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Gene Guarino | Become the Master of Your Life by Becoming a Pitch Master

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Hosted by
Mike Ayala

On this episode of Investing for Freedom, Mike interviews returning guest, Gene Guarino. They discuss residential assisted living, Gene’s Pitch Master Program, the importance of doing something that scares you every day and building your personal brand. Enjoy!

ABOUT GENE GUARINO:

Gene Guarino is the President and Founder of Pitch Masters Academy. He has personally sold over $150,000,000 of products and services from the stage over the past 20+ years. Gene has spoken in over 50 cities and 5 countries on many topics including but not limited to raising capital, entrepreneurship, real estate investing and more.

Gene has studied communication styles and techniques for years and is a student of the craft. But more importantly, he has applied what he’s learned as a teacher and others teach others. He has trained over 300,000 people over the past 30 years. He has hosted 3 radio shows and authored 4 books.

FIND GENE GUARINO:

Twitter: @ThePitchMasters
Instagram: @pitchmastersacademy
Facebook: PitchMastersAcademy
Company Website:  https://pitchmastersacademy.com
Gene’s Online training program – Learn more and register here
Event, April 18-20  – Learn more and register here

HIGHLIGHTS:

0:00 – Intro
2:20 – Gene gives us insight into his background. Gene grew up as an entrepreneur, he was a musician for some years and he has been doing real estate for a long time.
4:51 – Mike speaks about knowing people who have taken Gene’s courses and ended up doing extremely well in the residential assisted living space.
5:51 – Gene explains residential assisted living in detail.
8:16 – Gene expresses his motto “doing good AND doing well”, everyone wants to make money but it’s good to be a social entrepreneur and do good for the community too.
9:29 – Mike asks Gene if people who own real estate can get involved with this business without having to manage nurses etc.
11:53 – Gene speaks about the residents being “long term and low impact” and gives examples of why.
12:32 – Gene explains the importance of being intentional when you’re starting out, on what you want to do. E.g. If you don’t want to be a property manager, make sure you write that down and find the person you need to hire to do that job.
13:55 – To find out more about residential assisted living go to ral101.com
16:06 – Gene briefly discusses the rules and regulations regarding what you can/can’t do and where you can/can’t do it.
18:48 – Gene speaks about his Pitch Masters Academy program.
24:05 – Mike asks Gene what his opinion on personal brand is.
28:41 – Gene comments on Mike’s wife’s phrase “the heart is a gangster and the minds a little bitch”, Gene suggests you need to be willing to pay the price to get to the end result of your goals.
33:37- Gene speaks about the Pitch Masters Program and who will be there.
41:32 – Gene advises you to not put off till tomorrow, what you can do today.

FULL TRANSCRIPTION:

Mike Ayala: Thank you for joining me on the Investing for Freedom podcast. Today we’ve got a returning guest and I’m super excited about where this conversation’s going to go. Gene Guarino was actually, I’m pretty sure it was episode 11. So if you miss that episode, let’s make sure that you go back and get into that episode because we’re going to do things a little different today. We would usually start out with the four questions. We’re going to bypass that because you can go back and really listen to episode 11 and get into some of Gene’s background. But what we do want to do is give you some, you know, just a platform to understand how amazing Gene is. I do want to get into his background a little bit. Just the things that he’s built. I mean, Gene was on the front edge of a lot of things that a lot of us are talking about today, including building your personal brand and being able to build a network and a list and raise capital. And more importantly I love, I’m not going to give away his saying, but I love Gene saying about you know, just doing amazing things in the world. I’m not going to say how he’s going to say it, but Gene has just done some awesome things. So Gene, I appreciate you being back.

Gene Guarino: Thank you, and I appreciate the invite. I told you this before we started, I loved your questions. I love your podcasts and the way you handle things, you do great. So thank you for inviting me back.

Mike Ayala: I appreciate that a lot. And you know, just a quick background. So I met Gene through the real estate guys who have had you know, anybody that listens to me knows that, that period of time, I think there’s times in our lives that really shape the next season. And that could be a year. It could be 10 years, but I met Jean through, I think it was at the syndication event, but then, you know, we’ve been on cruises together and all kinds of things with the real estate guys. And I just can’t thank them enough for the relationships and just the things that they’ve taught me and just even meeting amazing people like you. So it’s been a journey.

Gene Guarino: They’re great conduits for bringing it all together.

Mike Ayala: They sure are. So yeah, Gene, why don’t you just dive into, you know, your background, wherever you want to go, whatever you want to tell the guests. And then we’re going to get into some amazing things that you’ve got on the table that could really help people grow their brand, whether they’re raising capital or anything else. So, yeah, start from the beginning.

Gene Guarino: I think that’s an interesting, the conversation about building your brand because everybody is a brand and whether it’s you’re quiet and demure, and nobody knows you, or whether you’re outgoing and brash knew your face, everybody has a brand, but controlling that brand and knowing that it’s going to live forever is really, really an important piece. So just to give everybody the 32nd overview, but watch the last interview, it was great. I’ve been doing business for a long, long time. I grew up as an entrepreneur. I’ve never actually had a real job. I was a musician as a teenager, we had a music school recording studio, small record label when I was 18. We were renting a property. We ended up buying the property. So the first property we ever bought, 18 years old, first commercial 25, I’ve been doing real estate for, and this gray beard wasn’t painted on this morning. So it’s been, that was a long time ago. Actually. I just celebrated my 60th birthday, so that’s how long ago it was. And it is, but I’ve been doing real estate and business for a long, long time. Right now, what I do is just one thing. It’s called residential assisted living. We take single-family homes and repurpose them into assisted living. And right now with everything going on in the world, seniors, their health, their safety is really, really important. I’ve been saying it for seven years now that I’ve been doing this, it’s smaller is better. Our business is booming to the point where this past year, since we talked, we launched a franchise in the industry. So a franchise that is huge. That’s a really big stamp. Our training classes are going phenomenal. I’m now more investing in the homes and the beds across the country than I am owning and operating them. I’ve kind of sold the businesses still own the real estate. So I’m getting tremendous rent that way. But investing in beds all across the country, we’ve got thousands of students across the country that we helped to be successful. And then you know, just to kind of set the whole table, we’ll come back to branding. This year with the company has grown tremendously besides raising the, or launching the franchise we also are launching a brand-new company called the shared housing Academy, which now covers everything, not just residential assisted living, but sober living, golden girls homes, student housing. So the shared housing Academy literally is just launching as we speak. And then one more piece for those who are looking to invest in real estate, they don’t want to get into the business of shared housing or assisted living the preferred real estate provider program where people can be, they want to raise their hand and say, I’ll buy the property and lease it to the operator getting twice the market rent with a long-term lease. So we have a lot of things going on and I’ll let you decide where you want to take it from there.

Mike Ayala: Well, it’s interesting. I think we’d be doing our listeners a disservice if we didn’t you know, talk about that a little bit because I’ve watched you over the last few years and you know what you’ve built, and I want to say this I know a lot of people that have taken your courses and have done extremely in the assisted living space. And you said this already, but I’ve thought a lot about you this year. And I haven’t even had the chance to tell you this, but you know, when we’re talking, when we’re hearing these stories, I’ve heard so many heartbreaking stories, Gene like personal stories you know, some people that are good friends and people that I’ve had on this podcast where, they’re literally, haven’t seen their dad who’s in a nursing home and he has Alzheimer’s, and they haven’t seen him for four months.  They can only talk to him, you know, and you’re hearing these heartbreaking stories and you said this and again, I think we should, I’ve been hearing you say this for years, that smaller is better. And you’ve been talking about the value of and just so people understand what it is that you’re really talking about. You know, you teach people how to take smaller homes and their mom or their dad lives in an assisted living facility where they get help. And they have people that are in there cooking. And I’ll let you tell the story, but you know, what is this?

Gene Guarino: Yeah. You know, when I say smaller is better, most people, when I say assisted living or seniors, they think of a big, huge, converted hospital or something institutional. So we don’t do it that way, where there’s 200 people in that building in that community. We do it in a single-family home. We also do it in a higher, higher-end way. So instead of a 1500 square foot home, or 2000 square foot home, it might be a 4000 or 5000 or 6,000 square foot home. There’s going to be 10 to 16 seniors typically in that home, they’re getting care, but it’s not medical. So they don’t need a nursing home. It’s not doctors, nurses and gurneys. It’s not the golden girls where they stay at home and take care of each other. It’s a home in a residential setting. They live there, but there’s caregivers that come and take care of them 24/7. The kids 50,60 come visit their parents or grandparents for an hour or an afternoon. And they go home. But the parents live in that house. So the model, when I say smaller is better, I also have heard heartbreaking stories of people who have had their parents in basically isolation. And think about that for a moment. It’s like, you’re confined to a solitary confinement, but it’s not a prison. It’s your assisted living community. And I’m not going to name names, Birkdale, Sunrise, Atria, these large, big facilities, that 200 people, and they don’t know how to handle it. So they just say, look, grandma, you stay in your room, we’ll bring the food to you. You can’t talk to anybody. We’re just going to pop in every hour and see if you’re alive or okay, you can’t visit your family. They can’t visit you. It’s like, that’s horrible. That’s worse than potentially getting the flu or anything else. So that’s been horrible. People have moved out of there to come to our homes because it’s a home, you’ve got one caregiver, two caregivers coming through the front door, not this community where there’s 50 people roaming in and out. So it’s safer. Smaller is better, safer. You can do the visitations, etc. But it’s a great business model as well because there’s a lot of people. I was just going through all the charts and stats how many people need this help and it’s just incredible. It’s an average of 6.5% percent of all the people, 65 and above that need this type of help. Now that’s a huge number of people. That’s millions and millions, and there’s not enough room in the end. So the good homes are full of a waiting list and our students are building this fast as they can. It’s a great time to be in this business.

Mike Ayala: And what is your saying around doing good?

Gene Guarino: Yeah, it’s doing good and doing well. So the concept of doing well, everybody wants to make a lot of money do well, but doing good, being a socialpreneur, doing something that’s good for the community. And in our case, we’ve had this conversation. My whole family is involved in what we do. It’s the AAL family, assisted living family. And we have a series of companies underneath. But all four of my kids now last time was three. Now it’s all four of my kids work for me full-Time, not work for me. They’re part of the team. My son-in-law, my future son-In-Law, my daughter-in-law. They are all working with us as well. So it’s a really family-oriented business. But we have a dozen or two other people that work with us as well in all the different companies. So it’s a great way to, to not only make money, but do-good help other people.

Mike Ayala: It is so amazing. And so a lot of my listeners you know, some of them are already investing in real estate. A lot of them are still in their W2 jobs. They’re looking for passive income. They’re looking for ways to, you know, some of them are happy with their jobs, but a lot of them are looking for ways to eventually get out and do their own thing. It’s Investing for Freedom, right? A lot of these people are looking for time freedom. So just give us the, you touched on a lot of this, but they don’t have to run. They don’t have to run nurses and all that kind of stuff to get into this business, right. They can own real estate.

Gene Guarino: Correct. There’s kind of two parts to it, the real estate and the business. So you can do either or both. And if you just want to do the real estate part, you can own the real estate and lease it to the operator of that residential assisted living. A lot of times they’re willing to pay a higher rent. I always say, you know, twice the market rent, and your thought is why would they pay me that one? Why don’t they go buy their own home. Most businesses don’t own the real estate. They do business in, they lease it. Because their job, their business is to be the business operator. So right now I mentioned at the beginning, I’ve sold my businesses and I own the real estate and lease it back to the operators. So a home that I have that might be like here in Arizona, it might be a 4,000 square foot home that might rent for $1500, let’s say $2,000, maybe $1500 to $2,000 a month on leasing it out to the operator and the business for $4,500 a month. So, and it’s a long-term lease like a five-year lease and they take care of the maintenance. So that’s as a landlord, that’s the kind of thing I want. I want to be collecting high rent with a long-term tenant. That’s not grandma, it’s the operator of they’re going to be there for years. They want great curb appeal. So those homes that we have tend to be bigger homes, leasing them out, getting higher rates. And that way you can cashflow nicer properties that others would just pass on because they can’t do a quick fix and flip or wholesale. They can’t BHRR you know, buy it, hold it, rent it, repeat and so on. But when you can get twice the cashflow, now you can get a nice house. And it works out really, really well.

Mike Ayala: Man, there’s so many things that they’re, you know, for somebody that’s just getting into real estate or they got one or two, I hear this so many times, like, I don’t want to be a property manager. I don’t want to change. You don’t have to in this model, because literally, they’re responsible for all the maintenance. And the other thing that I’m just sitting here thinking as a real estate investor, they have their team in that home every single day. Like there, this isn’t like something where you, you know, once a year, you get to inspect they’re in their everyday taking care of things and cleaning the home. And plus I would imagine I’ll leave this up to the experts, but I would imagine that this demographic of people living in this home, they’re probably not partying. They’re probably not trashing the house. Like this is, it seems like a gem to me.

Gene Guarino: You know, it’s funny. I always say they can have a party they’re in bed by 7.15. So it is okay. No, but you’re right. They’re low impact. And the residents who live there, they’re not actually tenants. It’s a service that’s being provided for them, but they’re older. They’re not trashing the house. They’re not raising rottweilers in the backyard or the back bedroom. They’re not dissecting the Harley Davidson on the dining room table. So long-term low impact, really important. The maintenance on the house, you can get a home warranty policy for the big stuff, anything under a hundred bucks, let the tenant take care of it. They love it because they’re making a great income doing the business. So I wanted to make this analogy because you’d ask, I’ll try to keep my answers shorter, cause I can talk for days. But the reality is when we say being involved in a business, you can do any part that you want. And I think you need to be intentional when you’re starting out, what do I want to do? So the person who says, well, I don’t want to be a property manager. Good, write that down and make sure that’s a part of your plan. I’m not going to be the property manager. So what you need to do is find the company or the person who’s going to do that for you. It’s not what it’s who, so we get that other person to do it for us. When I first got started with assisted living, it’s like, I am not a caregiver. I am not a manager. That’s not me. It’s not what I do. I’m the business owner. I’ll get the real estate. I’ll set it up, give you the tools and the resources you need. I’m going to go get the next one that you can now manage that one. So you decide what part you want to play, but do that upfront. Don’t get sucked in.

Mike Ayala: I love what you just said about, you know, if you don’t want to be the property manager, write that down because I think so many times, you already said it, but we get sucked into what we don’t. I literally keep a, I’m not going to do list. Like I’m not going to do this anymore. And so, yeah, I love the way you said that.

Gene Guarino: I’m not going to do, I like that. I am going to write that down.

Mike Ayala: Yeah. That’s good stuff. Well, so where can people, we’re going to get into this other area that we want to talk about, which I think Gene’s built something that, I don’t care what business you’re in. We need this and we’ll about that. But where could people find out more information on the assisted living programs?

Gene Guarino: Yeah. If you want to learn more about the assisted living, I’m going to give you a simple website. Three letters, three numbers, www.ral101.com. So residential assisted living just R-A-L-101, you get a couple of things there. You can download a copy of my book, blueprint, how to start your own residential assisted living business. Get that for free today. There’s some webinars there you can watch. And there’s a phone number you can call to talk to somebody.

Mike Ayala: That is cool. And one other thing, and I’m really excited about this. I didn’t even know until talking to you today, but if you go back, I think it’s probably four or five episodes ago. There’s a guy that I’ve been coaching 101. His name’s Alex. And I had him on the podcast. We’re doing kind of like a up and coming stars type thing. And what he’s done in four years is just amazing. And what’s really cool. They’ve went from zero investment properties and I think they own six houses now. And it’s recovery houses that they do the same thing. And so where can people find out about that? Cause I’ve thought about you when I’m hearing Alex that he’s investing in these because it’s the kind of the same model, right?

Gene Guarino: It is. And it’s a little bit broader. So we actually are launching the shared housing Academy. So right now I don’t have a simple website for you, but www.sharedhousingacademy.com where it does talk about the sober living, autism special needs, golden girls, anything, and even Airbnb or short-term rentals, but how can you use a single-family home and multiply through division. Instead of renting the whole house to one, or renting it out by the bedroom or two people in a room and who pays for that? Well, it could be the state is paying for that. It could be a private pay. So the shared house in the Academy, we’ve got some great partners in that and literally just launching it right now. But you’re the first one to hear those words come out of my mouth.

Mike Ayala: I love it. And obviously, I’m so excited about like everything you do, I’m having a hard time getting off of this subject. But one more thing that I want to ask/say you know. As real estate developers, investors, like a lot of even Airbnb, like we’re concerned about regulations and all this stuff, but really when it comes to like senior housing and I would imagine even, you know, special needs housing and that kind of stuff, there’s not a lot that cities can do from a negative perspective, right? Can you just touch on that.

Gene Guarino: Yeah. First of all, there are rules and regulations, the way you can and can’t do, where you can and can’t do it. But seniors are a protected class with the federal fair housing act. Seniors are considered disabled, which is a protected class. So there’s different rules. So, you know, we live in Arizona. You might go to Tempe, Arizona, which is a college city. They say you can’t have more than four unrelated adults because they don’t want the animal house in fraternities, right? So with seniors, you can have up to 10. Well, that’s different. Why? Because it’s a protected class. When it comes to the recovery homes, here’s something that people don’t know if your home is an approved. And I don’t just mean you open it up and move 10 people in, but it’s an approved recovery home. This rent moratorium that is killing a lot of landlords doesn’t apply because they’re not a tenant. You can boot them out because they took drugs or they broke the rules, etc. You can boot them out. And I know that’s a bad way to say it. You can ask them to leave and you have that authority. They’re not protected by that same you know, moratorium on paying rent. If you don’t pay the rent, well, you didn’t follow the rules. You’re out. So recovery homes had that distinction, but NIMBY not in my backyard is probably no matter what you do, no matter what you do, including senior housing group homes, anything at all. So you need to know the rules better than they do. But if you do know the rules better than they do, like you said, the city, cause there’s lawsuits that have happened all over the country and saying, you can’t do this. And the city spends a half a million dollars in legal fees only to find out, yes, they can. They have to allow it. So when you’re able to reference that and go to the city council, the towns, whatever it may be and say, look, here’s the cases that they spent money, they lost. You’re going to let it happen. Then what you’re looking for is reasonable accommodation. I’m not looking to change the rules in the state of the country. I just want reasonable accommodation. I want to open up my home in this area. So by knowing the system and how to play the game, knowing how to find the rules and work through the rules, you can do this throughout the country.

Mike Ayala: Wow. That’s amazing. Well, if higher rents and easier evictions and long-term leases and no maintenance, if all that sounds interesting to you go to www.ral101.com. I love it. So let’s shift gears. You’ve got a new program called Pitch Masters Academy. And one thing that I want to say, I’ve always been so inspired. Anytime Gene takes the stage or gives a talk or is sitting in front of me on zoom, I am like super inspired. And so you’ve put together a program that helps people become Gene. No, I’m just kidding.

Gene Guarino: Well, it’s funny you say it that way, but that’s kind of it because I literally have had thousands of people ask me over the last 30 years, can you teach me how to speak? And I’ve, I would love to, but I just didn’t have the capacity to be able to do it. So what we did was our students needing to raise capital for the assisted living, they needed to be prepared. So part of that is speaking, but part of it is in the right business plan, the right power points, all of the things that go with it, the PPM. So we created a whole program called Pitch Masters Academy. We did a live event. It was fantastic. We ended up recording all of that. We make that available online. We’re doing one more live event coming up and I’m so excited about that. Cause we have Kevin Harrington from shark tank coming in, Tommy Hopkins, the number one sales trainer in the world spoken to 5 million people, Tommy he’s incredible and others too. But it’s going to be the opportunity to present, to get critique and training on how to do that properly. And whether you’re raising capital, whether you’re going to the bank to get a loan, whether you’re trying to talk your spouse into which movie to go to, you know, being able to pitch and present to be effective in it is really, really important. I personally had sold $150 million from the stage myself just presenting and selling. So the skills are being able to present. And in essence communicate, that’s a lot of what we get across. Plus all the other things you need when you’re raising capital. So Pitch Masters Academy.

Mike Ayala: So you said you’re doing one more. Does that, I mean, is this potentially It?

Gene Guarino: We’re doing one more of the live events because everything’s going virtual right now. So that one coming up, but it depends on when this airs, right. It’s either before, during or after when you guys are hearing this, but we’re doing one more live event where it’s a two-day event. Cause I’m bringing in all the big guns, all the, it’s going to be really cool. And it’s at the talking stick resort, which is a great place in Scottsdale. So that event itself is a two-day event. That’s coming up in April of 2021. But again, it depends on when you’re listening to this. So that event itself is going to be a lot of fun. Hopefully, you can come Mike.

Mike Ayala: Yeah, well actually Gene and I were talking about this before the episode and I’m going to look at my calendar and make this a priority, because we’ve got a mutual friend slash someone that Gene works with and I do too. That was speaking at one, I don’t think it was a year ago. And I felt I had such a FOMO. Cause I didn’t know that you were putting this on. And I was like, I went to lunch with this guy that you had speaking. And I’m like, what? Like what, like I wanted to be there so bad. And so I’m going to move everything around to try to be there. So if you can make it you know, I hope to see you at Gene’s event. And that being said too we’ll probably launch this two weeks from now, Gene, we’re going to push this up cause I really want to, this is important.

Gene Guarino: Let’s do this, for your listeners, I’ll give you some to put in the show notes. We’ll announce it that way in the show notes, there’ll be some kind of a link that you’ll get a special opportunity to sign up. You know, with Mike’s blessing, we’ll give you a special pricing and so on and that way, you know, you can pass the blessing onto them.

Mike Ayala: Yeah, awesome. We’ll definitely put that in the show notes. And I’ll say this now, and we can talk about it at the end too. But if you text the word pitch, P-I-T-C-H to (480) 531-7519, then I’ll send you that link too. And you can you know, get some preferred treatment for Mr. Guarino. So yeah, well, so here’s what I think is so amazing about this. And I’d love to get your take on this. I don’t care what business our listeners are in. They could be in a W2 job wanting to get out. They could be a successful investor with 50 homes. They could be running a private equity company. I don’t care what it is. I think the value of being able to number one, catch eyeballs, and that’s a horrible way to say it. But in this day and age, I heard this statistic a while back and you’ve been in the marketing and you know, radio world and everything for years. But I heard a statistic the other day on a podcast around marketing. I remember when I first started business in 2004, the radio guys coming in and telling me, you know, it takes seven to eight impressions to get someone’s attention. That was the number back then. I heard a marketing guru the other day say that it could take 27 to 29 impressions now for someone to even hear what you’re saying, because we’re just getting bombarded by information. And so what I love about what you’re doing, just even teaching people how to speak and be concise and relatable. I mean, who doesn’t love Gene Guarino? Anytime Gene’s around. Like, so, you know what, if you’re a stick in the mud, then I don’t know if Gene can help you there. But just even the whole Pitch Masters Academy is such a brilliant concept to me. And not only again, just teaching people how to speak, but building their whole business model. So personal brand, I think I’ve been talking about this for a while, but I think that building your personal brand, people do business with people they know like and trust. And if you’re obscure and you refuse to be seen by the world, you’re either going to need to hire somebody like Gene to come speak for your organization and be the frontman. Or you need to get out of your shell and, and learn to get comfortable doing that. And I would say that the latter is probably better because who better to represent your brand than you. And there’s a lot of people that I still think are saying, well, I don’t want to build a brand. I don’t want to be, I was that guy a couple of years ago. Matt Scott, who’s a mutual friend of ours. He’s been telling me for years, Mike, you know, if you can’t be seen, you can’t be heard, all these talking points and I resisted it. So what’s your thoughts on all of that, the personal brand and success in business and obscurity, all of it.

Gene Guarino: Yeah. You know, you are absolutely right. And that who is going to be a pitch master, who you must have been talking about it. He’ll be there as well. He’s confirmed. So that’s great. Totally agree. And here’s the thing, I just want to start by saying this, so I don’t forget it. Everyone who is listening. You should get your own name.com and get it right down. Cause if you’re thinking on not going to do it, okay, let’s just say some five years from now you are doing something, but somebody else went and got your name.com or whatever it is. So www.geneguarino.com, If you go there right now, I control that. But if I didn’t get that, and by the way, all the fat finger spellings of that too, because my name isn’t Smith, it’s different. So G U A and everything else, but the point is you need to start by controlling your presence. And part of it is the real estate of the world. So what do we have? We’ve got Clubhouse is now a big one up and coming. You’re going to hear more and more about that. It’s incredible, that it will suck your life, so be careful, but the point is, there’s all kinds of things. So for instance, clubhouse, I just went out and got a bunch of different things with. clubhouse or, you know, clubhouse.com, different things that anything that I could get that related to what I’m doing and what I might want to do, because if I don’t get that now, that same website might cost a million dollars later on. Think pets.com, right? The website itself, just the name. So you’re going to, you are a branding no matter what you think or do, so everybody who’s listening, or if you said, like Mike said, I’m not going to do it. No you are doing it. It’s just, is your brand quiet, obscure, unknown, or is it controlled by you? You don’t need to even get out and speak, but what’s really cool is there’s a lot of people that I know now, Keith Weinhold is somebody who I think is a great example where you need him. And he’s a very quiet, you know, unassuming guy, but his online presence is much more bold than he is. So you can be the person you want to be online and be that create that. So pictures, videos anything you can do with credibility, pictures of you with other people like Mike, I’m sure you have a picture with you and Robert Kiyosaki somewhere. If not get it the next time, but any of those things, because all of that becomes, you’re now attaching yourself to that other person. So all those different pieces that can help you with the branding, don’t skimp out on this day and age. I was about to say, don’t skip out on bad pictures. Everybody’s got a phone this day and age. And on that phone, you have an incredible video system and camera that used to be a television studio. It’s in the palm of your hand now. So just get pictures, get video, claim your state and your spot. But it is important that you control it or else somebody else will.

Mike Ayala: It’s such a good point. I even have pictures of you before I actually got to know you. I got pictures with Gene. You never know….

Gene Guarino: I have pictures with Mike. That’s what it is.

Mike Ayala: I love it. You know, it’s funny as you’re saying all that it’s not, if it’s when, right? You need to, I agree with everything you said, Kara, my wife put up a post this morning on Instagram and it was a picture of her. And the caption said the heart is a gangster and the mind is a little bitch. And then she went on to talk about like all these bullet points where, you know, your heart says, I want to do X. And then your mind gets in there and says, you’re not going to do this. You can’t do that. You’re never going to be this. And then your heart says, I want to help X amount of people. Why would anybody listen to you? All the things that you just, that you just said. And that’s what I think is so valuable about the programs like Pitch Masters Academy, because contrary to popular belief, maybe you were just born with that smile and all of that, but all of us deal with insecurities, right?

And the more you get past that, the more conversations you have, the more times you show up in front of camera, the more pictures you take, the more captions you put out, the more comfortable you’re going to get with that. So it’s not like, you know, and I’ll let you address this, but I love what she said. The heart is a gangster and the mind’s a little bitch. The mind is going to stop us from doing so many amazing things. And I would love to get your sense on this. I feel like, like we’re called, I don’t care who you are. You’re called to help people and change lives. I don’t care what it is. We’re all here for a specific reason. And I don’t think sitting on the couch, watching Netflix is our purpose. But the heart is the gangster. It wants to do things, but that mind is a little and it stops us. So what’s your thoughts on that?

Gene Guarino: That’s a cool phrase. First of all, it sounds like it should be on a t-shirt if it’s not already. That’s good. Actually it should be, that’s pretty cool. The concept of limiting beliefs, you know, it is it’s right here. You can do anything. I’m one of those people truly believes you can do anything you want to do, and you need to be intentional about that. You know, why do you want it? And I want you to hear us clearly and what he’s listening. It’s not Mike saying you should be out there and be a star and be in front of, no it’s what do you want? And if you want the end result of what that can bring, well, now maybe you’re willing to pay the price of doing that. But you also, and I’m going to lead to a story here. You know, when I was a lot younger, a teenager, I wanted to be a rock and roll musician, and the closer that I got to that, and then I finally, so I didn’t get really close, but the closer I got to that I was offered to go on tour with one of the local bands that was going to be touring across the country. But the reality is I’d be living on basically an old school bus. We’d be getting paid like $50 a gig. And I’m away from the whole family. It’s like, all right, so you ready to get on the bus and go away for a year and do that? It’s like, no, I’m not willing to pay above price to get to that end result. So I want to state that before we talk more about Branding, because you need to be clear on what it is you want, now if you’re saying, I don’t know what I want, then at least stake your claim, so nobody else can take your claim. Your. Com, your name, I’m serious guys, do that. Because if you don’t, imagine if anybody out there, Michael Jackson didn’t have his own .com, somebody else had it. They own them. Anybody looks for them. Anyway, there’s so many things I can talk about that, good and bad, negative, but claim your spot. Beyond that, the concept of becoming more comfortable. If you have limiting beliefs and says, I’m not good on camera, or I can’t speak, some people don’t like the way I speak, because they’ll say, oh, you’re too slick. You’re too clean. You’re too polished. And then somebody else would come out with ums and ahh and stutters. And it’s like, oh, I relate to that person. So be yourself, be real, be yourself. And then you might find, wow, I’m growing into an area that I really liked doing this. And I’m going to do more video, more pictures, be out there more. I’m at the point where, when you talk about creating the brand, we have a whole team of people that takes care of stuff. I do my own personal page, but they post stuff on my page and they’ll respond to people. I’ve got a personal page, business pages, LinkedIn, Instagram, all those things. I couldn’t tell you what’s on half of them. And a lot of times I don’t mean to blow the secret guys. But if you were to respond, say something to me on LinkedIn, per se, it’s the team. The staff is responding back to you and having that conversation. So sometimes I’ll meet somebody and they’re like, h, we had a great conversation on LinkedIn over the last year. And I’m like oh, that’s great. I don’t have a clue. It wasn’t me. It was somebody else. So you don’t have to do it all yourself, but it’s all part of the brand. I think we’re at like 5 million images a day right now that you know that many impressions, go out. You don’t get that many clicks. You might get 5,000 clicks. But the point is, there’s a lot of things going across that screen that 27 times still somebody finally says, well, let me see what he has to say.

Mike Ayala: That’s amazing. Yeah, that’s good stuff. I love it. So you know, as a side note too, and I completely agree with getting, you know, staking your domain. In fact, if any of my brothers or sisters or sisters-in-law are listening to this, the secret’s going to be out, but I’ve gotten the domains for every one of my nephews, my nieces, my brother, like I own all their domains and they don’t even know it. Just because, you know, they’re not thinking about that right now. I got, when my kids were little, I got Dylan Ayala. I got Tim Ayala. I got Ayala, I got Kaitlin, Elise, I got all their domains. And you know, my son is a professional wake surfer now, and he’s got his own domain and he’s doing his thing. And I’m so glad I did that. Because you know, I don’t have Mike Ayala. He’s a famous boxer. And that stayed in my way a little bit. So I have Michael, but now people are calling me Michael, and I don’t even want to go by Michael. But anyway, the point is like, I so agree with what you’re saying, that I went and bought, I went and bought every one of their domains and I’m just going to give it to them when they’re ready. Maybe they never need it, but if they do, they have it.

Gene Guarino: That is so cool. So for the 10 bucks a year, you know you staked at 20 bucks or whatever the point is, you’ve protected them. And they don’t even know if they need it yet. You don’t notice they need it, but what a gift you’re giving them, and they don’t even know it yet. That is cool.

Mike Ayala: It’s exciting. So I’m going to give you the platform for pitch masters, wherever you want to take us. I’m so excited about it. I really am. I don’t, I wouldn’t say that if I wasn’t and I think my listeners know that cause I don’t really push a lot of programs, but I’m excited about this.

Gene Guarino: Yeah. Well, like I said, it’s going to be one time. It isn’t April of 2021. It’s in Scottsdale, Arizona. Kevin Harrington, One of the original sharks on Shark Tank. I’ve known Kevin for 12 or 15 years now. And he is, he’s a great guy and he loves to share, but this guy, he has listened to 50,000 pitches, 50,000 pitches. He has sold almost $6 billion now of products and a lot of it on TV. So he’s the godfather of the infomercial and he’s got a book called Act Now. It’s the whole story about where infomercial started, and it was Kevin Harrington. So really cool guy and just huge energy, loves to share. He’s very excited about being there. In addition to that I’m going to be there. Matt Scott is going to be there. We’ve got Tommy Hopkins who has spoken to 5 million people in person all over the world. He’s retired now, but you know, we were out to dinner the other day and he said, would you come out? And he said, yes. And he said I own dinners for life. That’s what he said, I’m okay with that. But anyway, he’s going to come out and we’re just going to, I’m going to interview him because he’s got so much wisdom and stories and history because I think a lot of times people have an aversion to selling. And if you have an aversion to selling, you don’t get it because you’re selling all the time. You’re selling your kids to go to bed. You’re selling your, you know, where are you going to go on a movie? You’re at the banker to loan money to you, somebody to invest in your project, you’re selling all the time and it’s influenced and its communication. So these are skills that you’re, you’re, you’re at where you’re at. You can get a whole lot better, but you need to put yourself in a position to learn that. So it’s primarily the Pitch Master event that we’re doing two days in April 19th and 20th. It’s going to be really giving you the tools that you need to be a successful and productive communicator, as well as what you need an understanding of how you raise capital syndication as well as a great time to meet Kevin Harrington, Tommy Hopkins, get your pictures with them, which is great too. And the talking stick resort is pretty darn cool as well. So come on out, play golf, go to the casino, see a show, go to all the restaurants. It’s a great place to be.

Mike Ayala: Well, that’s exciting. And I’ve got this, you know, as I was listening to you say that, I mean, Kevin Harrington, it makes me a little nervous. Like I’m going to, you know, I’m going to go there. I’m going to put together this three-minute presentation or whatever, and I’m going to get to pitch to Jean Guarino and Kevin, if you’re out there and you know, you’re excited about it, but then you hear things like that and it makes you nervous, I’m thinking, I believe it was Eleanor Roosevelt that said, do something every day that scares you. And the difference between, you know, where you’re at right now and where you want to go are these types of events and these types of things. And so I’m just so excited about it. And I just wanted to say that because I think a lot of people think that, you know, Gene, and maybe you don’t ever get nervous, but I’m a little bit nervous about putting together a pitch after learning from you guys and then doing it in front of Kevin Harrington. So I want you to understand that this doesn’t for me, it gets easier, but it never completely goes away. I mean, I’ve never pitched in front of somebody like Kevin Harrington. So if you’re, if it makes you scared, but you’re like, your heart’s beaten. And you’re like, well, maybe I need to do that. I think you do need to do that. And the other thing that was my thought, as you were talking, you know, I remember hiding behind me, you said we’re always selling, right? And I remember hiding behind you know, even in our business, like with Andrew, my business partner, Andrews, you know, I always looked at him. He’s the face. Like, he’s the guy that goes out there. He’s the one and Matt Scott really helped me with this. Like I literally woke up one day Gene. I sold my business in 2014, and I’ve often said that was the best and worst day of my life, because I had spent 10 years of my life. My identity was wrapped up in that business. I didn’t know where I was going to go next. I didn’t have an identity of Mike Ayala. I had an identity of that company that I had built, and I was the general manager of that company and what I realized through that process. So I woke up probably two years ago and I immediately started texting Matt and I had this, like, epiphany that someday I’m going to exit the current business I’m in, or I’m going to want to move on to something else in life. You’ve so eloquently talked about it. Maybe your desires just change, and you move onto something else. Well, if you’ve built this identity, that’s all in this business, or you’re a real estate investor or whatever it is that you’ve built, and you don’t have your personal identity. That’s what I think the power of the personal brand. And so what I was getting to, if you’re hiding behind, well, you know what? I don’t need to learn how to sell. I don’t need to learn how to be a better presenter. I don’t need to, you can hide behind that all you want to, but the reality at the end of the day is if people are not hearing you, people are not seeing you. People are not listening to you. You’re not capturing their attention. And again, people do business with people they know like, and trust. So everybody needs Pitch Masters Academy was my point in saying all that. And yes, I get, Kara put this on her post this morning. You know, when she said the heart’s a gangster and the mine’s a little bitch, one of the talking points was you need to do things that scare you. If you know, you need to go to that mastermind, but you’re like, the mind wants to say it’s too much money. I’m scared. What if I’m not enough for the people in that room? They would never let me in that room, get over yourself. We all need to go to that next level. And as you were sharing all that, yeah, Kevin Harrington makes me a little nervous, but I’m going to go for it, man. I’m there.

Gene Guarino: I love it. I love that it makes you a little bit nervous because it should, but don’t be nervous. He’s a great guy. And he was always the nice shark. You know, he’s giving you constructive ideas, but you know, you just said a bunch of stuff that blows me away. Cause it makes you think differently. And I love that. But conceptually, everybody does need to learn certain skills. We each need to know who we are and grab our identity and decide that. But you, when you said 2014 and then two years ago, we all evolve and allow yourself to evolve. This concept of selling, once I realized that selling is fun, it changed everything and there’s so much to learn and it can be a lot of fun. So anyway, you are correct. It’s going to be a ball. We’re going to have a great time. We’re going to all learn a ton, but have a lot of fun. That’s always my motto. Let’s learn, but let’s have fun. So we’re going to do that. It’s going to be a great event. I’m so glad that you’re going to be there as well. And there it is. I hope everybody can come, but we’ll have a limited space. Everybody can’t come, but you might make sure you have an invite then, Michael can show you how to get in touch with that.

Mike Ayala: Yeah. And I just want to think one more thing as you’re saying that too, I was actually thinking about you as you’re always having fun, everywhere that Gene is, it’s fun. And the thing that I want to say is like any environment that we’re in, especially when we’re uncomfortable and I’m uncomfortable presenting from stage, I really am. I’m still not there, but if I have the right tools and the right training, it makes it more fun. And that’s the thing that I was just looking at you and thinking about you do have fun everywhere you’re at, it is fun. But the more tools you can put in your tool belt, the more comfortable you get doing things, the more fun those situations can be. And so, you know, whether you’re running a business or you’re pitching to a bank that you need a loan. You’re trying to convince somebody to sell their investment portfolio to you, whatever we need to get comfortable. And we need to be in the moment, and we need to have fun doing what it is we’re doing. And the more tools we have, the more training we have, I don’t care what it is you do. The more equipped you’re going to be, just lean into that and have fun, whatever it is. So I love all this man. I’m going to come and I’m going to have fun.

Gene Guarino: I love it. And you know, I just want to just, I always look at it this way, everything you want is outside of your comfort zone. So that fear is just uncomfortable because you’ve never done it before. Face your fear. You’ll have a ton of fun. You will learn. You’ll be more confident. And now your circle has expanded even more. So get uncomfortable.

Mike Ayala: I love it. Like Gene said earlier, we’re going to put a link in the show notes that you can get to, or text me the word pitch to (480) 531-7519. Gene, anything else you want to share.

Gene Guarino: Just, you know, as the older I get, the more I realize the time is short guys, and don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today. And especially those of you with kids. And I now have grandkids, I’ve got two and one more coming on the way. And you know, when you talk about kids, they grow up fast. And Mike knows that. I know that, spend time with them. If you’ve ever heard that song, cat’s in the cradle, that’s a rough song, but don’t live it, just do it. Anytime your kids say, Hey, do you want to do this? Put down what you’re doing and say, yes, I do. Those moments are magic. And if you do those now, they’re going to be with you. Those kids are going to come back. They’re going to be with you, spend time with you. And you’re going to have a ball. So I have some of the best time with my kids. We were out last night at dinner, having a great time. And now they’re older, so we can do all the fun stuff that I had to hold back from doing before. And I mean, all of it. So it’s good.

Mike Ayala: That’s amazing. Well, I really appreciate your time and all your wisdom as always, man and I just love how fun you are. This has been fun.

Gene Guarino: No, I appreciate it. I’d love your, anytime you want me, I am there man, because I do love your questions, your energy, everything you and Kara. So, I appreciate you. Thank you for having me.

Mike Ayala: Cool. Thank you, Gene.

Gene Guarino: You got it.

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Episode 98