Jeremy Weisz 6:32
So what changed? So you meet with Tucker. And what happens?
JeVon McCormick 6:38
So I was I’ll give you the story. I was the president of a software company. And we had scaled that company. I started off as the lowest paid person in that software company. I was employee number 13. I used to sit on a foldout metal chair in a storage closet. And within two, two and a half years, I became the president of the company. Long story short, we scaled that company from that storage closet to end up having offices in Austin, Houston, Dallas and Monterrey, Mexico. At that time, was about five years I was there. That’s when it hit me, man. I gotta I gotta write this book for my kids. I reached out to my network and got introduced to Tucker Max. It’s I got to give you the story behind this man. So the way I got introduced was, you know, the standard BS. There’s always
Jeremy Weisz 7:28
a story behind Oh,
JeVon McCormick 7:30
yes. And so. The introduction email goes, as all of them do. Hey, Tucker, this is JT, JT. This is Tucker ba, ba, ba. And then in a second email, Jason emails me and says, hey, that’s the real Tucker Max. Well, I didn’t know who Tucker Max was. So I emailed Jeremy back smart as I went, well, hey, I’m the real JT McCormick. And so then I googled Tucker. And I was like, Oh, wow. Oh. And so he comes over to my office. We’re sitting in this massive conference room. I’m telling you my story I say to Tucker. Now keep in mind, you know, Tucker’s sold damn near 5 million copies of his books throughout his career. Tucker is sitting across from me and I go, Hey, man, I don’t ever want to sell a copy of a book. I only need five copies and Tucker looks and he goes, I’ve never heard anyone say they don’t want to sell any copies. I go, I’m not doing it for fame. I’m doing this for my kids. And he said, Okay, I tell you, what, will you give me feedback on our company as you go through our process at the time, Tucker and Zack, the two co-founders, their company was only about 13 months old. So I said, Yeah, why not? I’ll give you feedback. He goes, man, you’ve built a great company here talking about the software company. And I said to him, I go, look, no one person ever builds a great company takes an incredible team of people to build a great company. I said, so I’ll give you feedback. On the first email I got from the company, I call it tech. I said, Hey, do you still want this feedback? He says, yes. I said, Okay, man, I swing hard. And he goes, go for it. I go, Okay, this is good. This is good. Stop doing this. What the hell were you thinking in? This is dumb shit. He goes, you got all that from an email and I go, yes. He said, Hey, would you sit on our advisory board? I might. Yeah. Okay. Why not? One thing I’ll speed up a little bit.
Jeremy Weisz 9:32
Oh, go ahead. I want to get a little granular with that is like what what did you see that needed improvement? What were you seeing through the email that needed improvement in the company?
JeVon McCormick 9:39
Um, it was just the communication. What what they didn’t realize was they figured out how to deliver a great quality book. What they hadn’t figured out was the author experience, from the time that they engage to the time that book is published. What you don’t want to have happen is someone gets to the end of the process and they go, Oh my God, your book is so great. It’s beautiful. The contents phenomenal. How was your publisher? What you don’t want to have happen is they Oh, you’re putting publisher was horrible. They suck they were in. So I expressed to them I go, man, you are in the services, and product business. Many people don’t realize that. Yes, some companies are a service company. Some companies are product company. And Jeremy What I mean by that, here’s a great example of this. If you and I go right now this afternoon, to the Apple store, and we want the new iPhone. If the customer service rep is rude to us, we you know, yeah, we care. But at the same time, I’m there for that iPhone. So be it be it that you’re nice to me be that you’re rude to me, I’m coming out of there with the product, the iPhone, well, we don’t have that luxury. We’re working with authors for 912 months. It’s it’s intimate. It’s a relationship. So we have to provide a phenomenal author experience and an incredible book. So we’re in the services and the product business. And that’s the piece that was really missing. They always had quality coming out of the company in you know, in their 13 months, but they were missing the the experience factor.
Jeremy Weisz 11:21
Yeah, I mean, it was a friend was telling me the other day they had worked on like construction on their house, it looks beautiful. But they were it was the worst experience of their life. Right. So everyone that example, yeah, so I totally get it. So you talk to Tucker, you give him feedback on his email. So you’re still in the mindset of I’m gonna do five bucks here, when you do the
JeVon McCormick 11:43
book, okay. I only want five copies of the book. And so again, fast forward, then Zack and Tucker invited me to a quote unquote, executive meeting. And I went to this executive meeting, I’m like, Man, this is broke. And so I didn’t give any direction. I just asked questions. I said the meaning I asked question. That was it. Fast forward, and Tucker Zack invited me to Starbucks, we sat down and they said, Hey, if we give you a ton of equity, would you come be the CEO of the company? And it was in that moment, I said to myself, wow. I’m the president of a software company right now. And he can’t write code. And now you can be the CEO of a publishing company. And I can’t spell and can’t tell you an adverb from an adjective. And I remember thinking to myself, God bless America. And I said, Yeah, madam man, let’s do it. So in here we are, what, five, almost six years later. And here we are.
Jeremy Weisz 12:41
So at what point you decide to release the book out to the public,
JeVon McCormick 12:47
as we were doing the book, because I obviously I became the CEO. And I was working here at that point. And I was able to delay the book, by by way of saying, Oh, you know, what, I’m busy scaling the company. And so we had to put the book off to the side. But I do a lot of conversation was a
Jeremy Weisz 13:07
big decision, you know, and a really big decision.
JeVon McCormick 13:11
You know, a lot of conversations, a lot of support a lot of encouragement. I said, Okay, fine. I’ll release the book. And matter. Matter of fact, I’ll even share this with you. I remember we had like a little book launch party at a bookstore here in Austin. And we’re getting ready. And my wife says to me, she goes, Oh, my God, this is so weak. So exciting. Are you excited? And I go, No. And she goes,
Jeremy Weisz 13:35
why did she read the book before? And I mean,
JeVon McCormick 13:38
your stories? Yeah, she knew my background. Yeah. She was one of the very few people in the world who actually knew all the actual stories. But I explained to her, I said, think of this. And I told her, I said, everything that you shared with people. Everything that people thought you were now is going to be out into the world. And people are going to say, what, Oh, I thought he had an MBA. And wait a minute. I thought he was Puerto Rican. What if I said all of my secrets, all the things? You know, I said the stuff about my baby sister. I don’t know if we’ll get into that. I said the fact that my dad had 23 kids, no one knew that no one knew my dad was a pimp and had 23 kids, no one knew that no one knew no one on Earth. Other than me, my mother in my wife knew that I didn’t know where my last name came from. I said, Now all of this is going to be out there and be public. And I said, No, I’m not excited about that. And she goes, Okay, that makes sense.
Jeremy Weisz 14:48
You know, when I talked to Tucker and I encourage people to check out that interview as well. You know, he was a different person, obviously in college than he was when he met his wife and he did a lot of self work. To get to that point where he I think he said, You know, I had to be a different person, I knew I didn’t need to be a different person for that person once I met them to be my wife for when you met your wife, at what point do you share? What you know, that you probably haven’t shared with anyone? any of this?
JeVon McCormick 15:18
Um, you know, I’ll back up a bit before there so because you talked about it, somewhat 2007 when I lost all my money, I had made some I had made some money, some some good money, million dollars. And in even in, in my investing accounts, there was a lot of people that did not know that I had made a million dollars, didn’t want you to know who I was, didn’t want, you know, I had that money. And I remember when I lost all the money, there was a night, I went to the convenience store to put gas in my car, because I had no money and I had to, I had to dig into my change container. And I got $10 of quarters out of it. I went over to the gas station 1030. And I never forget this. And I walked into the attendant, and I put my quarters on the table and I said can I have $10 on pump number seven. And I remember walking back to the car and I said to myself, Tim, how did I get myself back here again, but I literally I smile, you know, because I already knew what it was like to be poor. So I wasn’t scared of being poor. I was disappointed in myself for putting myself back in there. But I knew poor so well that I had a conversation with poor I was a Hey, poor, good to see you again. Man. didn’t think I was gonna see you again. But hey, I’m back. So, because I knew what poor was, so I wasn’t afraid of poor. I knew what that look like. What hit me the most is when I got back to my little apartment. I stood in the mirror and I realized, wow, okay, so I had a lot of money. I lost a lot of money. But I’m the same person. The money didn’t change me. And when it hit me I was like, Oh my God, my character is horrible. I can’t hold a relationship. No one’s ever really known who I who I am. You know, in relationships, I was never 100% I never really knew all of me. I didn’t want you to. And I was a monster in relationships. And I had to look in the mirror, have an outloud conversation and say, Wow, you’re just like the person. You didn’t want to be like your dad. And that that really hit me that okay. You taught yourself with with no college degree with only a GED. How to navigate the business world. You taught yourself How To Make Money in Stocks. You never taught yourself how to have a relationship and I don’t blame anyone for this. So they because I don’t do this victimhood shit. Now my parents were divorced. Did I come from a broke man? Get out of here with that. And so, but here’s the here’s the fact. I did not know what a healthy relationship was supposed to look like is I never saw one. You know, I saw my dad. I saw my mom. Neither were in healthy relationships. So I did not have
Jeremy Weisz 18:09
any people probably model what they know.
JeVon McCormick 18:11
Right? Right. Oh, Jeremy, you got to let me go off on a tangent on this go home. So here’s here’s what’s interesting about what you just said, People model what they see. In my opinion, this is why the middle class is so big. Because if you come from a home a two parent home, three bedroom two and a half bath house you go into two week vacation each year. Maybe your mom and dad both work maybe you just have a one working home whatever the case may be, you tend to model what you grew up in. If your parents were Jewish or your your or Catholic or or methods, whatever, you tend to become what you grew up around. I didn’t grow up around any structure anything and I even say this. I actually feel that that benefited me greatly because the middle class there’s a there’s a standard there’s the three bedroom two and a half bath. Okay, good. A good college degree. Good. A good job work there. 30 years, I didn’t have that. What I had was dirt poor, have poor food. Other trash cans have been left alone with my siblings, heroin addicts, drug addicts, pimps. That’s where I came from. And at 10 years old when my dad drove me through River Oaks in Houston, Texas, the exclusive neighborhood. All I saw was Wait a minute, I didn’t even know this existed. So I saw 510 $25 million homes that became my level of Okay, I want that. So there was to your point was the model of what you see has a very big effect on what you become. Well, I didn’t have a model other than you know, my dad did. Did shitty things and So my mom in a good healthy relationship, so I didn’t know how to have one. So that became then how do I teach myself to have a good relationship? And so when I finally, it didn’t happen overnight, so but when I finally met my wife, that was my commitment, I said, Okay, I got to let her know who I am upfront, she’s either going to accept me for who I am, or the shooting gonna work. And thank God, she accepted me for who I am.
Jeremy Weisz 20:28
For. JeVon, thanks for sharing that. Do you seek outside help for that when you realize that or? I mean, you’re, you’re an avid learner in general, what do you what do you do to say, Okay, I’m not sure what to do here. I don’t have a model for this.
JeVon McCormick 20:43
No, I did. I didn’t seek outside help. I started paying attention. I started just like I did everything else. You know, there was no, there was no model for me to learn about stocks. There were but but where I learned was paying attention. Reading, observing. The gift that was given to me in the chaos that I grew up in as a kid was the gift of observation. You’re constantly looking trying to avoid chaos trying to avoid the the next time you’ll be sexually molested trying to avoid getting an ass beating or jumped by a group of kids were so you’re constantly paying attention to the room who’s doing what why are they saying that? And that I took those lessons into adulthood, adulthood and they served me well.
Jeremy Weisz 21:28
Was your dad when he drove through that River Oaks? Was it for a specific reason to show you the homes or what No, no,
JeVon McCormick 21:35
we were just I actually he never said a word. I actually believe he was Driving through the neighborhood so he could see those houses. just so happened as a byproduct. There was a son sitting in the car paying attention in that became the the driver of really, Oh, man. I’m gonna have one of those one day and I’m incredibly blessed to be able to say, you know, now I live in a gated community. There’s a pond in the backyard. My kids go to private Christian school, so and in I have to give my dad a lot of credit that 10 year old that sat there and we got to drive through that neighborhood. Man, game changing. Jeremy, I got to share this with you, man. Last Christmas. We went to we were in Houston. I have four kids now. So we’re in Houston. And like I said, ultra exclusive neighborhood. I mean, you’ve got houses in River Oaks. They spent $100,000 on Christmas lights, just decorating their homes. So there’s a horse and carriage rides you can take through the neighborhood to see the houses. And it’s a it is not cheap to drive. And so here I was with my family, my four kids and we’re on this horse and carriage ride. And we’re riding through Riveros looking at the Christmas lights. A man I I’ll man up. I cried. Oh, yeah. Wow. Looking at his emotional Yeah, it was it was a moment, man. I’m like, the very houses, some of them that I looked at when I was a kid here I am now with my kids. And while we don’t live in River Oaks, they live that lifestyle. And in here I was with my kids going back through horse and carriage and in and that was that was a moment.
Jeremy Weisz 23:28
there’s a there’s a part of your story that that strikes me and any parent can relate to this where you’re kind of just left I think you were nine or something left with a six month old baby. And if any parent you know, as I remember taking good leaving the hospital with the newborn, our newborn baby and you feel helpless, like you have no idea what to do. Okay, and you’re like I have to be responsible for this thing. I need to keep this thing alive. And that’s when people are in their 30s. Right. Yeah. And so I heard that part of your story. I’m like, I have no idea what I would have done. And I didn’t even know what to do when I was in my 30s with a newborn baby. So take me back, you’re kind of left just alone to take care of this baby.
JeVon McCormick 24:21
So man, to make it even worse. I’ll give you that give you the whole story behind that is I ended up with my dad in Houston, Texas at a hourly rate motel motel. And we all know what goes down at an hourly rate motel. The way I even got there was my mother was facing welfare fraud. She was facing having to go to prison for a welfare fraud. So she sent me to Houston I was nine years old. She sent me to Houston to be with with my dad while she tried to get everything taken care of and not go to prison. So I get to Houston, I show up at the I remember, it’s this serie house motel. And my dad is prostitute in my six month old half sister were there. Two days after I got there, my dad and the prostitutes say, pay, we’ll be back. And they left. They left me with my baby sister. Of course, as all babies do, my baby sister starts crying like five minutes after they leave. And I’m standing there and I’m nine years old. I have no clue what to do. So I pick her up. I’m trying to console her. She’s okay. It’s okay. And she’s still crying. And you know, you start going into panic mode. I mean, I don’t know how to make a bottle. I don’t know how to change a diaper. What do babies eat? You know, all you know, 1,000,001 things are going through your head because you don’t know what to do. And I remember, man, there’s two pieces to this. Damn, Jeremy, you, you. You made me think of something man. I remember in that moment, actually, I’ve never I’ve never said this on the podcast. I was so confused. And I was angry at the same time. And this actually may explain the other piece of this. I remember when I used to be sexually molested by one of my dad’s prostitutes. She used to force me to perform oral sex owner at the ages of 678 years old. And I remember when I didn’t do it, right, she would slap me in the face, punch me in the head and say do it right. Some people may not like this joke. This is how I’ve dealt with it. It’s in the past. I find laughter in things. Man, I’m I’m a grown ass man. And I know grown adults that don’t know what do it right mean? 7678 years old. What they held is do it right means what does that mean? And so, but I remember, at times seven, eight years old thinking to myself, okay, I’m never going to be in a position where I don’t know what to do. And I made that decision seven, eight years old, like, Hey, I always got to know what to do. I always got to know what to do. So I’m not in this disposition. So let’s jump back over to the motel. Here I am. nine years old. I’m holding my baby sister. And I don’t know what to do, man. And I remember that the feeling of helplessness and not knowing what to do and stress just stressed the hell out. 20 minutes goes by she’s still crying. Man, I throw my baby sister across the room. And I remember when she left my fingertips just instantly thinking, what the hell what kind of monster throws a baby and in Manta To this day, but by the grace of God, my baby sister landed on the couch. And I went over she screaming and I went over I picked her up and I’m trying to console her. I’m just, you know, bawling. I’m crying now. And I don’t know what to do, man. I’m just lost. First time I’ve been away from my mom for more than a weekend. I want to go home. And I remember then the prostitute walks in and tells me to get out. And it because she’s got a man with her and it’s time to time to do business. And she tells me to get out and she tells me to take my baby sister with me. She’s still crying. We walk out. She’s in a diaper. We’re in Houston, Texas. In July, sweltering heat, humidity, you know, all just off the charts. And I’m walking around that nasty parking lot with my baby sister. She’s crying. I’m crying. I’m I remember I was looking for shade to try to keep her at least in the shade because we were sweating. But I just wanted to go home man. It’s that’s the thing that kept I wanted to go on one of my mom and know what the hell was going on? How did I end up here? I’m like nine years old What the hell is going on in life? But yeah, that was that was as the tough moment, man. And it was like I said wasn’t until this moment. It clicked for me. I think a lot of that frustration of why I threw my baby sister was because there I was again, not knowing what to do.
Jeremy Weisz 29:36
Yeah, for you is, in those moments you always you want is something you control. And you always wanted to know what to do. I’m just curious, why do you think you know, with that, all of that, it’s just just heart wrenching. I mean, that’s just one of a zillion stories. If anyone reads your book, you know people think that that’s just like the tip of it. We’re going, unfortunately, with what happened, you know, in your childhood? Why do you think you turned out the way you did seeing the model? Because I could see easily? Because you you started to, you know, get into the juvenile system a little bit, but what was in your mentality or seeing all this around you, and you kind of took the opposite route.
JeVon McCormick 30:26
And I had a couple of things that really worked out in my favor, some people will look at them as negatives, you know, I, here’s something I always hear Jeremy that really gets under my skin. People will say to me, Oh, my God, you had every reason to fail, you had every reason not to be not to succeed. People would totally understand if you were a victim, I wouldn’t. You know, I tell people, if you if you get through my background, I had every reason to succeed. Because if you can make it through that shit, rest of this is pretty easy. And so I’ve never that was one thing. I always tried to take lessons from even as a kid, how do I learn? How do I how do I figure this out? How do we do things different? And then along the way, I had some some great opportunities. Here’s one, I was in juvenile, you know that I was in juvenile prison three times. And if I had a regret on that book, was that I put juvenile detention. You know, man, I gotta call it what it is. It’s juvenile prison. It’s prison for kids. I remember being in solitary confinement, and not knowing if someone was ever going to come back and get me and you want to talk about a mental mind shift is a kid to be in solitary confinement 23 hours, and wonder if somebody want to come back and get you in knowing your dad’s in England, your mother’s in Texas, you’re in Dayton, Ohio, and no one knows you’re in there. And it’s just a complete mental. You’re playing with your your head the whole time having conversations. But um, the third time I was getting out of juvenile prison. This huge, huge corrections officer. He gets on his knee Jeremy. If he gets right in my face, he says, Son, come here. He said if you ever come back here again. You’re going to man prison. Jeremy, I’ll be 50 years old this year, man. I don’t know what it is that about man prison. It doesn’t sound right. I do not want to go to man prison. It just doesn’t sound like man. Prison doesn’t sound like things are going down the way I want to. So that was a big.
Jeremy Weisz 32:46
You decided you weren’t going back?
JeVon McCormick 32:47
Yeah, I decided Oh, I am not going to man prison. That doesn’t sound good. I don’t want to know what it is. And that corrections officer kept me from ever going back to juvenile prison. Because now it was the fear of the unknown. Like, oh, I don’t want to know what that is. And then I also have to be respectful as well. One of the after I slept on benches at 13 cuz I was homeless didn’t have anywhere to go. My uncle Bobby decided to take me in for whatever reason. And keep in mind my dad 23 kids. Man, by the grace of God, he took me in it. I guess he just got tired of watching me getting bounced around and whatever. But he took me in I got to live with my uncle Bobby for about 18 months. And as a 1314 year old kid, man that was especially for boy, I got to see structure, discipline, routine consistency. That was my first introduction. God, you know, my uncle Bobby was was a Jehovah Witness. And, you know, we had Bible study on Tuesday Bible study on Thursday, church on Sunday, and relentless everything was was being on time. Keep your word say what you mean follow through. And I learned all that in a 15 to 18 month timeframe from from uncle Bobby. So that was a big one for me. Yeah, that that’s everything for me was just a belief that there was something more but i i’d have to trace it all back to driving through River Oaks and being able to see that there was something different.
Jeremy Weisz 34:36
Yeah, I want to do a bit of a highlight reel over your the jobs for a second. But before we do that, there’s one part of the whole story that kind of baffles me, okay. And it’s the it’s the part when you’re when you’re in the supermarket.
JeVon McCormick 34:54
Oh man. So it’s Burning Man if you if you ask me. Top three, top three to five life lessons. Like I said, I’ll be 50 in September, top three to five life lessons. This is one of the top top lessons that I took from my dad. So my dad had me one weekend on one of those rare occasions he actually followed through and picked me up. We’re in the grocery store. No clue why. I’ve been asked why were you in the grocery store? I don’t know. My dad, you never knew what you were doing with my dad. So we’re in the grocery store. And I was a shy kid, you know, I lived with my mom and my mom was very protective of me. She didn’t have any family. So I literally was like a human baby doll to my mom. And so when I’m with my dad, you know, my dad was rough. It was you know, it was chaotic. You know, my dad was a pimp, you know, it wasn’t like my dad was this nice, gentle get on the floor cuddle with you, man. My dad was a pimp. So I was shy. We’re walking down the aisle. I remember the frozen food section in this little girl walks by. And I’m eight years old. She says hi JeVon. And I don’t say anything. I put my head down. I’m shy. And man, I feel this massive blow to the back of my head. My face hits the ground, My nose is bleeding. My lip is split. And then I’m pinned up against the frozen food section door with a with a form in my neck and my dad’s like two inches from my face. And he says to me, I don’t care who it is. You be kind show respect. and say hello to everyone. Here’s the damn this thing. Jeremy. We literally just finished collecting money from prostitutes. But the lesson stuck the lesson stuck into this man, I say hello to everyone. I don’t care if I’m walking through a hotel and going to my room and somebody else is walking by and they’ve got their head down. I’m saying hello. And in that it came from that lesson. And that was one of the most impactful lessons that like I said, top three to five from my childhood was that lesson?
Jeremy Weisz 37:18
Yeah. When you started to tell that story when I was watching it, that was the last thing I was expecting that he was going to say when you’re pinned up against. pinned up against that. So that’s, that’s wild.
JeVon McCormick 37:31
Here. But here’s what’s key to that. I say this so many people. Yes, it was chaotic. Yes, it was rough. Yes, it was harsh. But they’re they’re truly I look at my lessons from life. I look at it just like diamonds. If anyone knows anything about having to mine a diamond, it’s hard as hell to go find a mining for diamonds. That’s how I look at my childhood. There are some diamonds back there. As far as the lessons go in, you had to do some serious mining to find those lessons in and I’ve taken some of those lessons and turned them into diamonds.
Jeremy Weisz 38:11
I want to hear the trajectory of your career a bit just in fast forward. And then because I want to talk about how you’ve helped Scribe Media navigate, um, but one of the the first job and and it’s, I don’t know what you call it irony, the first place that you were scrubbing toilets. And what it was called, I thought you were making it up. Like when I first hear I’m like, there’s no way this is the name of the place. But start there and then fast forward me kind of through your professional career a little bit.
JeVon McCormick 38:44
Alright, man, so when I was a kid in your poor, the laughter is really all you have. And so my mom and I would always joke that we were so poor, we couldn’t afford the O and the R we were just po. So after I get my GED, I get home and I walk here my mom got my GED, whatever she says great. You’ve got two weeks to get a job or get out, say Damn. So we’re in San Antonio at the time now. And so the next day, I go looking for a job. The first place I stopped because it was just the first place that I pass to go start looking for jobs. I could have gone to Kroger. I could have gone to Walmart target. McDonald’s Burger King, you name it. I have so many places I could have gone Nope. First place I got a job was Po Folks. Can’t make that up man. I the Oh My only regret is that I don’t still have a pay stub that actually showed at work. But yes, my first job was at Po Folks.
Jeremy Weisz 39:52
What is Po Folks? Is it a restaurant?
JeVon McCormick 39:54
It was a restaurant. It was I think think think like a Cracker Barrel, something along those lines. Yeah. Okay. And so that that was the one
Jeremy Weisz 40:07
who wanted to name a restaurant bat. Who knows, man, I know, I know, you on the executive team on that.
JeVon McCormick 40:17
But my first job there was I was a busboy, and I was responsible for cleaning the toilets from the night before. And so of course, you come in the next morning, and the toilets are filthy, you know, because they’re from the night crowd, whatever. And I remember standing there and Jeremy, here’s, here’s another one. I got to get my dad credit for this. I’m standing there, I’m looking at the toilet. And I said to myself, okay, if this is my job, I’m gonna have the cleanest toilets in San Antonio, I’m gonna have the cleanest toilets in Texas. And I remember seeing that where that came from. My dad, when I was a kid had two or three of my brothers with me that day. And he told us he said, Look, I don’t care what you do in life, whatever you do in life, be the best at it. If you’re going to sweep the streets be the best street sweeper. Now you could have given us a little something more to aspire to. But that was the lesson I got it was okay be the best. And so I had to clean his toilets. And so everything I did from that point on I was trying to be the best at it. You know, when I cleaned the tables, not only did I clean the tables, I wipe down the salt shaker in the pepper shaker Not only that, I would make sure that the chairs didn’t have any crumbs in them. So I always want to do it more do it better be the best. Fast forward. Man, I gotta tell you this so there were two people that would come in there and eat lunch every day every day. So for like three months I didn’t even know this for three months they would watch me do my job and then wonder they said hey, you should come work for us. Right? What do you do? And they owned a I don’t know a knick knack type Faberge egg candle place in the mall. Now you know, I’m I’m 18 years old. This is back when the mall was the hotness the place to be. And they said, we’ll teach you how to make candles. you’ll stand in front of the window at the mall and you’ll make candles. I’m like, Oh my god, count me and you’re like, you’re gonna pay me more. Teach me to make candles at the mall on my own. Sign me up. And so that was I went there. And I wasn’t there that long because then my mom got me a job at the insurance company she was working at. And my first job at the insurance company, I got the job. I was the mail boy, I push the cart. I delivered mail I was a filer. And in so this is actually where I learned how to trade stocks was at the insurance company. I’m pushing my cart by one day, and I go by a sign in it says free lunch and learn 401 K. All I saw was free lunch.
Jeremy Weisz 43:06
I might say I see free lunch. Yeah.
JeVon McCormick 43:09
Amen. You know, it can it can the It couldn’t have been about the female reproductive system. I am in Count me in for this. And so I’m pushing my cart. I go by, and a lady walks by. And I say to her, I said, Excuse me, can you tell me we’re conference room? 401 k is and she lives and she goes No, no, no. That’s what the conference the lunch and learn is about 401 K. I mean, I thought it was a conference room I didn’t even know. So I go to this conference, the free lunch and learn man, I heard two of the greatest words in history of compound interest. And I was hooked on everything from that point on. I wanted to read about stocks. I wanted to know about trading. How does I was just like blown away. I’m like, wait a minute, you can take $100 and turn it into two and two into five and so on and so forth. And like this is legal. And so I was hooked man and that’s where it where I learned it from the insurance company. I went into payday loans moved to Portland, Oregon, I was there for three years. Got to learn everything about high interest payday loans. That said it’s a dirty business. But it helps out some people as well. I left payday loans got into mortgage learned everything in mortgages, from loan processor to loan officer to account executive to all the way up to selling package loan CEOs and everything in between. gotta share this part with you. Because this part didn’t make the book when we had my book launch party because I got to work in countrywide Home Loans during my mortgage 10 tenure, which countrywide Home Loans was the largest home lender in the world and will point. And we’re at the my book launch party. And lady comes up to me and she goes, Hey, I read your book. It was great. She said as particularly I enjoyed the part about you spoke fondly of countrywide home loans. And I go into it. I love that place. I love it was so cool. Angelo Mozilo started that company on a on a foldout card table in California. And he turned into the light and I just went on and on and on. And then as soon as I stopped, she goes, Angelo Mozilo is my grandfather. And I’m like, no. And she’s like, yes, she texts him right there. He responds. Fast forward, she actually arranged I got to fly out to California at Angelo Mozilo house and meet them face to face and I spent the day with a man that was awesome. Because for whatever anybody wants to say about the mortgage industry, and Angelo Mozilo, it wasn’t just Angelo mozilo that the mortgage industry collapse, it was so many different players and consumers as well. It wasn’t just the banks, it was people taking out the damn loans as well. But it was a highlight for me to be able to meet Angelo. So then credit market crashed. And then from there, I was the, as I said, I was the lowest paid person sales guy at at a software company, sat on the foldout metal chair became the president. Then from there, here I am at Scribe.
Jeremy Weisz 46:31
Amazing, amazing, JeVon, thanks for sharing that I thought I thought just the journey, you know, with with some of the stories we get to your personal journey, and I never got to hear the the work work journey. But I love to talk about Scribe for a little bit. And when you go in to a company, and you know, like Tucker and his partner founders, you know, they have a humility to be like, Listen, we know our strengths are we know we need help, and they bring you in as a CEO? What are the things you do to improve? scribe?
JeVon McCormick 47:09
Um, you know, the The first thing we talked about it was that author experience that that was one of the first things. The other piece, and this is very critical for so many people. Most people most who are founders, they have a great idea for a product or service. They start that product or service. And they wake up one day, and they have seven people working with them. And they think to themselves, oh, shit, I got a business, I got payroll, I got taxes, I need income statement, the balance sheet. People want health care, wait a minute, I just I just had a product or service, I didn’t know that all this other stuff came with it. And so so many of your founders, they they love their idea of their product or service, they never wanted the other aspects that come along with business. I just happen to love the business aspect of it. How do you scale a company? How do you grow a company, the culture that comes along with a company and for me, I find it very simple. People process profits. And with those profits, as a bonus, you can do great things for the communities that you live in. So I don’t I keep everything very simple for me, you know, my, again, off my background. I’m not anything over five is too many. So I boil everything down to three to five, three to five, what are three to five? And so again, you heard me say people process profits. So many companies will get those out of order. So many companies will go like nope, you got to have a flawless process first, then you hire the people. My argument is you can have a flawless process. But if you have bad people, they will wreck your shit. So you have great people that can build great process, you can make great profits. And I just keep everything real simple. The other benefit I do believe I’ve been blessed to find my lane in life, if you will. Coming from the the chaos I grew up in, I find great peace in business because it is structured. It’s very disciplined. It’s very routine. You get to pull the levers. And in I really enjoy that, you know, coming from the chaos I grew up in a business is dare I say very therapeutic. So yeah, that’s what I look at when I see see a business is okay. I just start asking questions. But above all, are you putting people first.
Jeremy Weisz 49:52
I mean, when I talked to Tucker, he one of the things he said about you was that you’re a master of operations and that you were able to You know, what were some of the the operational pieces that you helped kind of structure with, like you say, when you met them, I guess they were, you know, maybe about two years into the journey.
JeVon McCormick 50:13
Man, one of my, my favorite moments with with Tucker and Zach. And I said, Okay, how, how do people pay you? They said, Well, we take credit card, or they or people rise to check us out. Okay, cool. I said, What’s the interest rate that you’re you’re paying for accepting the credit cards? And they felt real confident, like 2.99? Is I’m okay, great. You know, it could be lower, but that’s good. It’s not bad. And then I said this, Jeremy, I go, so why don’t you have everybody set up on ACH? And he looked at me and they’re like, Bob, and literally, they go, what the hell is ACH? And I go, man, you know, you can do all of this for free, just run the payments to the bank and automatic draft where they that’s the thing. I was like, yeah, that’s the thing. So again, you know, two guys great idea. But like, is it running the business? That’s a whole different party in so many, you look at a lot of your founders out there right now, even if you want to go to the top of the food chain, the Bezos, the Zuckerberg, the Musk, everyone celebrates them. But okay, they had a great idea. Okay. Let’s Let’s pick on Bezos for a second. Jeremy. This is good when people appreciate this basis had a great idea. He’s on the floor of his garage stuffing books in the envelope. He looks over at the the person next to him. And he says, You know what would be great? If we had knee pads, the person looks back at them and says no, if we had tables, that would be great. So they look over in the corner, they see a door in and they put the door on to sawhorses they stand up and that becomes the first table that they worked up up. My point being is everyone celebrates Jeff Bezos. Very few people even know this name when I say it, Jeff Wilkie? Jeff Wilkie was with Jeff Bezos from 1999 through all of the the the success that Amazon had. founders are great. I’m not taking anything from them. But it’s never one person that that makes a great company. It takes a team of people. And so for me it back to your point, what people say, well, what’s your leadership philosophy? What’s your leadership style? I said, Okay, it’s real simple. Three rules. Surround the company, with people far smarter than myself. That’s rule number one. Rule number two, surround myself with people far smarter than myself. Rule number three, repeat rules one and two. That’s it. I’m done. It’s a It’s not like I for for for leadership. It’s I learned a long time ago. The goal is not to be the smartest person in the room. The goal is to surround yourself with the smartest people in the room. The goal is to surround to be able to ask any question that pops in your head and know that someone in this company has the answer.
Jeremy Weisz 53:19
JeVon I won’t be the first one to thank you. Thanks for sharing your story. Everyone check out ScribeMedia.com. And I can’t wait to watch the movie about you when they make that book. And when you’re like, I don’t want anyone to hear it. I just want five people and then it’s gonna be a book. And eventually it’ll be a movie. So I’m really JeVon. much gratitude. Thanks for sharing.
JeVon McCormick 53:41
Jeremy this was great, man. I appreciate you having me on sir.
Jeremy Weisz 53:45