Kevin Thompson
Well, you know, cuz it frustrating when you see something like you want to connect to people, because you see something there. And then if it if they don’t have that conversation or if like, you know, they just entrepreneurs, let’s face it, we’re all busy. And if it doesn’t get followed up on and they, those people that you’re trying to connect, don’t get to actually talk and have a conversation. I’m like, wait a minute, you guys need to have this conversation. And I introduce you for a reason. And so let’s make sure you guys get to talk and explore this. Andit really, I guess, the same thing it comes down to because I care about both of those two parties, right? And I want to see at least bare minimum if nothing ultimately does end up coming from it. I at least want them to connect because I know that they’re gonna have a great conversation and a new relationship will be fine. Yeah,

Jeremy Weisz
I don’t know if I would say you care more than them but sometimes they don’t really realize how impactful that can be. So you sometimes have to care a little bit more in the beginning to make sure that, you know follows through, right. Um, there’s two stories that are really interesting when it comes to strategic partnerships with you and maybe start with the first one with Joe polish.

Kevin Thompson
Okay, yeah, yeah, yeah, you’re Joe with I mean, without even, I mean, this was before I knew even what strategic partnering was, and Joe and I did form a partnership together. But at the time, we were doing it. I had no idea what was going on, or that that’s even what we were doing. This would have been back in 2003. You know, I, I was friends with Joe because at the time, I owned a cleaning and restoration business. And I met Joe in 1997. And my business at the time was, I mean, lack of a better word, Jeremy, it kind of sucked. I was. I didn’t know the first thing about business. I didn’t know the first thing about marketing and I found Joe in a trade publication and I started using his materials to just completely revamp and just transform that business over the next few years into a referral only company. And I had also started this website called this ugly little website called get mold solutions. And that website had got up to about producing between 12 to 13,000 a month on autopilot. So it’s a nice little addition to the business. And Joe and I were having a conversation in early oh three, and he’s like, why don’t you come down here to the annual event and show everybody what you’re doing with your website? All right, that sounds cool. And he did this annual event every year for the cleaning restoration industry. About you know, four or 500 people would be there at that. And so when I agreed to that, he said, Kevin, be sure to document you know what you do and how you do what you do with that website. Because when you share a certain percentage of the people in the audience, they’re going to want ongoing help for you from you and make sure you’re prepared to give that to them. So I did that. And it took me about three months to put something together that became the very first version of a product that became known as the automatic income system. And I had called Joe’s office the week before to get a hold of his secretary Eunice, because I was like, I don’t even know how this stuff works. I just told her I said, you know, as it’s Eunice, I said, Joe got me speaking here at the event next week, and he asked me to prepare a presentation as well as put a product together, which I’ve done that, and I’m ready to go. But I don’t even know how this works. And Eunice’s like, Well, typically, because Joe has invested all the time and finances in putting the event together and getting people there. Typically, if somebody speaks, they do a share of the revenue, they just share it with each other. I’m like, Okay, that sounds good. And, and so she walked me through how that worked. And I’m like, Alright, and so we ended up speaking at that event, and I That was my first time ever Jeremy speaking on a big stage. Actually, right before I took the stage, I’ll tell you I was a man, I was a nervous wreck. Because I had all these things going through my mind like, man, can you really do this? Or do you really have value to offer for these people that don’t let Joe down? You know, Joe’s your friend. I mean, all that kind of stuff. But once I got on stage, and I, and Joe gave me this great introduction, and then I just started sharing it just in a few minutes, people were engaged, and I’m like, wow, this is really cool. And so I just shared and when we were done, I just about, I don’t know, 15 minutes later, I just said, Hey, you know, if this resonated with you of what I shared here makes sense. If you’d like to have my ongoing help, this is what it looks like. This is what the investment is and if you want that then go ahead. And go to the bathroom. And we made $35,000 in sales of that product at that event. And in that, Jeremy, I’ll tell you what, that was a whole lot more than I made run in the cleaning, restoration business for a day’s work, you know, and that was an epiphany there and but, you know, looking back on that, I didn’t even realize, you know, I mean, it’s hindsight is 2020 that, you know, Joe and I had formed a strategic partnership, he saw that I had something of value to offer his people at that event. We did not have one single kind of image Joe and i we never said one word about he never even told me how it worked or anything. There was not even a conversation around. We’re gonna make all this money. None of that took place. It was just

Jeremy Weisz
he was like watching delivering value you deliver value. He delivers value to his audience through what you know will deliver value with by helping them and giving them new ideas and new things that They can do to help their business.

Kevin Thompson
Yes, yes. And yet you know, looking back that was a just such a valuable lesson and valuable experience going through that. And that ended up launching a new business for me that we started running with. I started you know, started running advertising for it. And that’s a whole other story. But long story short, the following year, April 14 of 2007. We sold the cleaning restoration business and I moved into this new business that was basically launched at Joe’s with that. Yeah.

Jeremy Weisz
I want to talk about Joe polishes, what some of the lessons you learn, some of the influence, but talk about a low point in the carpet cleaning, cleaning, restoration business. That just to give people a sense of what you were working with and dealing with at the time.

Kevin Thompson
Yeah, you know running that business, I ended up building a team of people I had, you know, guys that were out in the field doing cleaning work, I had an office gal and we had, you know, all this in place and, and quite honestly for me and I was I was managing the whole thing. And a lot of times I was out in the field too. And, and, you know, even though like we, with Joe’s help, had got to about probably the top 3% of cleaning restoration people in the industry as far as size of business, you know, that I had in revenue being created thanks to Joe’s help. But yet here I still was, I was working, you know, 12 1314 hours a day. I was doing that six and seven days a week. And it for me. I remember sitting in my office one day on a Sunday and thinking to myself What in the hell am I doing here? Because this is not the lifestyle that I want for myself, my family, they don’t deserve this, I should be home with my family right now not here at work. For the first time ever, I took out a piece of paper and I just started writing Well, what the heck do you even want? What do you really even want for yourself? And for me personally, you know, I I wanted to be able to have, you know, time off on weekends to spend with my family. I wanted to be able to because at that time business was and this consumes my mind all the time and I never shut down from it. 24 seven I mean, from the time I got up to the time I would have been I was thinking business and even if I was in conversations with other people, I’m not engaged because I’m thinking about Oh, yeah Even if I’m taking time off, I’m thinking like, dang, you got all this stuff that needs to be done in the business. And when I’m at work, I’m thinking, Man, you should be spending more time with your family and the people that you say you care about, you know? Yeah. So you’re all this constant push and pull going on. And

Jeremy Weisz
you write down so you wrote down, no weekends, I don’t want weekends. What else did you want?

Kevin Thompson
I wanted a business that actually excited me Now there were aspects of that cleaning and restoration business that I liked. But there was a bunch of it that I just didn’t like, at all. And I wanted to have a business. I’d like to say that I got into that business, for some grandiose reasons, but it was just because I saw I knew a guy in Seattle that had was in that industry and he was doing okay, on that one. He can do it. So can I that was my whole motivation for starting that business. And I wanted something. I want to have a business that actually inspired me that had me excited to get up and do What I do every day, I wanted, yeah, I wanted time off from my families I wanted, I wanted to be able to make a million dollars in my business. You know, I mean, at that time, million dollars seemed like, and that you know what interests me that became the goal for a long time until we hit it. That was the goal. And I remember the first year we hit it, no, wait, I was like, wow, we actually did it. And it was such an exciting time. And I was like, wow, but yeah, that was one of my things. I wanted to be able to make a million dollars a year in my business. And so those were some of the biggies that I wrote down. And, you know, I want to work with inspiring people. I want to work with people that you know, inspire, inspire me and I, for me, that’s entrepreneurs. I love talking with entrepreneurs, with entrepreneurs, and sharing with them and learning from them and hopefully me being able to provide insight and perspective for them as well. So

Jeremy Weisz
yeah, I know a lot of the values that you row down, we’re around the family want to be with them not look, working long hours not being on the weekends. What else as far as you know, the lessons you’ve learned, you know, you started off with in the Joe Polish world in the cleaning, restoration, and then carry through to today. What are some of the maybe some top lessons or things that you’ve gleaned over the years?

Kevin Thompson
You know, so we’re talking about Joe polish. I am. You know, I met Joe in 97. And him and I are still friends to this day, he was my introduction to direct response marketing, you know, in 2008, or was, that was 2007 was when he started Genius Network. And in 2008, I joined it and so I’ve been in that group for a long time. And, you know, we’ve talked about Joe I mean, he is one of the really long term relationships that I’ve had In my life, as far as an entrepreneur, he is the longest standing relationship. And yet we’re just as close today as we always have been. And, you know, like you’ve alluded to relationships. I mean, people play it a lot of lip service that relationships are important, but a lot of times their actions show otherwise. But yet relationships are the most valuable asset that we have in our business. I personally even placed them. I mean, it, there is no more valuable asset than the relationships we have, whether it’s with other entrepreneurs, whether it’s with our clients, with our prospects, with our team, with our vendors, with whoever that is your relationships in our life are the most valuable asset that we possess.

Jeremy Weisz
You know, and I know your philosophy on is it just deliver as much value as humanly possible.

Kevin Thompson
Exactly, And treat people that way. way that we would want to be traded.

Jeremy Weisz
You know, one thing that always strikes me every time I talk to you, Kevin, that it reminds me, you know, even telling that story about the strategic partnership story with Joe polish. You’re amazing at putting your ego aside and asking for help. Okay. I don’t know if you realize that but it’s true. Like when you approached Eunice and you said, I’m not exactly sure how this works. What do I do here? Most people may not do that. I don’t, maybe not most people, but some people may not do that. Right. And you kind of just listen, I just want to get this right. And you just come and ask for help. Okay, um, and don’t pretend you know at all. And I found it to be super valuable for myself and my right talk to you. That’s uh, you just bring up a story that I’m always bring up a story like, hey, like, I’m not sure and just ask a question and some people don’t want to ask because they want Feel like people you know, they know it all or whatever the case is, I don’t know if there is a way that you can put that aside and use a way that you can come with your heart in your hand and just ask for help. Is that something you’ve always done? Or is that

Kevin Thompson
And you know you what’s interesting is you bring that up about that conversation with us. And I didn’t even view that particular instances asking for help. I viewed as like, okay, Joe’s giving me the opportunity to hear I want to make sure I get this right and do right by Joe. Right. So, um, but no, for most of my life, Jeremy I have totally sucked when it comes to asking for help from other people because I didn’t want to bother or inconvenience people. Um, and it wasn’t really until I was having a conversation with a good friend and a mentor of mine, Jesse elder and this took place in 2012 Where we really start digging into this and he starts asking me so can you say when you give to somebody else and when you help somebody else who really appreciates it? How does that make you feel? And I said, You know what, Jess is like there, there’s no better feeling in the world than that. I love the feeling that I have when I do for somebody else would that really appreciate that? And, and he’s because he knew that I you know, cuz that’s how I was. I loved giving to others. And I loved helping other people, but I was not so good at receiving help from other people, God forbid asking other people for help when I needed it. And so he kind of pointed out, he’s like Kevin said, Do you realize that by you being this way, you’re depriving other people from the feeling that you just told me was the best experience in the whole world is that you’re depriving them from having that experience. He’s like, Who are you to do that to them. I’m just saying, Wow, I never ever thought about it that way before.

Jeremy Weisz
Yeah, sometimes the biggest givers are the worst receivers.

Kevin Thompson
Absolutely, absolutely. Yeah, that is, I mean, I’ve talked with a number of people about that I’ve given, you know, I’ve shared presentations on the topic of giving and receiving and why it’s not better to give than to receive. And like, that is a big issue for a lot of people, not just entrepreneurs, but I mean, definitely entrepreneurs to most of them are far better at giving than they are receiving or asking, you know, proactively asking for help for sure.

Jeremy Weisz
So how do you become a better receiver? I mean, you gave a perfect analogy, by the way. You talked about it in the sense of breathing.

Kevin Thompson
Mm hmm. You know, I mean, for me, you know, once I came to the realization, thanks to Jesse, I was like, You know what, he’s right. I am depriving other people of having this experience and I know how much I love having it. So let me just start exercising this a little bit. Let me just start, you know, letting you know, when somebody wants to do something for me, you know, or ask me, hey, can What can I do to help you? You know, don’t just say no, no, no, I’m good. Do you do anything? You know? And even if I can’t come up with a good answer now, and once that happens, somebody asked me, hey, can What can I do to help you? And I’m like, You know what? I don’t know right now. Sure, right now, is it all right with you, if I just circle back around with you when I have a good answer? And nobody says no to that, and it still lets them have the feeling like, yeah, you know what I mean, he accepted my offer. He doesn’t might not have a good answer, but he’s open to that and it still lets them have that same feeling. And then when people do want to give in that, you know, they do want to help me. I’d be accepting of the address. You know what, instead of saying no, no, no, you don’t ever do that. I just say, you know what, thank you so much. I really appreciate that. And let them have the experience. And then the other big thing for me is I’ve been really, you know, for the last several years just really been flexing my muscles and just like exercising, when it comes to asking for help from others proactively because I do know that you know, us who are givers, which so many entrepreneurs are the people around us people in our lives, they know who we are, they know that we’re a giver. And so when we do go to ask for help from other people, and we step out on a limb a little bit, get a little bit out of our comfort zone, have conversation or they might just say, you know what, I really could use some help on this. I’d like to talk with you about this. You know, people know who we are. They already know that we’ve all I mean we have been creating relationships. capital for years, we are surrounded by people who love us who want the best for us who want to help us who want to see us win. But you know what most of them don’t know what to do. Because we haven’t asked them for help. We would ask them for anything. And they’d love to help us. And that’s been my experience when it comes to asking for help, is like, ah, Kevin. Yeah, man. I’d love to help you out. And so it’s been a game changer. Jeremy. It’s been a game changer. You talked

Jeremy Weisz
about it like breathing and you said it, try and just exhale and inhale or try and just inhale and not exhale, see how that works for you. And that really struck me as a great analogy.

Kevin Thompson
And you know what? Jesse said that to me, he’s okay. giving and receiving are like, you know, it’s like breathing. He’s, you know, if I would ask you what do you prefer better Breathing in and breathing? actually gave me an answer. I’d say great. Try doing only that for a while. See how that’s you, Because you got to do both and giving and receiving at the same way you got to do both.

Jeremy Weisz
Yeah. So one way people can help you let me know but um, they should check out Tribe For Leaders, they could email you put your you know, message on Facebook, talk a little bit about Tribe For Leaders what it is.

Kevin Thompson
Yeah, you know, so Tribe For Leaders what it is it I just just with me, you know, having all this experience with giving and receiving now and then having more recently been on the receiving end in such a powerful way. I wanted more people to experience this. And I started hosting these live events a couple years ago back in 2017. And I a close friend of mine had she gets a Kevin white, why have you never had that person get together for a bunch of your cool entrepreneur friends. I’m like, I don’t know. I never thought of that. He’s like, well, you should because if you did, I want to come and so I just started reaching out. I mean, that got me really jazzed. And I’m like, because that was like, for me Jeremy that was like the thought of it was like throwing a party for a bunch of cool friends, you know, and I actually hosted those first two events right here at my home. And so the first six people I reached out to I was I was six for six that they all we’re like, kept if you do that, I will be there for it. And this will personally it was people like, excuse me, it was people like Travis sago Garrett Gunderson. Ryan Chapman, you know, I don’t know if these names mean any but think anybody else but Jesse Elder. In fact, Jesse Otto was number six. And he, he starts he asked me, he said, Well, Kevin, what are you doing this? And I’m like, I don’t know. I haven’t even said this idea by a few people to see if there’s interest. And he’s like, well, you gotta set some dates. And I’m like, Okay, I’ll do that. And he’s like, nope, he’s like, right now, while we’re talking to the phone set dates, and I’m like, Alright, so we set dates and he’s like, okay, now set another Saturday, it’s a month later, I’m like, why is that? He said, Well, Kevin, you only like looking 15 people because you know, you only got so much room in your home, you’re gonna fill this thing up. He’s like, set another set of dates and give people two options. And that was a good move on his part because we did we feel both of them up. We had 15 people at each event. And I I knew Jeremy I mean, why I’m sure that I talked to you in that timeframe and would have invited you I have lots of people that I invited that couldn’t make the dates. But what I envisioned for this was, you know, the people I would invite was all well established entrepreneurs, who had already successful businesses, who had a track record of getting great results for their clients, and a good reputation all that stuff. But on the other side of the coin, they were also these just amazingly giving and generous lead with a helping hand. People have integrity on the planet that I knew. And I even though I could not articulate to anybody, what would happen, because I’ve never done this before, I just knew that when you get people who are that way entrepreneurs who are that way, who have that expertise, who have that experience, who have years of resources, who have years of connections that they already have to their business, and they are also people who just want to give who just want to help who want to see other people when, when you get them together in a space, that magic will happen. And it did, it happened. And so we went on to host 10 of those events over the last couple of years. And then when COVID kicked up, I was like, we had an event scheduled for March. I’m like, well, this isn’t going to happen. And I’m like, What are you gonna do now? And so we I was like, Well, you know what, I still want to start Help him still want to help people in this way. So we switched over to using zoom. And somebody was like, Kevin, if you can’t do live events, if you can’t get us together on live events, you got to do it virtually, because we still want to cook up like this. And so that’s when we created Tribe For Leaders and what this has always been and what my vision was always was for this thing was that when you get this these entrepreneurs together like this in this space, that they’re all there to help each other that they’re not me, yes, they have things that they need and that they want to but they all come from this place of service, wanting to help wanting to give I mean, and what happens is like they’re all trying to out give and out help each other and so in return, they’re all getting exactly what they need as well. And I’m I want to be careful My age because I used to say, Well, I and I’m just the guy who provides the space for them and I, but now I, I’m the guy who provides the space for them to do that. That’s my role in that.

Jeremy Weisz
And what’s the format? How often do people meet? How does it work?

Kevin Thompson
So we have multiple groups. We’re looking right now, we only launched this thing a month and a half ago. And our goal was to get to 50 members in the group and Catholic, and it’s actually going to be about 5055. Right now we’re at like, as of today, well, not counting this afternoon, but right now 23. So I would imagine things are going now like you mentioned, Steve Adams. Well, people are talking and people are saying, well, the guy we’re talking to today was like referred and then somebody told me you need to talk with Kevin about being in this thing. And so I would imagine that within a month, month and a half or so we’re probably going to be following I don’t know exactly what we’re going to do.

Jeremy Weisz
I mean, do you keep the groups a certain size? Or how do you

Kevin Thompson
Yeah, so we right now we have multiple groups inside. And so each, they, we host a call for each group. So each group has five to six people in it. And then we host a zoom call for them every month. And so right now we’re hosting zoom calls every week, and then that’s steady, steadily picking up as we add more people and more groups. And then there were the same group for the first quarter. So for the first three calls there were with the same group, so that kind of starts creating a little bit of accountability it carries, you know, you get to kind of come back and say, Okay, this is what we did, you know, in the last 30 days, and, and, and it’s they start getting to really know each other. And so then after the first quarter now, because Jules and I are participant on every single call with all of these groups, well, we’re like hearing what everybody He’s talking about what they’re looking for what they’re needing help with. And so we’re able to start pulling from each group and say, Oh, well you need to connect with so and so and so we’re kind of playing matchmaker and all of that kind of stuff. And after the first quarter we’ll kind of like look at where everybody is. And we’re gonna change the seats if you will. Now you’re going to be in a new group for the next quarter kind of a thing.

Jeremy Weisz
Yeah, I mean, you’re overseeing it all. So you get the insights and you get your your master. I mean, connector doesn’t make you a justice, but you’re allowed to you then can basically take people and start to introduce them to what the needs they can serve each other for, even if they’re in different groups. I kind of this is the way I explain it, Kevin. Okay. Something Hey, should I join something Kevin’s don’t give me anything. I would first of all say yes, because of who you are. But second of all, they’re like, Well, what do I get or what happens? They go listen. It’s kind of like chocolate. It’s like my daughter’s that. They tried something? Do you like chocolate? Yes. Do you like peanut butter? Yes. We’ll put them together. Do you like that? Yes. Okay, you’re fine. Just go. There you go. Okay. Like you take entrepreneurs, you like entrepreneurs? Yes. Do you like making connections on throws? Yes. Something good will come out of it, he will do together. And that’s kind of what you do. You don’t necessarily have a expected outcome. You just know when you put this in a bowl. Something good will come out of it. Yeah. Is that accurate? accurate? Yeah.

Kevin Thompson
And I just this morning, we had a tribal leaders call and one of the guys just did a kind of like a small one of these five day challenges just had some great results with it. And now he’s, he’s got this thing all systematized and he’s talking about you that you know what I want, and I was so excited about what happened, the results that we got for people and the results they got, I want to start doing this every quarter and I want to start rounding Well, one of the other guys was a you know, he’s a media buyer. He starts asking a few questions tonight about this man. And he’s saying, Well, what if you did this? And now it said, the guy that was he’s all like paydays that you know what he’s like, we need to have a deeper conversation after this call, because I think you can help me grow this thing. And it’s a whole lot bigger than I even imagined. And I’m starting to get the picture of that face to you. And I’m seeing what and when I see that kind of stuff happening. And I’m so stoked to see what the conversation is going to take place next month when we get back together with those people and stuff. Because I know how I know what happened in the last 30 days. I can only imagine what’s going to happen in the next 30 days and stuff. And now I’m thinking about because of these two guys, I’m thinking about people in the other groups I Oh, well, you know what you need to talk to so and so and you need to talk to so and so and so, for me to play matchmaker like that. I mean, that’s the role that I love playing. I love that roll. Yeah,

Jeremy Weisz
yeah, I mean, I love hearing Kevin your mindset around being gifted About, it’s not about what I can get, it’s not about the money you can make. It’s just about going in delivering value and also the flip side of what you said you’ve been terrible at, which is being a receiver and some of the mindset that goes into that, which is, you know, you’re taking something really special away from the person if you’re not receiving properly. Um, there’s also a really good example of strategic partnering with Mike Crow. Oh, yeah,

Kevin Thompson
yeah, yeah. Mike, he was my, my second ever strategic partnership. After I did that one with Joe in 2003. I took the presentation, I didn’t I started doing advertising and direct mail and all that and we put it into a teleseminar model and started doing that. And, and it wasn’t until 2007 when I was talking with my friend Mike Rowe who I met through Joe. I mean, I met a lot of people through tears, and we were able You’re just catching up and I was telling you about this thing I’ve been doing and he was like, you know, can I think that my home inspectors would really get a ton of value that why don’t why don’t we do something together? And he’s like, oh, I’ll put you in front of them. Okay, sounds good. And so we set a date. We promoted it to his group of home inspectors. I did a similar presentation as I did at Joe’s live event. For carpet cleaners. I did it for his home inspectors, and we just did it on a teleseminar. And when we were setting down, we created about 48,000 revenue in less than 24 hours doing that, and I know plane no travel, no, nothing, just talked on the phone for about 90 minutes. And I was just like, wow, that was really cool. And, and the thing is, I was so appreciative of Mike, I was just saying then is that you know what, this would have not happened if it weren’t for Mike and him just having his role in it. And so I was like, you know what i was i I need to i, we I told Mike I said, you know, hey, I will share a percentage of revenue that we that we create from this. And we had agreed on that. And I was like, You know what, if I was Mike, I’d appreciate getting the money quickly. And so we had offered the training on three installments of 397. And we had all these round of installments of 397 that come in, I was like, I’m just gonna overnight, make a check based on what’s already come in. And, you know, if we get returns or whatever, I’ll just, it’ll factor out and I’ll take care of it in the second and third checks. I’ll be sending even 30 and 60 days, so I overnighted them a check. And I just want a handwritten note here Hey, Mike, man, so appreciate you doing this. I’m really excited that we had such great results and I’m looking forward to helping your people and any calls me the next day. And he was like, Kevin, he’s, I gotta tell you, I have partnered with a lot of people over the years and no one has ever overnighted me a check. And he’s like, I just want to let you know what impact that that made on me. And then I just made a note of that I want you to like, overnight the check is apparently a good thing. I’m just gonna do it now. And so that just became part of my process. And I you know, and so I just had a conversation with Mike I’m like, Hey, how’s it good now that we’ve had this experience? Do you know anybody else that I should be talking with? And he’s like, Yeah, he’s absolutely I want to connect you with some more people. And so we did that. And I started partnering with some of them, too. Not all of them, but some of them and, and I told them, I said, you know, what, is that you and I, we wouldn’t even be talking if it weren’t for Mike. And so I want to honor him in this too. I’d like to withhold a little bit. And when we do this project here, I’m going to give Mike a little bit too and people just were like, wow, you don’t care. That’s a really good idea. Yeah, we do need to honor Mike because yeah, you’re right. We wouldn’t be talking if it weren’t for him. And so I ended up just develop In this process, and it was really nothing more than, like what I mentioned before is, it’s how just treat people the way that we’d want to be treated. And, and, you know, I developed a process that just ended up, that’s why I was able to do over 500 strategic partnerships in about a 910 year period. And we sold $16,000,016.1 million of that product and the training that went along with it, and hundreds of partners along the way. And you know, I remember, you know, I remember being at an event, one time I think was Yannick Silver’s underground and had rented a mike feel same there and got to talk with him at the lounge and, and he was at your you’re the guy and I’m like, What are you talking about? You’re the guy I heard about. You’re the guy that overnights the checks. You’re the guy. Yeah. And you know, and that’s not a bad reputation to have but you just about the money in the checks. Either it’s just, it’s the gesture. Treat people. Yeah, people.

Jeremy Weisz
You know, Kevin, I’ve been the subject of that. I remember I was in my office, I get this FedEx package envelope. And I’m like, I have no idea what this is I open it’s a handwritten note from you. And a check, man, am I Wow, that’s, that’s amazing. I texted you called you probably at the time and said, Thank you. That’s, that’s amazing. But your internal dialogue is what I really always love to hear is it’s all delivering value giving, you know, when you approach those partners, you could do something but you talk about us or we want to honor Mike, we want to honor that other person. And that’s kind of the internal talk that you have about that person. And so how can you not go along with that? Yeah, you know, I’m, I, you know, I want to go back a little bit in your journey. You know, it wasn’t always You know, the automatic income system or what you do now, you had to endure some true grit and hustle. And maybe that’s understating it even, but there was a time, you know that you had aspirations to go to college, and that got sidetracked. So I wonder if you could just talk about that for a second?

Kevin Thompson
Sure. Um, when I was in high school, I was in fbla, future business leaders of America when I was in high school and, and I had such a cool experience in that that I was like, You know what, I’m, I’m going to go to college and I want to study business because I, that’s what really got me going into mind that like, I want to be an entrepreneur. And unfortunately, my dad at the beginning of my ninth grade year, he got diagnosed with cancer and at the end of my 10th grade year, he passed away terrible So that that was an experience in and of itself. Losing your dad at 16 years old is rough on a kid. But you know, it’s it. I had a lot of cried a lot with him before he passed away. But once he finally passed away because I watched him deteriorate so much in that, you know, year and a half that it was like this burden was weight was lifted when he passed away because it was like, finally he’s out of suffering. Yeah, yeah, he was out of his pain. And but you know, through that, my mom becoming now the sole income earner for family plans of going to college, we’re off the table. She just wasn’t going to be able to afford that. And so I ended up joining the military join the army right out of high school because I just, I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do or how I was going to make this happen or anything like that. And so I said, Well, you know what, my dad was in the army. I’m gonna join the army, at least maybe and get that because you get a college money too. When you join the army, and I was like, that was kind of my motivation there. And so I spent, like the GI Bill, they can help fund it you help pay for college? Yeah, when you get out. And so I was like, you know, I’ll do that and, and after I, after I get out of that four years in the military, come home and 87 and I, you know, really trying to figure out, you know what I say, I don’t know if college is the best option or not. And I say, you know, I just need to get money together and start my own business. I’m talking with my best friend who I’ve known since first grade and is like, you know, I need to get money together. How the heck do I do this? And he’s like, well, caveman, is it going to Seattle? Get yourself a jungle. One of those fishing boats, go to Alaska. Those guys. They make all kinds of money. And I know that sounds good. So I did. I went down to fisherman’s terminal and I just started hitting the dots and

Jeremy Weisz
where were you living at a time

Kevin Thompson
I live up in Arkansas. I live about five miles today from where I grew up. I lived in Marysville. I live in Arlington now. About 40 miles north of Seattle. Got it. So yeah, I just drove down to Seattle. Start went down the Fishman shirt we’ll start hitting the dots and started talking about all these captains and, and they’re like, you know, we don’t do this, we don’t hire off the dock because you have no idea what you’re getting yourself.

Jeremy Weisz
You just walked up, you’re like, Alright, I’m ready to go.

Kevin Thompson
I was like, you know, hey, I’m ready to work and I want to I’ve heard I want to go fishing in Alaska. And they’re like, no way. And you’d have no idea what you’re getting yourself into. And we don’t hire this lady. I mean, the way we hire is like from guys that already been on the boat that aren’t told their friends when it’s like so they got a clue at least, you know, you don’t got a clue and, and that one guy was john Waddell was his name. He’s at, you know, he’s a i, he’s, I might be a guy short. And he’s like, you know, he’s like, give me your number. He’s ain’t gonna promise that somebody said give me your number and hit upon me a couple days later. And he was like, How fast can you be down here as I could be there in two hours. He’s like, Okay, get your stuff packed and get down here. He’s like when you get here, come up and see me in the wheelhouse. And when I

Jeremy Weisz
never done this before,

Kevin Thompson
no, no, I so I’ve never done this before. I neither had john john and never done this before. And, and he was just in a pinch and he, he calls me up to the wheelhouse. He’s like, Look, Kevin, he’s I’m going out on a major limb here. He’s I have never done this before. And he’s like, man, he’s I’m just hoping you don’t let me down. Because he’s like, if, if you get up there, and you don’t pull your weight, he’s like, everybody else has got a cover for your house. And he’s I and they’re gonna hate you. By the time the trip is over. He’s like, he’s a they got this bar up in Dutch Harbor. At the time it was called What the hell was that bar? That Playboy magazine back in the day rated at the roughest bar in the US. It’s called the elbow room. That’s why Google that shit up one day, the elbow room. It’s the roughest bar in the US people will get killed there and all that stuff. Because guys who didn’t pull their weight on the fishing boats, the crew would get so upset that like they come back to town and have some drinks and just get in big brawls and fights and like that guy would not go back from that fishing boat again, you know. And so the skipper was telling me this, he’s like, Kev, I don’t want this happen to you. And I’m like, john, as I got a first

Jeremy Weisz
day pep talk, Kevin.

Kevin Thompson
Yeah, I mean, right. And I said, I promise you I will not let you down. And so he gave me the shot and we went up there and when once we got up there, Jeremy, man, I was like, he was right. I had not a clue man, because it was ridiculous. It was, I mean,

Unknown Speaker
insane.

Jeremy Weisz
Describe the scene a little bit.

Kevin Thompson
To me, because we worked up in Alaska’s Bering Sea. And you know, we’re a typical day is it’s just, it’s just wet, rainy, mitrik miserable, wet, cold weather. You’re dealing With 2030 foot waves, this boat is just rocking all around. I mean half of your job is just learning to stay on your feet and do your day job while this boats moving all around underneath you. And you know, we would work anywhere from 24 to 36 hours straight cheese, you sleep for six hours and get up and do it again. And on a good trip, we can fill that boat in about two weeks. On a bad trip. I’ve been out at sea working under those kind of conditions working those kind of hours for up to two months before where when we finally just had to pack it up and go into town even though we weren’t full because we were running out of food and fuel. And so but that was

Jeremy Weisz
around the book.

Kevin Thompson
I typically there’s no I mean depending on which boat you go on, there’s going to be say, oh, six to eight guys. And if you’re doing processing two, you’re gonna have another six to eight guys. If you’re on a boat processing to. And so so yeah, between six to 16 guys and you got the skipper the engineer you got to cook who usually doubles and works on deck too and stuff and so it was

Jeremy Weisz
a toughest part about that job

Kevin Thompson
you know

Jeremy Weisz
everything’s pretty hard

Kevin Thompson
the weather and just trying to stay safe and stay on the boat in some cases because the weather is so crazy you’re getting hit with rogue waves and in fact 95 that was the year that I got hit and just you know me across the board and that’s when I was like, You know what? I’m done. You’ve saved up enough money. It’s not what happened. We were in one heck of a storm. And I was at one and really, you know, when you get into a storm like that, I mean, at least for me, I won’t speak for the other guys but I mean for me I was really I it’s it’s scary and the way that I would deal with it is I wouldn’t look out at the horizon I wouldn’t look out at the water I would just concentrate on my job getting the catch on to the bug and let the skipper do that up in the wheelhouse and, and on that night we got hit and he he is working away and he’s all of a sudden over the loud hitter he’s like Kevin duck. And before I could even react we got hit broadside with this huge wall of water and it picked me up like I was nothing hurled me face first all the way across the boat into the railing I in fact, I broke my fall with by hitting my face against the railing. That’s what this kind of my chin is from my front teeth got knocked out there. But you know if it would have thrown me a little inch, a couple inches, I know that you’re dead. Oh, yeah. You know, and when

Jeremy Weisz
you were there, did anyone get thrown overboard?

Kevin Thompson
Oh, yes. Yeah, a couple of guys got thrown overboard during while I was up there and nobody on any of the bus that I was On died we weren’t able to get him off I wasn’t Wow, that started that happened so that was fortunate you got to live for a job but it was regular occurrence that people died and because you know that the skippers can all talk to each other on the radio it’s up there and stuff you heard about it immediately about man overboard, man overboard. You hurt me like, you knew when it happened. Everybody in the fleet knew that it happened, you know? And then a guy loss got lost. Yeah, one

Jeremy Weisz
a little bit higher and you’re thrown overboard and no one’s getting in.

Kevin Thompson
Yeah, yeah, yeah, when you’re in a storm like that, because the captain can’t get the boat time turned around in time to save you when you’re in a starbase it’s a different thing when you’re when you’re not in such a nasty storm. But when you’re in a nasty storm like that, they’re not getting that book turn around in time to save, you know, and so so you quit

Jeremy Weisz
at the time you’re like this is

Kevin Thompson
that’s like a wake up call. You know, that was my wake up call. And the thing is like, I didn’t quit even like, my tooth when it busted out in busted out an angle, it exposed the nerve that and the tooth was at. It was planning and so it caught my tongue too. And it kept cutting my tongue and I got so fed up with it because the skipper was like well you know, can we just take you to court? I’m like no no no because I that meant shutting down the whole day fishing operation for everybody you know, and I don’t want to be the guy that makes them cut into port for like two days travel each way and stuff. As an artist finished out the contract. I filed my tooth flat I went down to the engine room we’ve got one of those things is filed the tooth flat so I would stop cutting my tongue and then I would put some I came in when it was called cabinet or something like that you put on your tooth because the air

Jeremy Weisz
or cold if you have an exposed nerve like that, it is excruciating.

Kevin Thompson
It hurts like hell, it hurts excruciating.

Jeremy Weisz
Yeah. So how did you even get? Here’s like, yeah, a walk it out. I mean, that’s insane.

Kevin Thompson
Well, because I guess at that point I, you know, that was the working up in Alaska for the seven years. And it was the hardest work I’ve ever done in my life. And, but it also, it was kind of like this badge of honor to Jeremy, it was a badge of honor to look at me and look at my dad, my dad, from the time I was little, he had always told me, he’s like, Kevin, the harder you work, the more successful you’ll be. That was his experience. That was the best advice he knew to give me. And I remember how many times I thought, Man, dad, if you could see me now, I know you’d be proud. And so there was all of that, that played into it right up until the point when I almost died. I’m like, Okay, this is enough. And but even at that, I didn’t want to let down the skipper. I didn’t want to let down my crew members. I didn’t want to be the guy who shut down the whole dog on operation. That’s a lot of money for everybody, including the fishing company, you know, and I’m like, I don’t want to be Guy as I’ll just finish this out, I’ll finish this contract then I’m off the ball and that’s exactly what happened. I finished the contract got off the boat never went back. And so, but never lessons either.

Jeremy Weisz
amazing story. Thank you. There’s so many lessons in that I totally appreciate you your time, everything you do for everyone else and myself. Everyone should you know they can reach out to you on Facebook. They can email you I don’t know if you want to give your email but they could check out tribeforleaders.com and if you’re an entrepreneur founder Who else would be perfect for Tribe For Leaders?

Kevin Thompson
Yeah, I mean, entrepreneur established entrepreneurs, CEOs. You know, that’s the big thing that’s, you know, and who are also just giving generous lead with helping hand people of integrity. You know, those are the kind of people that are right fit for Tribe For Leaders. And if you if what I shared here resonates with you, if I You know, you feel like you would not only benefit from being a part of it, but also have a lot to contribute as well. I’d be happy to have a conversation, I’d be happy to have.

Jeremy Weisz
You want to get on the boat with someone for tribal leaders who’s willing to file his tooth down with an exposed nerve. And still make sure people stay afloat and the fleet is out. That’s who you want. You go, Kevin, I totally appreciate you, everyone check out tribeforleaders.com and we’ll see you on the other side. So thanks, Kevin.

Unknown Speaker
My pleasure, Jeremy.