Setting out the mission of the Unshackled Owner Podcast into motion, Aaron Young answers some questions from listeners – from business to personal – helping them figure out the things they need to know to become a successful business owner. He answers a question about how his faith worked with his business, putting forward how we must ultimately continue to be nice with one another and acknowledge a bigger force than us. He also gives out some smart ways to use money and generate wealth quickly.
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You Ask…. And I’ll Answer
Listener Q & A with Aaron Scott Young
The Unshackled Owner Podcast is all about figuring out what are the things that I need to know in order to become a successful business owner. What are the tips and the tricks and the best practices and so on to be successful? Also, what are some answers to some regular everyday questions that people wonder about? There are questions about business that people send to me and want me to answer. There are other questions that are a little bit more personal about me. I sent out an email to some people and I promoted this out to our list and I said, “You ask me some questions and I’ll answer them.” For any of you who are listening to the podcast but may not be under any mailing list, may not be following me or part of our crew, if you have a question you’d like me to answer, you can write to Aaron@AaronScottYoung.com and I’d love to answer your questions. Go ahead and send those in and we’ll do more of these episodes. There are so many questions that were sent in. I’m going to do a series of these and then we’ll intersperse them with other interviews or other monologues. For now, what I would love to do is dive into a few of these questions. These are not in any order. This is as they came in. My team put them together. I’m going to answer a few of the questions.
Faith And Business
This is the first question that comes in and it’s interesting because it’s not exactly business, but let’s talk about it. It says, “From your past interviews in the podcast, it seems like you’re very much a man of faith. Would you say you’re Christian, Jewish?” Then it goes on to say, “How would you say your faith and work in business go hand-in-hand? Do you try to implement a lot of proverbs for example? If you follow Jesus, could you share that story and how it’s turned you into the person you are now?” That’s an interesting question so let me tell you. I grew up in a very conservative Christian household. Some of you might even disagree with what I said. I grew up as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the Mormons. I grew up in the Mormon Church. At nineteen, I donned my dark suit, white shirt, name badge and ten-speed and served the mission for the Mormon Church and I cross-slided. I met my wife at Brigham Young University. She was attending, I was not but I was there for a business thing. I already had my first company going and I was there to do a business thing. We got married in a Mormon temple and we raised our family in the Mormon Church.
It was only about around the age of 50 or maybe even sneaking up on 51 when my perspective changed enough. My understanding of the world had expanded enough that I made a personal decision and my wife and subsequently our children, although I think our children were ahead and were trying to be pleasing to their parents, we made a choice back then to leave the Church. People said, “Were you upset? Did somebody offend you? What happened?” I said, “I just felt like I graduated from the Church.” I’ve always had a deep feeling of spirituality within me. I’ve always felt that there was a clear conscience that was nudging me to know the difference between right and wrong. All religion is based on faith. It’s not based on pure knowledge. It’s based on a feeling in your heart, a great hope that we act in faith based on this perfect brightness of hope. I’ve always felt optimistic and hopeful and felt that if I did the right things and followed an ethically clean life that even challenges would not be as difficult. When they are difficult, I would get through them. The other times we’d just be very happy and very blissful. That has indeed been my life.
I have a deep belief that there’s a greater power than me and that there’s a revelation that’s going around that I can tap into if I choose to. How would I specifically define that source of knowledge and power? Some people believe in a trinity. Three different beings: Father, Son, Holy Ghost that are all spiritual beings and can take on different roles. The tradition I grew up with was a white-haired robed grandpa figure of an all mighty God on a throne and looking very Greek. That programmed into me, this father in heaven. The truth is I’ve always thought, “Why is it so male-oriented when females are of equal importance and critical to our progress?” I’ve been surrounded by powerful women in my life and this patriarchal circumstance always was a little troubling for me. I hope that doesn’t offend you but for me, I thought there’s got to be more to it.
The idea of monotheism is a relatively new concept in religion, generally. Most of the history of man, there were poly, multiple gods. The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve experienced the world, the more I’ve studied different belief systems and so on, I’ve come to this conclusion. I believe there’s a bigger force that is making my life possible. I have a deep and abiding faith that there’s a life after this one. I believe that I’m here not to just consume, but to give as much as I can back to this place and to learn all that I can. I believe only our knowledge goes with us. The things we’ve learned goes with us into whatever our next life is. If it comes right down to it, because the writer says, “If you do follow Jesus, could you share that story?” I’ve done a lot of research on Jesus, the Messiah, the Christ and the person from other writings and so on. Because religion is all faith-based and because I feel very comfortable with and like the story of Jesus and a savior, the ability to repent and the ability to overcome my own personal human flaws because we make a lot of mistakes in business and relationships in the way we may drive down the road. I would call myself a Christian, but I probably don’t fall into a super traditional and conservative Christian belief.
One that’s much less about judgment and much less about following rules and much more about taking full advantage of learning all we can on this Earth. We’re going to stumble and the Christ makes up for our failings. That’s my answer to what is my religious proclivity. I’ve found a lot of interest and a lot of wisdom in writings of other religious beliefs, both the major ones that we think of: Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, which isn’t exactly a religion but many people have taken it on and some cultures have taken it on as religion. It’s a way of looking at our place in the world being very present. There’s a lot of truth in a lot of these writings and there’s a tremendous amount of similarities between these different walks of life or belief systems.
The more we learn about them, the more we find that the people of the world are basically functioning on a couple of things. Be nice to each other and acknowledge that there’s something bigger than you. Try to strive in your life to be the best person you can be and to fix your mistakes, to overcome your weaknesses knowing that we’ll never be perfect but striving to improve ourselves every day. I’m grateful for those beliefs because they’ve helped me through challenging times. They’ve helped me in decision-making. They’ve helped me in contract negotiations. They’ve helped me in being an employer. They have helped me with being a partner. They’ve helped me on being a husband or father or grandfather. I am a man of faith. I have a tremendous love for many spiritual and enlightened writings. If you push me to make a choice, I would definitely say I’m a Christian.
LLC As Present
The next question is going to be a huge departure from that one, “My daughter, sixteen years old, has started her own business making smoothies. She’s making about $150 a week right now. I’m thinking of getting her an LLC as a present. Any thoughts?” My first thought is how awesome it is that your daughter has started a business, is working and is making money. Kudos to her and kudos to you for being her mom who not only must have taught her to be brave and to take courageous steps, but also who wants to help support her now in her efforts. That’s awesome. Good for you. As far as forming an LLC, different states have different laws about how old you have to be to be the organizer of an LLC. Some don’t say an age and others say you have to be eighteen years or older. Depending on your state, it may be possible for your daughter to be the manager, the organizer of an LLC. In other states, no.
Let’s assume that your state says, “Yes, she can have an LLC.” There are still some problematic issues around a minor running a business. For one thing, it’s tough to have a business banking account. Minors cannot enter into contracts. They have to have somebody who’s of age to engage those contracts and so on. There are challenges with having someone who’s under eighteen own a business on their own without a parent or guardian, somebody who is looking out for their best interest and who’s willing to take some legal responsibility for whatever it is that the minor is doing. Can she have an LLC? Can there be cool learning opportunities? Can there be financial benefits? Can there be some tax opportunities? Yes. A one-owner LLC, a one-member LLC, which sounds like what you’re talking about here, is not ideal from a legal protection perspective because it’s called the disregarded entity.
They say there’s only one individual to be responsible, which means it’s either going to be you, the parent. It’s not going to be the kid because the kid is not of age. The child cannot be fully responsible. It means that the adult who went along is going to end up with some responsibility in a litigation situation. Because you’re making smoothies and you’re giving somebody something that they’re going to ingest, they could have an allergic reaction, they can choke, they could get sick and blame you even if it had nothing to do with you. These are all the things to consider. I am not a lawyer. I’m not giving legal advice but if it were my kid, I would probably not set up an LLC. I would probably set up a corporation, which gives them a greater level of asset protection in corporate veil protection.
Talks On Stage
“What considerations went into the decision to use specific talks on stage?” First of all, when you get the opportunity to go and speak on somebody else’s stage, that’s a huge honor and it’s a huge responsibility. You have an obligation to deliver something that’s going to be in line with what that event is all about and the outcome that the organizer of the event wants for the audience. They’ve made some promises, some claims to get the audience to come in. If they give me time on their stage, I need to do all I can to make that organizer look as good as I possibly can by doing a great job. If they said, “Come and speak about anything,” which rarely ever happens, then I would look at what’s the event and what’s their goal. I’d ask them if they have any specific outcome that they want. I would try to organize my thoughts and my presentation in such a way to meet the expectation, both of the organizer and also the audience because the audience came. They’re expecting something.
If I invite a bunch of people into a business conference, they think they’re coming to learn about business stuff. If I started talking to them about dog training, they’re going to go, “What were you thinking?” They’re going to start to lose faith in the organizer, “You said it would be business and now your speaker is talking about how to teach my dog to sit, roll over and shake hands.” It’s out of context and out of congruency. We want to make sure that we are congruent with the outcome that the organizer wants. Having said all of that, the reality is almost everybody tells the speaker what they’re hoping for. I have a few talks that I’ve given many times and people will call and say, “Would you come and give that specific speech to this audience? They need to hear that talk.” I may make little adjustments to it based on their event or based on who’s in the room or based on a story that I think better illuminates some point that I’m trying to make.
Basically, those stories are 85% to 90% set in stone. I tell that I give that talk basically almost identically every time. There are other talks that are more motivational or the outcome that the producer or the organizer wants is finite and specific. These are almost all paid talks when they want you to get specific to their group. Usually, these are places where I’m being paid a pretty good amount to go stand in front of that audience. In which case, I’ve been hired to do a job and I’m going to do all I can to bring all of my life’s experience and everything I’ve learned, heard, and done and try to get rid of the fear, create the fire, teach a specific principle about interpersonal relationships or risk or overcoming challenges. I’m going to do all of those things so that the person that hired me is getting the message that they wanted across to their people.
Smart Ways To Use Money And Generate Wealth Quickly
The summary of this question of how do I choose my specific talks, I figure out what does the person who hired me or invited me needs to fulfill on their promise and how can I bring my products and services, my experience, my perspective to their audience in such a way that my goals are met, the reason I showed up. There was something that drove me there. Particularly what the audience needs to hear. That’s why they showed up at this event. I want to make sure that the audience and the organizer feel like that 40 minutes, 60 minutes, 90 minutes that I’m on stage delivered in a way that they were hoping for and exceeds what they thought when they looked at the program itself, “Aaron Young and here’s the title.” My goal is to give them an experience that will linger with them in a positive way or a thought-provoking way for a while. That’s how I decide.
“How do people work for you? What programs do you offer and where can people go to get information?” I have several companies and oftentimes we’re hiring. If you’re looking for work and if we think it’s something that might suit you and us, you can write to me, Aaron@AaronScottYoung.com. If it looks like your skillset or your interest in things that you want to do would fit into something I’m doing, I’ll pass it onto the right person in that company to talk to you and interview you and see if there’s a way for us to come together in a professional way. Mostly, I don’t do any hiring. I believe that my position is as a Chairman. I have a great team of people set up in the different enterprise that I’m involved in and those people runs the day-to-day, manage the business, hire and fire. My thing is I’m helping set the big picture goals and then holding people accountable for moving towards those goals. With the exception of doing things like when I’m doing a podcast, doing a video, giving a speech, teaching a class, with that kind of performance and exceptions, I don’t have a job inside any of the businesses I’m involved in.
I own them, I oversee them but I don’t have a day-to-day job outside of being the face and the voice and the spokesperson for the company. I hope that was helpful. Write to Aaron@AaronScottYoung.com. I’ll pass your information on to whomever I think might have a fit for you. I’m honored that somebody would be interested in how can they come to work for me. Thank you for asking. “Are there any smart ways to use your money to generate wealth quickly that I’ve personally used?” Yes, there are. Mostly, generally, there’s no way to generate wealth quickly that’s an out of the box or off the shelf answer. Most people fail miserably at business because they come up with an idea that they fall in love with and nobody else wants it. They struggled trying to force some product or service down people’s throats, but the market doesn’t want it. There are other people who will come to you and say, “Buy my business in a box, buy my franchise, buy my selling online on Amazon. Here’s my real estate investment thing.” They get seduced by this idea of wealth accumulated quickly.
My experience is this. One, there are ways to make a lot of money faster than you might realize you can do it. I’ll give you an example. The first house that I flipped. Years ago, somebody from the church was moving and they had this what would have been an awesome home when it was built in the late ‘70s, early ‘80s. It’s very modern looking in some ways and then a very old school, traditional in other ways. It was sitting on a nice high spot on three acres and the three acres was this big rectangle. They came to me and said, “Would you be interested in buying my house?” I did some study and learned some things about the property and found out that the property was divisible into three one-acre lots. Where the house sat, it was possible to have three one-acre lots. One where the house sat with manicured yard and then two other areas. They were both pastures for the guy’s horses. The husband was a horseman. He passed away and his wife was moving to another state closer to their children.
I bought the house. We divided the property. We did a relatively inexpensive sprucing up and cleaning up of the inside. I sold the lots, I sold the house. It took maybe five to six months from the time I bought it until it was all done and we made several hundred thousand dollars. It was the first time I’d ever done it. I thought to myself, “How did I not know about this? Where was this all of my life? Why didn’t I know you could do something like this?” Many of you are familiar with the idea of flipping a house. There are all these TV shows and people talk about it a lot. In those days, it wasn’t en vogue. Clearly, real estate investors were doing it, but there weren’t a lot of classes and TV shows showing you examples of it.
I took an amount of money and in a very short amount of time, I maybe 75% increased my money. I had no idea it was even available to me, which has made me wonder now all these years since, “What else is around me that I don’t know about, where I could do something and make some money?” Here’s the flip side of that coin. The only reason I was able to do it was because I was in a position to buy the house and to invest money in the house and invest time, effort, and money into the division of the land. I had already built up a relationship with a realtor on other things that I’d done and we were able to get the thing sold. I was able to generate wealth quickly doing something that was new to me, but I had to have some resources in order to do it.
When you say generate wealth, I think of wealth as a large amount of money, a large corpus that’s going to help propel lots of different projects, businesses, lifestyle things, help inside of a family. That’s wealth versus cashflow, which is you have a lot of money coming in but it’s also going out. If you’re trying to generate wealth, the smartest thing you can do is read and get outside of your own lane once in a while and see what other people are doing. Ask a lot of questions of people that are doing things different than you. If you notice that somebody’s having success in their life, they’re driving a nicer car, they’re traveling, they’re taking a little bit better vacation or whatever you noticed, “What’s happened there? I can see financially some switch has flipped for that individual,” go talk to them and see if you can learn something that you never heard of before. If you see that there’s a way for you to engage, then engage.
I could have easily missed out on making all that money on that house if I had hesitated in saying I would buy her home. She came to me, I said yes. I did a little research but not a lot. She needed to move and I was able to because I could take action and because I had the courage to take action. I was able to go and have a positive learning experience. Will every house that you ever invest in, flip, or buy and hold and rent all make you money? No, but if you’re wise and if you go into with your eyes open and understanding the math around the transaction and the laws, the county ordinances and so on, you can make money doing that. A friend of mine, one of my students, decided to start renting or leasing condos that were empty near places where big hotels were built: Las Vegas, Orlando, and other places.
After about two years, he was talking to me because he’s working on another project with me now. He’s making about $75,000 free and clear cash every month from all of these places that he leased and then put them up as Airbnb’s. Are there things you can do? Absolutely, but there is no magic wand. There is no pixie dust. You’ve got to learn what the opportunity is, you have to take the risk, and only with risk comes the reward. I hope that was helpful because there are smart things to do to generate wealth, but there’s no magic wand, there’s no pixie dust. Please remember that. It’s all based on learning and making calculated risks into an area, dipping your toe in, finding out if it works and when it does work, do more of that. If it doesn’t work, stop fast. If it does work, pile on.
I think that was pretty good. I think we’ve got a number of these questions answered. This was fun for me. Thank you so much. I’m going to do another one that’s around some of these prison stories and then we’ll have some other business things. If you want me to answer your question then mail it, Aaron@AaronScottYoung.com and let’s get your questions answered here on the Unshackled Owner Podcast. In the meantime, please write a review on Apple, Stitcher, iHeart or any of the places that we’re distributed. Please like it. Write a review, subscribe. Tell your friends, have your friends write in with questions. Follow me on social media. You can look under Aaron Scott Young or the Unshackled Owner.
If you’d like to learn how to be an Unshackled Owner, if you like my formula, the thing I’ve been using for 35 years to build multimillion-dollar companies where you don’t have to be a slave to that company, but it can make you money, you can build it up, you can keep it, you can sell it, you can work in it or you can just own it. If you want to learn how to do that and take control of your life, of your time and build true wealth, then let’s have a conversation. Let’s get on the phone and talk about the Unshackled Owner intensive class that I teach and learn my formula for building real wealth, real success, and having a fabulous life. That’s it for the Unshackled Owner. We’ll talk to you again next time.
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