Interview with Business RockStars
Founder & CEO of
Secret Knock &
GREG S. REID
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TRANSCRIPTION OF THE INTERVIEW
TRANSCRIPTION OF THE BUSINESS ROCKSTARS INTERVIEW OF GREG S. REID
PAT: Have you always wanted to be an Entrepreneur, Greg?
GREG: Absolutely, even when I was a little kid. It was interesting, like a lot of people they want a bicycle or they want something for themselves. I realized if I wanted it, I would have to get off my back side and do it. I started mowing lawns, started walking dogs, you do what you gotta do to get the dream and make it come to reality.
PAT: Did you always want to start your own business?
GREG: Absolutely that was one of my biggest dreams.
PAT: What drives that do you think?
GREG: I think it’s self initiative. Isn’t that what it comes down to at the end of the day? It’s about having the initiative to get up and do something and having control of your own destiny.
PAT: There’s gotta be something, I mean a lot of people say that they were 5 years old and that they were going to start a business. Is it your mom, your dad, your grandpa or somebody inspired you?
GREG: Yea, I think they are all entrepreneurs, but more importantly I had the dream where I wanted to be a leader. So what happened is I got the other kids in the neighborhood involved. So I started making $10.00 each mowing the neighbors yards, then I got them for $5.00 each to mow the lawn for me.
PAT: Who is your favorite super hero?
GREG: I’d say my mom. You know she was a great superhero
PAT: (interrupts, no, I mean Batman or uh Superman)
GREG: uh okay. I would say my favorite bat… uh uh… um okay let me see, my favorite superhero has got to be superman. Because he always shows up when you least expect and always rises to the occasion.
PAT: He’s mine too. Your first paying job then was?
GREG: I was working at the San Diego Zoo of all things because I am a local San Diego Native
PAT: That’s a great job.
GREG: It was absolutely fantastic, you get to meet new people and I was over by the monkey farm.
PAT: and your worst job?
GREG: hmm I would sit there and say it was the one, I was working at the Butchers Shop Steak house and for some reason didn’t get along with the staff an had to leave.
PAT: Were you a cutter or ?
GREG: No I was kicked out.
PAT: No I mean did you cut the meats?
GREG: No was working in the prep cook working in the back area, but for some reason I wanted to listen to music and talk to the girls a little too much.
PAT: Yea, I know that feeling. I worked at John Morrell and company and shoveled hamburger it’s like shoveling bubble gum in case you didn’t know. How many hours a day do work now? or is it just always?
GREG: I wouldn’t call it work, Pat. You know when you do what you love and love what you do it really isn’t. It’s 24 hours job now. My gig is I get to travel the world and meet the most powerful, influential people, interview them and tell their story. So for me I am always looking for the next great message that I can share with people.
PAT: Who is the most powerful person you have interviewed?
GREG: I’d say the found of Make-A-Wish. Was such an amazing person, cause 1 person granted 1 kids wish…. it’s so interesting because people think that they gotta wait for the perfect time. They have the bad case of the “once I’s”. Like I am going to do it “once I” get that big break. But realize that everyone can make a difference if they just do a little something.
PAT: Do you have any hobbies that are weird? I mean what do you do in your spare time?
GREG: I play tennis and I golf and a majority of it is I look at YouTube Videos. I love all that crazy stuff that you see out there.
PAT: Really? Why?
GREG: I don’t know. It expands my mind. You know every once in a while…. watching some of those conspiracy theories and things of that nature kind of makes you start thinking opposite then typical main stream media. And for myself I like to think differently because the interviews that I do are not your normal topics.
PAT: My 94 year old mother in law is the YouTube hit this week. She went to the Blake Shelton Concert and he brought her up on stage.
GREG: oh how great is that?
PAT: Because she had a sign that said I want to meet Blake Shelton.
GREG: That’s Awesome
PAT: 94 years old
GREG: That’s Great.
PAT: um Who is your favorite mentor?
GREG: Charlie Tremendous Jones. He’s a great mentor of mine. He had a great quote, he said “You are the same today as you will be in five years, except for two things. The people you meet and the books you read. It’s who you hang out with and it’s what you put in your head that determines your character as a person.” I realized as a person growing up that what has made me who I am today.
PAT: And books, ah They are not going away, but you don’t see a lot of people carrying books around, I do all the time. But my son does, because he watched me do it all the time, because I’ve done it my whole life, but you don’t see a lot of books.
GREG: Yeah, but we are getting our information in other ways, besides that, we are getting it from the internet, our new feeds, actually I think we are reading more and more. It’s just not in the same form that we maybe grew up to know.
PAT: We are here to Inspire, Inform and Connect a community of entrepreneurs this is Business Rockstars and I am Pat O’Brien. Greg Reid is our guest and a good one so far.
GREG: so far
PAT: It’s been great so far, we’ll see how it goes it goes now. A typical day for you is what?
GREG: oh let me say, I get up and I look for opportunity. You know one of the greatest interviews I ever did was the founder of Truit Cathy, of Chic-Fil-A restaurants. And he said, “Successful people look for and capitalize on unexpected opportunity.” So every day I keep my eyes open.
PAT: Do you um, do you rely on the advice of others?
GREG: HA That’s a big hot topic for me. One of the greatest people I ever met
PAT: (interrupts) you do
GREG: Yeah I do, but there’s a difference though. There’s a difference between opinion and counsel. And I only seek counsel and ignore opinion. Opinion is based on ignorance, lack of knowledge, inexperience like your family friends and people who have never done it. Where Counsel is based on Wisdom, Knowledge, and Mentorship. You go to someone and tell them that your going to write a book, they might talk you out of it because they have never done it. But if you go to Mark Victor Hansen who wrote Chicken Soup for the Soul and I am going to write one, he’ll give you counsel based on wisdom, knowledge and mentorship. Everyday I seek counsel, not opinion.
PAT: Right, well my opinion is you look pretty good.
GREG: Why Thank You, thank you very much.
PAT: So your not going to agree to that?
GREG: Come on now (struts)
GREG: That’s great counsel.
PAT: That counsel, yea right. What do you think about hiring, Greg Reid is our guest… What do you think about hiring friends and family?
GREG: It’s good and it can have challenges. The whole thing is if you have an open understanding right up front these are the boundaries and these are the expectations then you don’t have to worry about the wishy washy if things don’t go right. So for myself I am very explicate and open with where people stand
GREG: Boundaries is the key to everything.
PAT: How many employees do you have?
GREG: Right now I would say i have 12 to 15 at any given time but they are all sub contractors, so I have writers, ghost writers, editors, people working on my stuff. I realized in today’s society you don’t have to have everyone in one room or in to one location, you can, you know filter them around the world.
PAT: What’s the culture around your office?
GREG: Happy, Positive, loud, a lot of music going and were looking for the possibilities of what can be.
PAT: What do you think, I think I know, but what do you think your strength is as a CEO?
GREG: Communication skills, I would say is the most important, especially being a communicator. I mean that’s what I do for a living, so I hope that would be my strong suit.
PAT: You know a lot of people, ah, I got my start because a professor pulled me aside and said I think you have a skill that you are not aware of, as I was flunking out of college. I said, ‘what’s that’ and he said ‘communications’.
PAT: and that’s how I got stared in this business, because communicating, you need to tell a joke right, and your a communicator, right?
GREG: That’s True and not only that, but if your going to get along with people and everyone says your in sales, no matter what position you are, once you can communicate yourself and have that clarity can get and enlist other people to follow your dreams and expectation.
PAT: You got a big tent in topics you cover
PAT: ah… about empowering people and helping people
PAT: Where are the new ideas in all of that?
GREG: hmm I think it’s in the innovation of tomorrow, I mean look at Elon Musk coming out with his, talking about popularizing MARS and uh things of that nature. I believe it’s the future of sciences that kinda get me going more than important than anything. I just got a chance to speak at the United Nations for Novus Summit. And the people there were talking about growing organs and the future of where our world, you know, is headed and to me that’s where the sex appeal is going to be.
PAT: Yea Right, well Elon Musk is kind of the new Steve Jobs.
GREG: That’s Right
PAT: Steve Jobs, the pinnacle for you?
GREG: um, no I don’t think necessarily… it’s so funny I had a chance to hang out with Steve Wiazniak, you know, kind of the brain child behind it and I hear some behind the stories in a positive way. And one of the greatest things they said is those people embraced their lack. When they were brand new they didn’t have a lot. So Jobs sold his volkswagon, Steve sold his calculator and they bought one microchip. And they realized that Hewlett Packard would have machines that would go from point A to point B using 20 chips, so they would pull away five and get it to work. And then they would pull away 5 and till finally you know Woz would say, I would go from point A to point B using our 1 chip. He goes, we weren’t trying to be cool and slick, we could only afford 1. But by embracing that as a shortest cleanest path, we changed the way people did personal computing. And I find that’s interesting because most people would look at their challenges and it might just be an opportunity in disguise.
PAT: The challenge of making computers, ah friend for everybody is emence
GREG: um hmm
PAT: Now they are, Right?
GREG: Worldwide and now the Internet, as we know is going to be world wide to people that normally would not have access.
PAT: um I think too many people have access to it to be honest, but do you think your loved or feared more as a CEO?
GREG: I got a question, what would make you think there is too much Internets? Because you think there is too many voices, where as before it was curated and and now it’s not?
PAT: (interrupts) Do you ever read comments on anything
GREG: Oh Absolutely, so that’s what it is, its the uncuration of that content
PAT: yea right, it’s every body who has a keyboard, can suddenly control your life.
GREG: Back to the opinion
PAT: Right, well
GREG: There you go
PAT: What are the three things, your takeaways from being an entrepreneur? If you could give 3 pieces of advice.
GREG: One, seek counsel, not opinion. Two, we are the reflection of the people we hang around with, surround yourself with people that are getting the results you want and you can get it for yourself. And Three, Surround yourself with a mastermind group, I surround myself with the most positive, influential people and I ask their guidance. And by having their, you know, other brains look at a situation, I am just not going at it alone.
PAT: What is the best quote you ever heard?
GREG: IF you think you can or you think you can’t, your right. I mean the whole reality is its a how you look at something, if you want something to change, change the way you look at it and there is always another way.
PAT: I’ve seen all your books and they all look so, um, easy.
GREG: You know, I am not that smart. O’Brien and you know that’s the whole idea, at the end of the day I looked at it for myself and I said, if you can keep things simple and to the point for the masses that understand, then everyone can claim that information.
PAT: We are hear to Inspire, Inform and Connect a community of entrepreneurs this is Business Rockstars I am Pat O’Brien, back in a minute.
PAT: We are hear to Inspire, Inform and Connect a community of entrepreneurs, Welcome back to Business RockStars. I am Pat O’Brien, a Rock Star today and he is one is Greg Reid the founder of Secret Knock and the Millionaire Mentor.
GREG: That’s Right
PAT: What does that Mean?
GREG: Well people think I mentor millionaires, but I actually worked with inner city gang kids in San Diego. I happen to be kind of successful, so as I drive up in a new car, the kids would say, ‘Here comes the millionaire mentor’. Became kind of a badge of honor in the first book I ever wrote.
PAT: If you had to give a 30 second pitch on an elevator about your business, what would you describe it.
GREG: Again, I travel the world to meet the most powerful and influential people and tell their story in book and film. Pretty easy.
PAT: Three Feet from Gold is your big book, right?
GREG: Yeah, it’s on of my latest best sellers and I got to tell ya
PAT: What’s in here?
GREG: Well it’s interview from… (inaudible)
PAT: Am I Three Feet from Gold?
GREG: Well so many people are, I mean your a sports guy, you know in football, when your at the one yard line that’s the toughest 3 feet. It seems like so many people give up before the miracle happens. First there’s the dream, then there is challenge, then there is victory. Unfortunately most people quit in the challenge. So Three Feet from Gold is that perseverance to keep going.
PAT: Right, There are so many books, maybe not like this, but there are so many books on this topic,
PAT: I mean book stores the ones that are still around
GREG: In Personal Development, Right?
PAT: Yea, there every where. How do you differentiate yours from the others?
GREG: Well we don’t tell you what to do. All we do is share stories of amazing people I’ve interviewed where the tell their success stories so you can see yourself in that situation. And realize your not alone. And you go, ‘Man if that person went through it, I can do it to.’
PAT: What’s the biggest mistake, probably not the right word, that you have made as a CEO? Something you would like to have back.
GREG: Staye too long in something I knew I should have let go.
GREG: It seems like so many times you know, where we’re making sure our employees and everyone is taken care of but we’re not taking care of ourself. And sometimes you gotta fill your cup first, then feed the world with what flows over. And I was just feeding people out of an empty cup, so sometimes you just have to cut your losses and move on.
PAT: What are your biggest successes?
GREG: Oh I’d say the people that tell me success stories were they were going to give up on their dream or their life. And they red this book and decided to turn things around. That this is always another way.
PAT: Well there is a lot of people like that too. Right?
GREG: Oh Absolutely and you got to realize that we are a reflection of the people we hang around, our income, attitude, and lifestyle is the average of the group. If you hang around people that are getting the results you want, you start getting it for yourself. The things is so many times people hang around bad influences and they have those mindsets, hang around champions and you become one to.
PAT: What’s next for this genre?
GREG: I think the guru’s are going to stop doing this back of the room sales where they tell you… you know, they walk a cow out on stage, tell you you need milk and for $39.95 you can go to the back of the room and get that information. I believe in giving all the information up front so then people want more of what you have and you can also come from a place, well, I don’t know…. of contribution, rather than just take.
PAT: You fill a lot of gaps with this haven’t you?
GREG: Absolutely and what’s interesting is ah
PAT: And the company is call The Secret Knock?
GREG: Well the Secret Knock is interesting, people kept saying, ‘How do I get to meet all these people you interviewed?’ And so I started with 12 people in my living room, where I brought them in to introduce them and it grew and grew and we just hit Forbes.com number 2 must attend event for entrepreneurs world wide two years in a row. And so now we have a very private, invite only gathering, where people have to submit and application to come. But I parade the people you would never have access to in one place, one time. It’s spectacular.
PAT: And what does that cost to get in to?
GREG: About $3,000 for the first time, $1,500 to come back. And we do not allow any back of the room sales there is nothing up sold. What I do is cover my costs to fly these people from all around the world. So very rarely do you have access to the gentleman who invented the credit card magnetic strip, swiping system, to the founder of UGG Boots, to the founder of Make-A-Wish, and you know Lamborghini himself.
GREG: So that’s what we do.
PAT: When you fire a client, you know a lot of entrepreneurs are watching
GREG: Great Topic By the Way
PAT: What is the easy way on how to fire, there is probably no easy way, but is there a way to slide in to it?
GREG: Absolutely, I mean you fire a client, you know most people think you want to hold on to everything, but I am very careful of who surround ourselves with and why we are that way. Again when you apply to come to Secret Knock, even though you want to give us some, you know, money. I won’t always accept it. Because we want to surround ourselves with positive like minded people. Like we said earlier, we are a reflection of the folks we hang out with. Hang around with the best.
PAT: Do you ever sit back and marvel at what you have done here?
GREG: I’m shocked. Sometimes I look at the bookshelves and I see 56 different books that I have been, somehow associate with, going how did that possibly be getting a ‘D’ in English and being told I can’t write myself out of a paper bag. And I realized, what you do is you work your strengths and you hire your weakness. I suck at writing. I am a horrible writer, but I am a great story teller, an orator. So I get great ghost writers and copy editors in front of me and I tell my story, they craft it in a way it becomes a book and goes on to sell around the world.
PAT: What was the first thought that got you sitting in this chair?
GREG: Someone told me that I should write a book and I thought to myself I never really read a book that will be a great challenge. And by taking that on, there we are.
PAT: And you said that aloud?
GREG: Again, you know what is so funny is in this world, people you know always talk about their wealth and prosperity and they don’t have it themselves or they talk about happiness and they aren’t happy. I write about what I need help with. I am a quitter. I quit everything sales, marketing, marriage, it gets hard and I am out the door. So I went on a journey to travel the world to meet the most powerful people to find out how they didn’t quit, so I can do it for myself.
PAT: Did you ever find somebody that you were so, ah attracted to by intellectuallyl attracted to
GREG: Oh Absolutely
PAT: And you didn’t want to let them go or her?
GREG: Yea, alot of times, but I stay in relationships with those people and thats the folks that come to Secret Knock today and thats who we associate with. But one of my greatest messages that I got was Evander Holliefield, I know, of all things right? And I said, ‘What makes you so special?’ and he says, ‘I have a higher standard.’ He goes, ‘I show up early, I left late, I invented exercises and I had a higher standard. And I won more championships.’ I go, ‘Didn’t it hurt?’, he goes ‘Yea it hurts, but in a fight, you don’t focus on the pain or the blows, if you do you end up on your back knocked out.’
PAT: Yea and he did all that with half and ear.
GREG: Yea, exactly. and he says ‘You know the funny thing is most people outside the ring focus on gas prices, war, economy, and they wonder why the never become a champion.’ And it’s really interesting and he says ‘when you do win the championship, everyone comes to their feet and chants your name, at that moment, you don’t even feel the bruises you took along the journey, but the guy in the loosing locker room will feel every bruise and have every excuse wishing they had a higher standard.’
PAT: Well shouldn’t the message be you should remember the bruises, right?
GREG: You will remember the bruises, but you’ll also forget the pain once you have the exhilaration of your success. I climbed mount Kilimanjaro, it’s a brutal climb, but when your right at the peak and your at the top
PAT: It’s all worth it
GREG: Yea, all the pain goes away for that moment
PAT: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve been faced with?
GREG: hmm, I’d say my own obstacles, of my own, you know, ears between my own two ears. Sometimes we have stinking thinking. And we question whether we are capable or we’re talented or we are a fluke or a fraud and sometimes we have to push those aside and the easiest way you can do that is find a champion that believes in you.
GREG: Sometimes more than you believe yourself.
PAT: I call them ANTs, Automatic Negative Thoughts
GREG: ….Negative Thoughts, Exactly. And the other thing of that is called an APE, which is an Automatic Positive Experience. So when we have an ANT creep in, imagine and APE stomping on those things. So for myself, I go to an etch sketch, a time where I am playing with my kid, which is my Automatic Positive Experience and try to eliminate that ANT as fast as possible
PAT: okay, well we have metaphor ourselves, um, out of this segment. How do you become a Business Rockstar?
GREG: Well by doing what you say and saying what you do, come through with your promises, don’t lie, cheat or steal. Just like we were taught by our parents and grand parents. Whats so sad is that we have to go
PAT: Not everybody is taught that
GREG: I know, but whats really sad is we have to go back and remind ourselves, these simple golden rules.
PAT: When this book (points to Three Feet from Gold) had hit big, how big did this book go?
GREG: I believe it went to some 30 odd languages the first year. Sharon Lector and I did that, you might know her, she is co-author of Rich Dad Poor Dad with Robert Kiyosaki
PAT: Everybody knows her
GREG: And what is really interesting about this book is that it really it speaks to the person, so many people think we wrote that for them. As they’re reading they’re saying, ‘Man, you know as I was reading that I felt like you were speaking to me.’ And rather than put ourselves on a pedal-stool, again, we interview these amazing people. And we didn’t ask these billionaires how they got billions, we said, ‘Why didn’t you quit? Tell us about your challenges’, That is what this book is about.
PAT: Is there a Secret Knock?
GREG: Absolutely. I can’t tell it to you, until you make the cut. I guess we have to have a private off the screen interview.
PAT: We just finished it. Nice to see you Greg
GREG: Pleasure in meeting you.
PAT: Thank you very much. We are here to Inspire, Inform and Connect a community of entrepreneurs, I am Pat O’Brien. Thanks for watching Business RockStars.