Disclaimer: The Transcript Is Auto-Generated And May Contain Spelling And Grammar Errors
Intro: 00:00 From ABC News Radio, KIBT 1490 in Southern California, this is BizNinja Entrepreneur Radio, with your host, Tyler Jorgenson.
Tyler: 00:14 Hey, welcome out to BizNinja Entrepreneur Radio. I’m your host Tyler Jorgensen and I’m very excited to be chatting with Tommy Rodriguez today. Tommy was introduced to me through another friend and I’m really excited to learn about your entrepreneurial journey and about what you’re working on. Welcome out, to the show trod!
Tommy: 00:32 Appreciate you having me, man. It’s definitely an honor. Yeah.
Tyler: 00:36 Awesome. So let’s see. If someone looks you up online at www.tommyrodriguez.com they’ve learned that you do Amazon correct? And that you help other people do Amazon. However, something tells me that’s not the beginning of your journey. When did you first realize that you are an entrepreneur?
Tommy: 00:52 You know, for some reason I feel like I’ve always had that hustler’s mentality. I’ve always had that go get an attitude. Even when you know, prior to seven years ago, becoming self-employed and becoming an entrepreneur, I feel like I’ve always had on me. But I didn’t know where to go. I didn’t know what to do. I mean, how I didn’t even know about making money online. You know, when I was first introduced to this stuff in 2012 I was like, I was broke, but I was also skeptical. But you know, back then I knew that you couldn’t do both things right. At some point you’ve got to take a chance. It’s pretty much what I did back in the day is when I started my entrepreneur journey. I was just sick of tired of being broke, right? I was sick of tired of bouncing a new job every three months, every six months, getting laid off, quitting, even getting fired and I guess I was just for me, like my journey started in 2012.
Tommy: 01:43 March 4, 2012, I feel like, you know, I felt like that, day was just yesterday, man. You know, it just, it goes almost quicker than the 20s you know what I’m for? Sure. So for me, I got to start on this journey just because one, I was sick of being told what to do. I was sick of it. I was like, you know, I’m not going to work this job and for seven, eight, 10 bucks an hour being told what to do. Like, you know, it wasn’t worth it to me. Plus obviously I wanted my freedom right? At the same time, I didn’t know where this was going to go. I think most likely when we’re first starting our entrepreneur journey, we can try to envision, manifest and think, into the future of what we want to do, where we want to be. Really didn’t think like that a lot in the beginning, but I knew that I was just trying to make sure that I made enough money back in the day just so that I could stay afloat. You know, because my daughter who just turned seven in the end of July of this year, that she was going to be born three, four months after I started this journey. So my mindset was if I can’t support myself, how am I going to support another human being? Right. I mean, so that was my mindset. It kept me motivated. It kept me pushing. And I spent a lot of money I didn’t have. I was willing to risk all my credit cards, maximum them out, going to events shortly after my ex-wife at the time, my wife at the time, should I say, she thought I was crazy. You know, friends, family, everybody was like, oh, it’s not gonna work.
Tommy: 03:14 What are you doing with save that money? You know, you could use it for diapers and wipes. I’m like, but that’s not going to make us any money. At the end of the day, I’m taking the chance. I’m getting myself out there. I don’t know if it’s gonna work, but you know, I’ve used to even work on cars as a tire mechanic, just the short term time. And even back then I still had to buy the tools of wrenches, everything that I needed to learn how to change, you know, for the tires and changing the oils and stuff like that. So for me, I was definitely way out of my comfort zone. But you can’t connect the dots looking forward. Right? You can only connect them looking backwards. Right. I believe everything that’s happened in my life has happened in direct response to lead me to the path on that.
Tyler: 03:57 Yeah, absolutely. So you knew, okay, here basically if I’m hearing you right, you’re saying I’m stuck. I don’t want to just keep chasing job after job, I want to do something different. But your friends and your family, they didn’t know how to do anything differently. No. They were invested in you as you were and then your, that, that type of lifestyle. So the first thing you did was start trying to find courses and people that were seeing things differently. Right? So you started investing in that almost mindset shift, correct?
Tommy: 04:25 Correct. I, you know, I connected with one entrepreneur on Facebook that I didn’t even have Facebook back in the day. I use Twitter a lot. Right, right. And that’s actually how the guy found me as he tweeted out with software and the tweet, I appeared at my newsfeed and it was a link and it was like make money at home. $200- $300 a day. I’m like, what kind of Bs is this? But I was, I was still curious. So I clicked it and checked it out yet a face picture of him and his girlfriend had a phone number. I called and you know, obviously, I’ve got a real human being back then. And I was like, okay, so this is a real person. I’m not sure if it’s the person behind the screen, but it’s still a person that I’m seeing. So for me, it was just something that I knew I had to take a chance. And Yeah, a lot of friends and family didn’t really understand what I was trying to do, how I didn’t really even know what I wanted to do with that thought. Maybe it would just be a short term thing. But as I dug deep and I started connecting with other like-minded entrepreneurs and business owners, I realized, Oh, you know, maybe I have a gold mine here, you know, maybe I need to surround myself.
Tommy: 05:28 So I did what most newbies do. You know, I added a lot of new entrepreneurs that I felt that was in that circle that were doing network marketing, CPA, marketing, Facebook, whatever it is. I just started adding them on just because I wanted to see what everyone was up. I wanted to study, learn, even if they were all different fields and different niches. So that’s pretty much where I started. And, um, it’s crazy. It really is, man. It really is like, you know, that’s, I literally, when I say I started from the bottom and I started this whole journey, like I wasn’t spoonfed, didn’t have a lot of money. I was born in Boston, Massachusetts and I’ve been homeless at 17 years old and now I just turned 32 this month. And it’s, it’s just crazy to realize how far,
Tyler: 06:13 so man, you took this investment that you didn’t have right. Funds. And I actually, I’ve heard it said that those are the people that should be investing the most in themselves as the people that really like, you know, you’re already broke, right? The worst thing that could happen is you get a little bit more broken than you. You go belly up, but you’re already belly up. So it’s like go all in on yourself and learn and educate and do that kind of thing. And what’s funny is most of those friends and family that told you that don’t spend that money. Had you been like, oh, I’m going to go back to school and I’m going to get a student loan. They would said, what a great idea, how good of you, and it’s like, okay, you’re going to go get 40 to 80 grand in debt where you go and spend two to $3,000 on a credit card and they got to like invest in learning yourself. They freak out. That’s a whole other tangent. Here’s the thing, so you do this, you take these steps. What was the first thing that you did to make money as an entrepreneur besides adding a bunch of other entrepreneurs? I’ll be honest. No, I mean, yeah. What was like, what was the first business you started? Did you go right into Amazon or try a bunch of out?
Tommy: 07:10 I actually started with a thing called CPA marketing and for some people if you don’t understand that terminology, just answer our cost per acquisition. It basically means driving traffic. There was a company back then, you might even know if you’ve obviously been in the game for long enough as well as me, is that it was a company called instantly woods. And I believe I even still have my youtube video that was a company like instant rewards,Z and Z. And it was basically a company that had all these free trials, Netflix, blockbuster, when blockbuster was still around, um, you know, all these things and they basically saved a lot of money from advertising a lot on TV and they paid referrals to bring them clients or potential people who might want to keep the service and we’ll try it out. You got paid just for people trying it out. Right. So that was my first thing. But the thing is when I signed up, I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to grind that balls in front of it. I didn’t know how to get traffic. I didn’t know how to send traffic to my sites that I, you know, linked up with the guy that, you know, kind of really show me like, you know, this entrepreneurship journey making money online. I’m actually still even connected with this guy on Facebook, you know what I mean? It’s, and he’s like, dude, you’ve come so freaking far, you know? Right, right. He, I told him, I’m like, how’d you get me though? So I know you tweeted to me, but did you like, how did you know to tweet some me? How did you find me? Because if you got me, then maybe I could do the same thing to get other leads that way.
Tommy: 08:31 So he’s like, yeah, get the software, it’s $500 you know, I pay 500 and I’m like, and I was like, oh, well I don’t mindset, right. But after trying for like, I think it was like six, seven days, I was going on apps and I was just copying and pasting a message to everybody, trying to get as many people as like I forget if I did that that a hundred times, 200 times I would get at least one that might be somewhat interested. And um, anyways, it did work. I’ll be honest, it was definitely rookie marketing and I don’t recommend it, but I end up getting somebody, I believe they live in Jersey or somewhere else and they signed up. I made like 70 80 bucks the next day and my paypal account and I was, and now granted, keep in mind, I was working 18 to 20 hours a day.
Tommy: 09:17 So for me I felt like a millionaire. Then I was like, because it was my first money online that I didn’t have to work. The Java. Granted obviously took a lot of hours for me to really kind of get my own thing, but I realized, okay, yeah, it might have took me five days, but what if I can learn how to make this every day? What if I can learn a way to figure out how to do this, obviously in shorter times, but four times a day, this and that, you know, I could be on a gold mine. And before you knew what I started making youtube videos, I started get my ad, didn’t know how to rank videos, I didn’t know how to do any SEO. I didn’t, I stepped so out of my comfort zone and if you even watch my videos from back in the day, I’ll be honest, I was a little more fluffier from back on the date. So I was sure eating, I was eating good, you know, put it that way. And um, anyways, so that’s kind of really ultimately why I started. Like I said, I didn’t know anything about this stuff. I was so, you know, what’s the word? Green, you know, I was so fresh. I was right. Ooh. Yup. And, um, I did a little multilevel market and shortly after that, maybe a couple of four or five months later, I joined a company and I spent almost two grand to buy all their products. Cause you know, Logan was, if you don’t go in it all in, you know, we’ll see. So I was, I’m certainly not going to be that. So I, you know, I spent again, spent more money I didn’t have, but this was an educational platform for me to learn how to supposedly drive traffic to any business, not just what I’m promoting.
Tommy: 10:37 So I did that, did that for about 18 to 20 months. I actually made like good five figure income per month off that business. Now. Didn’t happen overnight, but maybe within four to six months, maybe seven months, I went to an event, I connected with other people making six figures a month. And that motivated me. The event itself didn’t motivate me. It was the connections that I built and yet myself around other people who would on the level that I want to be on. Right. You know what I mean? So, and then from there, uh, I got out after almost 18, 20 months and, um, I just covered the whole Amazon ebay thing drop ship. And here we are now 2019, you know, five years plus later. I still currently have sell on Amazon myself and I run a service for clients who want a passive stream of income basically like property management, right? You, you pay property management, they collect the rent, they handle the repairs. It’s like the same concept with my business models that people pay me a fee for me and my team of almost five years now in Bangladesh to run an Amazon drop shipping store for them. They have to do a little initial setup, get things going. Once everything’s set up, they can literally be pretty much almost hands off. And we’ve run a passive business model for them because even up to the, even up to this day, I used to teach, I used to teach dropshipping. Um, and I probably just skip that, but like after about a year and some change of doing the Amazon thing, I opened the doors. I started coaching up hundreds of people now. Again, it wasn’t automated, it wasn’t like my business model now. It was just basically teaching you one-on-one how to do it, how to make money.
Tommy: 12:11 And I did that for a while and I realized a lot of people made a lot of money. But I also realized, a lot of people are just really busy man. A lot of people don’t have time to learn this. A lot of people don’t have time to process a hundred orders a day, 50 orders a day and only up to the service email support. And then you know, now the automation has been almost about a couple of years in the making and it’s here and literally we’re running over 300 current stores at the moment for other clients and just a lot of happy people, man.
Tyler: 12:38 You know, I think that’s really interesting. So you talked about how originally you were teaching, Hey, here’s how you do it, here’s how you build a store like mine, run it. Here’s the day to days in that. And there’s a percentage of people that want to know that. But what you found is there’s a large percentage of people that don’t really care about understanding all of the details. They just want the benefit from it and they’re willing to pay for that. So that’s, and you created a solution for the people who have more money than time. Correct. And are willing to invest in themselves and then to their business to grow. Right. So,
Tommy: 13:09 and you’ll be surprised how many people come to me. I mean not, not all the people that buy my service. I mean that’s obviously not cheap. I’ll be honest. But not all of them are investors. Not all of them are real estate or some people are just people who’ve been hustling for the last three, six, seven, eight months trying to grind, trying to hustle, whether they’re flipping stuff off of Ebay, put himself craigslist, Facebook marketplace, sound bottles of water on the sheet. Some of these people are really going above and beyond to be able to get the funds because of my proven track record of just how many people have helped. Yeah, it’s definitely something. I mean, it’d be different to say anything different than obviously my services, you know, just amazing because it’d be biased to say anything different. Right,
Tyler: 13:49 of course. No, that’s what you have to say. Yeah. Testimonial will speak for it too. So what is like, let’s drop a bomb here. A value bomb. What is one of the common mistakes that somebody makes when they are giving into Amazon drop ship?
Tommy: 14:02 A lot of people don’t know where to start. Like if they’re trying to do more on their own, they don’t know what suppliers to use. They don’t know if they ordered from China. Ali Express, Ali Baba, they don’t know the rules and regulations of Amazon because Amazon is a very, you know, I’m not gonna say fickel, but it’s a tight, tight website to sell on in terms of making sure that you keep your account metrics clean, making sure the customers are happy because you know, a lot of people go on their and they don’t buy coaching, they don’t do anything. They think they can just do it themselves. After watching a couple of youtube videos and then they come to me or people that I used to train like, yeah, I got suspended. I don’t even know what I just did. Because you don’t understand the business. It’s like, yeah, you can do any, you can learn anything from youtube, you can do anything for free. Nowadays. You could change your oil in your car, but people still go to places to get it done, right? It’s just like anything else. You don’t need to pay for a co a trainer to train you to get in shape, but you still do because that person has the expertise that you’re looking for. So it’s like the same concept and there’s accountability piece as well, right? And so I think the common mistake is just not really, you don’t know what you don’t know. Right. So people can learn it on their own, 100% just like anything else. But you risk running into way more problems. Maybe not the first day, second day, maybe not even first or second week. It’s like 99% of people who try to do it on their own. We’ll end up quitting because they’re running it too many farms. A lot of people don’t have the heart to stick it out through all the bs and go through one to three years of trauma.
Tyler: 15:28 Right. Yeah, absolutely. So you know what, or give us a couple of success stories, like what some stuff that’s happened really well for, you know, either for you or for your clients as you guys have done this.
Tommy: 15:38 Oh, I’ll start with me just real quick. I guess this was kind of on the recent side. I recently, because of my own Amazon business, not because of my service itself, but because of my own Amazon stores that have been around passively making any money. You know, I recently bought my mom, it was in probably I believe may is, it was around my mother’s birthday. My mother’s been driving like a 2005 Ford focus or something and it was a lot of mileage, had a lot of problems in the car. So you know, for my mom’s birthday, you know my mom doesn’t drive a lot, but I wanted to go out there and surprise and I bought my mom a new car. Very cool. 2019 Subaru Forester. Now keep in mind my mom lives in like the Boston area. It’s snow. It’s the weather out there. You got like 10 months and that’s where I’m from. But you got like 10 months of maybe like winter, two months of summer. Yeah. So and my mom’s, you know in her 50s my mom doesn’t need a lambo roll. Oh that’s a perfect car for their, you don’t need it. That’s makes that car. Honestly, again, like for me, I did just get a Rolls Royce recently like Ah, back in April and this car is almost a half a million dollar client. I got to tell you this Subaru forester has in some sense it’s got the remote start.
Tommy: 16:48 My car doesn’t even have that. I’m like, what did I pay for? You know about to go get a Subaru myself. Geez. But the thing is for me, like it was an accomplishment and I knew this car is gonna go into last, my mom, the rest of her life, you know what I mean? Especially the way she uses it and stuff like that. So it’s an accomplishment. She was in tears, she was crying, she just had like ankle surgery, not, not too long prior to that. And you know, ever since she’s been able to drive it, like I’m still even on her email from setting it up and I get emails all the time where she’s remote starting from inside, inside of our house, like remote society’s successful. And it was just an accomplishment. And that was to me just a start of really where I want to go cause I’m actually looking at buying our house as well because I think, I think when you’re young you just want to do everything that you can to give back to your parents and the people that pretty much, you know, raised you and helped you out.
Tommy: 17:42 And, um, so to me that was a very most recent thing. That’s, you know, my business that’s passive paid for it, you know, just paid for it. So she has no loans, she has no nothing, just bought a new car just because again, it’s something she needed and not just wanting. And then of course in my own success, you know, the way that I’ve been living seven years now free, you know, I’m not even talking about the materialistics, the bands or the Rolls Royce that I just recently bought like three, four months ago. It’s giving me just a lot more time freedom. Obviously with my kids. I now have two kids, both with my same, you know, my ex wife, 15 month old boy and my daughter who just turned seven. So it’s given me just more time freedom with them and it’s given me a lot of stability and my business has given me the opportunity to invest in other things like real estate properties and other things that I’m doing to keep trying to secure the future, you know, for my kids.
Tommy: 18:31 Cool. So it’s been, it’s been a wild journey. And besides the fact that I’d just love to travel the world when I can and when I don’t have my kids that, you know, the ability to, hey, you know, I want to go to Cali today, I want to go to New York. The fact like, just book it and just go. And, uh, right now that’s just an amazing thing. The toys, the materialistic things have been great, but those were just little accomplishments to me. You know, the freedom, freedom is something I had been wanting to make sure that I maintain since I’ve tasted some success in this industry. It’s just not like I could never picture from me personally. I can’t picture her getting up at five, 6:00 AM to get stuck in traffic and be told what to do anymore. Like I don’t remember that lifestyle. It’s not, it wasn’t for me. It wasn’t in the cards for me. I mean, that’s just a little bit. And besides that, my own clients alone, uh, with my own, uh, like my own service. I mean, I’ve had some of these people buy a new car, new ass and Martin, some of these people taking this family on trips to Jamaica and some of them are using it to invest in their own. Like one of my buddies, he lives up north too and he’s taken his family on trips and he’s taken some of the money to reinvest it back into his, he has a restaurant business up north, right. And some of the profits on that thrown it into that restaurant to help it. So take some of the cost off his own expenses. So little things like that. I mean it’s just,
Tyler: 19:48 that’s not a little things, man. Those are the big things when we were talking about creating lifestyle design and we’re creating the life that we want. And so, and obviously, you know, I always say that uh, money doesn’t necessarily buy happiness, but money can buy time and if you know how to spend your time in ways that bring you joy, then by, you know, by extrapolation, money bought that happiness, right? Correct. That’s what you’re describing is the ability for you to go places to be location independent, to be able to support and help people that you love. It’s not necessarily about the money, it’s about the ability to do those things.
Tommy: 20:21 You know a lot of people like to say money doesn’t drive freedom and you know money’s not supposed, I don’t think its supposed to or not freedom, happiness should I say okay but for me happiness is an inside job. You have to be happier obviously within of course. But if money’s not supposed to buy happiness, you know poverty has never gotten anything right. You know, at the end of the day. So for me like it was just, I definitely had to put my head down. I had to get to work. Especially when I started this journey. I worked a lot, I spent money, I didn’t have, I spent money I was willing to lose because you know in any other business that any investments that you do, you have to be willing to understand one. I think long term everybody practices preaches, have patients think long term. But not everybody should I say practices, the whole being patient part of, you know, when it comes to, you know, running a business. So, you know, this whole experience has just taught me a lot. Right. You know, it’s cool. Takes about 3,650 days, I believe they said to become an overnight success. You know, for me to the levels that I’m hitting now and what I’m doing clients, you know, my own success, you know, give it back to my own family and stuff like that. To be able to do with that five to six years. Like, I mean, I just can’t wait to see what the next five to 10 years it has stolen, you know what I mean?
Tyler: 21:39 Awesome. Yeah. Very cool. So what is the, you said you love to travel. What’s one place that you haven’t been to that you’re going to go in the next 12 months?
Tommy: 21:46 Oh man, that was actually trying to go to Japan and China this month. Oh yeah. Then I realized, okay, you need to get your flight. Then you need to have a place to stay and then you need to get a visa. Especially if you’re going to believe this for more than five or six days. I think there’s temporary leases you can get to go to China. But that’s one of the thing I wanted to do. I’ve been wanting to go to Croatia. I’ve been to Europe multiple times. Croatia has been on the list and New Zealand. I mean man, there’s so many, but me and my ex wife would do share custody with the kids. So obviously I try to, I try to balance out my life with, you know, us moving things around so that, I’ll be honest, I’ll be honest with you, if I didn’t have kids like I was, I was texting my, my ex that she’s going to be bringing my son here shortly. I just told her, just wait outside. But if I didn’t have kids, you best believe I would probably live out of the country and I would bounce every three to six months into a new location, Thailand, Bali, Costa Rica, Panama, whatever. And that would just consistently like that’s just how my lifestyle would consist if I didn’t have kids. Totally get it now. So for me like I’m gonna New Zealand, Switzerland, these are like really good spots and I’m like really trying to go as well. They just look beyond breaths. Especially when you see them.
Tyler: 22:56 Well I’m going to connect you with my travel agent who will help you make sure you get to try next year soon.
Tommy: 23:00 OK I heard it might be getting cold for China though since I don’t know the seasons over this so you know.
Tyler: 23:06 Alright well cool man. Hey really appreciate you coming out on the show. If anyone wants to learn more, go to the tommyrodriguez.com or on Instagram @trod that’s actually shortly actually pronounce it right.
Tommy: 23:18 Most people pronounce it trod cause they don’t, they don’t know. They don’t know anyone that knows baseball knows to make it two syllables. And then of course, I think you have in beyond him, you know, anybody that obviously might be, listen, they’re going to be watching it like in a video or did they listen to it like on a jumping ball?
Tyler: 23:33 Most of the listeners are on iTunes, right? But people see it on YouTube and other places as well. So I’ll make sure to link everything for Tommy so you guys can find him. Learn more about what he does. Oh, he broke 10 million by 30 years old and everything he’s doing to help people create lifestyle design in their own lives. So, really appreciate you coming out and thank you everybody for listening or viewing or wherever you’re watching. It’s your turn to go out and do something.
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