressed, like, I realized that I can only Chase like one color for rabbit and a certain direction. But I can choose multiple rabbits, as long as as long as they’re in the same direction, I can chase multiple rabbits. And as he’s a certain type of net, and I’ve essentially mastered an ecosystem with a certain niche, right. And so my niche is essentially these these rabbits, that are rabbits that are really fun, and rabbits that are happy, and rabbits that are in the event space. And I’ve mastered that niche. And so what I would recommend, and what I’ve gotten really good at is not chasing everything, I used to chase everything because I’m capable of everything I’m not afraid to lose. I do take risks, but I’m calculated at tail risk now where I was just a strict risk taker before. And what I’ve realized, though, is that through all of the failures of chasing those shiny rabbits that I can serve chase them, I just can’t chase all of them. And so the takeaway there was that took me some some failures and the Falling, falling forward, falling in mud falling forward, that you can actually do multiple things. You can chase multiple rabbits, you just you just can’t chase them. All
Tyler Jorgenson 9:30
right, so and so you limit the type of things that you go after, so that you can still maintain momentum, and they kind of all build the momentum upon each other. How important is it to building building a quality team for in your success?
Elijah Desmond 9:45
It’s everything because especially if especially if you’re a visionary, so I’m a visionary. I’m not a not an integrator. So it’s super important to have an integrator on your team or to partner with an integrator, a business partner, a VP exec Get around your team, because a visionary can only get you so far integrator and having the experts within your team is everything. When I was a team of one, or if I had a team of me and a multiple different business owners within different businesses, I was on the treadmill, and I wasn’t going far. And then all of a sudden, when I started hiring the experts, and growing up, I was making a lot less money, I had a lot more freedom, and I was able to create and then grow that business. And eventually that business grew a lot more. So finding the experts and finding the people to essentially, they’re able to do things way better than I am had more time, to me had more knowledge of me was was everything. And that’s where maximum growth happens is when essentially you find people that are better than you at multiple, multiple different things
Tyler Jorgenson 10:49
you’ve done, I think you mentioned over 20, right, I know of probably four or five, maybe six of your businesses, what advice do you have from people who are trying to make the jump from employee to business owner? And then to if you can remember both of these? Because it can be a long answer, I think, is how do you decide when to stop? So like, how do you start? And when do you call it?
Elijah Desmond 11:08
Right? So if you’re trying to make the jump from employee to business owner, I would say, first off milk, that current position for everything that it’s worth. So what do I mean by that, that means be the biggest rock star in your position that you make your business owner so uncomfortable that they want to offer you equity in their business, or that they will support you, in your own business endeavor, do such an amazing job at what you do that you make them uncomfortable to make them want to give you equity. And I’m not just not just saying that I practice what I preach, right, I have some rock star people on my team. And if you’re with me for long enough and you prove it, you will get equity in my company. And I will also empower every one of my team members at this point where they show rock star status to the full tilt to say you want to start a business, let’s start working together. Right because I don’t want to lose you. Let’s start a business together. And I want to empower you within that business itself. But the only way that I would do that is if you show out, right? If you show that you have every single thing that it takes to run a business, you can be a intrapreneur all day and work within somebody’s business and they will feed you, they will give you the water, they will give you the food, they will give you all the tools to grow within their business. And until you come to the point to where you got to do something next, the only thing that’s obvious is, I think get equity in that business or essentially start your own and most I would say a lot of the entrepreneurs out there are probably going to support you in starting that other business because a lot of times you guys got quit, you need to have an income stream while you’re building another one. Well, good. People don’t want to let other good people go, I build people within my industry within my you know, within my business, I want them to grow big and have no ceilings, be able to, you know, make more, be able to essentially move on to that next level within my business or businesses and then also have the ability to start something on their own. And I want to support them to do that. The only way that happens is if you come every day, give me 110% and grow within the company.
Tyler Jorgenson 13:30
Yep, fully agree with that. I think that’s that’s powerful. It’s Seth Godin calls that the linchpin right, you got to be the one who You’re irreplaceable. If you actually want that level of opportunity. Now you’ve started a lot of businesses. So that second question of how do you decide when a business has run its life or no longer is serving you? Because sometimes they’re not the same answer? Absolutely.
Elijah Desmond 13:50
I do pie charts. I do pros and cons, right? So my pie charts kind of go something like this in a pie chart. You have multiple businesses, I have multiple businesses, how much time does this take me? Okay, how much and you know, how much time it is compared to this business? Compared to that business? How much energy do I spend on it, like energy and time are different for me. I can give some a half hour of my time, but it drains the energy out of me like it’s like 80% of energy. That’s not a business that I want. That’s the life of it is does office, right? And also financially, how much money does it does it bring me back what right? So if I’m getting a whole pie, if I’m getting 70% of my income is coming from somebody and I spent 20% of my time, that’s probably a good business keep right? But if I’m only getting like 10% of my income for something that’s taking 75% of my time, that’s probably a business that I should drop, but that means that has run for so I didn’t make sense. So that’s when I’ll just I’ll drop that business and I’ll move to the next thing, right. It’s not that it makes sense to keep it so I basically will just logically look at things I make pros and cons. Also, like I’m extremely wide driven and purpose driven. I won’t do a business for money, right? So it doesn’t make sense. I will do a business if it brings me happiness and joy, right. I’m a community person like I, I felt people do events, I help people make communities, I help people bring happiness, right together, I’m very wide driven. And so if it’s, if it’s not bringing me energy, or bringing people energy, if it’s just for money, I’m not doing it. I’m not doing it, there’s a whole bunch of work, but there’s a huge pile of money, oh, man, this is it gonna make you so many millions of dollars, like you’re talking to the wall, because I’m not paying no attention. I don’t care about the $50 million, like, sorry, you’re talking to the wrong guy, go talk to that guy, because it’s not me. But if you say like, you’re gonna have so much joy, because you’re gonna save all these little kids lives, like, you’re literally there, you’re gonna save their lives, they’re gonna go and they were going to commit suicide, because they’re really unhappy. But your message in just three days, you can go and you can impact them so much, they’re all going to want to come and give you the biggest hug, ever. And you’re going to be so impactful. For these kids, you only you’re gonna make like $750, but you’re going to impact them so much, you’re gonna play music, the dance, you’re gonna be able to do a cannonball off this huge cliff, that’s very safer, but he jumps off the unit a huge cannonball. And then you’re gonna go on a hot air balloon. But then the next person that comes around, they’re like, listen, there’s this thing that you’re gonna have to do. And it’s a lot of work, and you’re gonna have to pay for it, this and that. But it’s a workaround to this, and you’re able to work with some knuckleheads. But you know what, after two years, you’re gonna make like 50 million, there’s a chance you can make 50 million, but you worst case scenario, you’re gonna make 2 million, but you might be miserable. But you’re only doing miserable for six months, I completely shut you off. I don’t care about your money. Tell me where the kids that don’t want the music, where the vibes racks, I don’t care about the money. I care about the why and the purpose. That’s where my life is at when it comes to energy.
Tyler Jorgenson 17:06
So I feel like you have a good amount of clarity on your why. Right. And I hear this a lot like, What’s your why and but it’s candidly something I don’t deeply understand. Right? I’m driven by a lot of the same kind of things you are, but I’ve never really understood that. How do you How does somebody find their why
Elijah Desmond 17:21
I don’t think that the y really is something that you can go and search for. I think the Y appears in time. Right? I don’t think that you can go on a hunt for your why I think that the y finds you I don’t think that you find it. And I don’t think that there’s a roadmap to finding your why I think some people find their Why is 60 years old. 65 years old. I think that some people find their way early. I think I found my why really, really early. I know that many of my friends don’t have their why some of them do, but most of them don’t. And that’s okay, marry, they have families, they have their business, but they still haven’t found like that, that thing, that one ultimate purpose. And that’s totally a plugs as well. I just think that I found mine really, really early in life.
Tyler Jorgenson 18:08
I appreciate that your answer wasn’t like, well, here’s the formula, right? Because I don’t think it’s that simple. I think so I think I agree with you on that. You’ve got you got a lot of great things coming up. Right. Tell us about some of the things that you’ve got on your Horizon.
Elijah Desmond 18:21
Well, I will tell you that tell you what I don’t have I just so funny, like I had this conversation about a year ago, I was going on tour and I just got off tour. I’ve been tour on this tour bus, I bought a luxury tour bus tour for seven months and DJing at a huge venue. At the end of the tour. Every single time I’d stop in cities along the way. I feel like the last Yes, I have like this, like what do you have on the horizon? Next city, the next city no more of that. And now I’m going to fly into places and fly out that’s that was draining that was draining. Well, what on the horizon? For me? What’s different is I was emceeing and DJing events at the same time, right, I have decided that I’m no longer going to do that. I’ve decided I’m either going to DJ or I’m going to emcee that’s what’s on the horizon. I’m not going to do both because emceeing is amazing and I kill it hype man all day music transition between every single speaker you’re on your feet, I’m killing it, right, it could be draining. If you’re on the mix tables, and you’re having a bunch of drinks, partying out with everybody on the dance floor, making them go wild the night before, and then you got to get up and beyond for the next two days. So that’s what I’m not doing. Like Elijah, but I just asked what was on the horizon. You told me what’s not. So I will be doing a lot of DJing and emceeing. I’m super excited for pod Fest and vid fest. We’re big events people fly in from all over the world. For like one of the biggest podcast asked her events all the podcasts are flying in Chris commit. So this is the owner of that super excited and honored to be doing that event. I just got invited to BJ Ford nerve entrepreneur organization. Their big event is nerve so I get to DJ for that event, which is honor really, really, really big deal. I’m going to be doing a cryptocurrency cruise into the metaverse, so I get to DJ that which is huge. A veterinary cruise called Paul’s at sea, that’s going to be really fun. Have you heard of groove cruise Tyler,
Tyler Jorgenson 20:36
a groove cruise
Elijah Desmond 20:37
I haven’t heard of cruise is like kind of like Coachella. But on a cruise ship. It’s like 100 artists, wow, I’m gonna be doing that headed out to Cabo to DJ that I’m gonna be doing the hip hop section. And that was gonna be really cool. So that’s on the horizon, I’m going to be doing a documentary, a documentary on writing my book called hype. Nice. And that’ll be that’ll be fun. Hype is all about planning events. And you know, going on tour, emcee industry influencers, how to how to plan a successful event. You know, my last event went almost 1000 people show up to it. And people want to know, how do you get people to show up to a an event. And you’re a big part of that you helped us do the marketing for that event and build a beautiful website and help with all the funnels. So it couldn’t thank you enough for doing that for us. And it’s a lot of fun is on the horizon. But those are those that want Egypt to jump and go take care of the kiddos the orphanage and go on a cruise there,
Tyler Jorgenson 21:38
you got a lot of good stuff. And so you’re around the internet and a few places people can find you at Elijah desmond.com. They can learn on Instagram, your DJ, underscore smiles, underscore got to get those double underscores happening. And if you’ve got like one message for the entrepreneur who may be maybe struggling like maybe hurtin what would you be able to say for him,
Elijah Desmond 22:02
you’re almost there. Do not, do not give up, you’re almost there. And I’m going to tell you this, it takes one person to believe in you. It takes one single person to look on my LinkedIn and just posted about this yesterday. It takes one person to believe in you it takes one person to give you that opportunity. Listen closely, you’ve been looking for that one person probably for a very long time to give you that that first opportunity, that huge breakthrough, that huge deal. And I need you to look in the mirror, that one person is you. You need to believe in yourself before you expect anybody else to believe in you. I had so many dreams that were outside of the box, so many dreams that nobody believed in, but I’m going to tell you what I believed in them. And I had to be the first person to stand on stage confidently on my two feet and look everybody in the eyes and say I believe before anybody else believed in Believe it or not. Finally somebody said I believe you too, than the next person to take one person to clap for the rest of the cloud starts clapping as well. One person in the crowd has to start mapping, but you got to be the first clapper. You got to be the first person to believe in you so keep pushing.
Tyler Jorgenson 23:16
I love that ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, wherever you are listening. We thank Elijah for coming out on the show and don’t forget that it is your turn to go out and do something.
Thank you for tuning in to biz ninja entrepreneur radio. What you didn’t hear was one more very important question that Tyler asks each guest if you want to be a fly on the wall when the real secrets are shared, go to biz ninja.com/vip and get your access today. Remember to subscribe so that you don’t miss any future episodes. And our one last favor. If this episode was meaningful to you, please share this podcast with a fellow entrepreneur so they can grow along with us is ninjas. It’s your turn to go out and do something