Joe Coco knows how to go from $0 to $1,000,000+ including doing so over the course of several financial crisis! Listen to Joe  and do great when everyone else is worried 😉 Below you can listen to this podcast episode!

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Transcribed here :

We are back at making it work in Montana. Today we have a very timely guest.
[00:00:16] We’ve obviously noticed that the economy is going through just a crazy time right now due to the big deal, the Corona virus and other matters. And today is actually
Friday, the last day that we can do any kind of business as usual. And I wanted to bring in a guest who knows a lot about finances and knows how to weather a storm. And
everybody needs to get ready to just just do the best for their family. And there are people that they work with and their employees. And so a good thing to do right now
is to be thinking about it and then making plans. And so today’s guest is a friend of mine that I’ve I’ve known since the late 90s and since the early 90s he has built a
professional financial services career in Whitefish, Montana. He knows more about what it’s like to making it work in Montana than most the people that I know. And my
guest today is Joe Coco. Welcome, Joe.
[00:01:19] Well, thanks for having me, Dave. We’re here at the Black Diamond Mortgage Whitefish Mortgage Central.
[00:01:25] Yeah, we’re in the bunker at making it work in Montana, keeping our distance. But Joe’s got a lot of fantastic experience that’s relevant to what’s going on right now. And
so, Joe, if you wouldn’t mind, just to introduce yourself to folks. Could you take us from where were you born and how did you end up landing in Whitefish, Montana, as a
financial professional? Just give us a quick brief overview.
[00:01:53] Absolutely. I was born just outside of Chicago. My my mother is from the city of Chicago. But my dad was a career Marine and we bounced around all over the world. In
fact, college was the first time I spent more than three years in the same place. I graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder Go buffs in 1985. I had a Marine Corps ROTC scholarship to the University of Colorado and I graduated, went into the infantry. Spent 18 months in the infantry and spent the rest of my career in
reconnaissance with 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion in both Hawaii and over in Okinawa,Japan and I spent some time at Desert Shield, Desert Storm. Was in the Philippines
in 1992 when Mount Pinatubo the volcano erupted. That was pretty interesting and somewhat appropriate experience for what we’re going through right now, watching
people panic. I resigned my commission from the Marine Corps in nineteen ninety three. I started working with Edward Jones originally, and then in 2009 I went out on my
own and started my own investment firm, Coco Enterprises. I’ve always been fairly interested in money. When I was a little kid, I cut lawns for a living. And I remember
one time my mom coming in and saying you have over five hundred dollars in your sock drawer. Back in those days I was making five dollars an hour when minimum
wage was like two dollars and 30 cents.
[00:03:24] So even back then, there was opportunity for folks who wanted to go out and hustle. When I was a when I was a lieutenant station in Hawaii, my a buddy of mine was it was investing through a broker and his broker was having a dinner seminar down in Honolulu. And I got invited and I said, hey, Linda, why don’t we go down and get this
free dinner and then we can make a date out of it. So we went down to Honolulu and sat through this seminar and the advisor gave this presentation on the richest man in
Babylon. And for our listeners, that is a great stocking stuffer for your kids who are in high school and college. It’s a great way to learn about money. It’s a small book, but
very impactful. But the presentation, the richest man in Babylon is that. Just invest 10 percent of everything you make and do that over a lifetime. And you won’t be poor.
And the and the presenter was was telling us, hey, if you do what I tell you. By the time you retire, you’re gonna be a millionaire. And I thought, wow, I don’t even know
any millionaires. And there’s no millionaires in my family. I didn’t have any neighbors who were millionaires.
[00:04:31] So the idea of being a millionaire was very intriguing. So I signed up and back in those days, 10 percent of my paycheck was about one hundred dollars a month. Not a lot
of money, but it certainly was a lot to me and for our listeners who are alive back in 1987, I remember Black Monday in October, the stock market dropped over 20
percent in one day. And I was actually at U.S. Army Airborne School learning how to jump out of perfectly good airplanes while that happened. So I really wasn’t privy to what was going on in the world until I got back and saw my statement and saw that My account had dropped almost 50 percent in value in the matter of a couple of months, and the first thought that went through my mind is that my advisor was stealing from me, that, my gosh, there is no way I could have lost this much money this
fast. It just doesn’t make sense. But the advisor he talked me into, Stan, and he actually talked me into investing $200 a month, because now I was getting jump pay and
that’s why I had little extra money. And he says, if I will use Joe instead of investing one hundred a month, I need to do 200.
[00:05:35] Now, I remember those days, Dave, we had the phones that were connected to the to the kitchen wall. So I go, Hey, Linda. Bob says we should invest $200. No, don’t do
it. I said, OK, we’ll do it. But what happened, Dave, is as a stock market was going down and I was putting in two hundred a month, I was buying more shares. And in a
few months the market recovered and all those extra shares I bought at 200 a month. They went up. And now I’m really interested in watching my my statements that I’m
seeing the relationship between buying stocks when they were cheap and and when they go up in value, you make money at that point. It really cooled my jets. And to
this day, I tell everybody who will listen that Bob Sweet made my family into the financial situation we have today because I was not his biggest client with five hundred
and sixty dollars in his account. But he took the time to to talk me off the ledge and said, Joe, don’t do this by more. And I did. And our financial situation is a testament to
his good service.
[00:06:39] So so there’s that. That situation was a way to apply some really sound traditional financial principles in the middle of a crisis and then get the rewards for probably not
doing what everybody else is doing.
[00:06:53] Absolutely. Everybody else was was running to the exits. And Bob said, look, they’re having a fire sale on Wall Street. They slashed prices on everything. Everything’s on
sale. You ought to buy some. Now, when you go to the store, do you buy tuna fish when it goes up in price or do you like to buy when it’s on sale? And I said, well, I did get
a good deal. He goes, well, everything’s a good deal right now. And it sounds like a sales pitch at the time. But he was absolutely right. But to your point is that sometimes
you’ve got to do what everybody else is not doing.
[00:07:24] Right. And have those principles in advance so you can be calm and know that you’re doing the right thing.
[00:07:30] Exactly. Exactly. Now, one of the things that that particular brokerage firm did is it gave us these trifold folders. And when you get your statement, they encouraged you
to write the number of shares that you bought, the dollar amount that you invested, and how many shares you could buy with the money you had invested. So that by
doing that tactile exercise, you actually saw the relationship between buying shares when they were cheap, when they went down in price. And then once you’re calm. I mean, that was back in 1986 when I started 1987 when the market crashed. This is now, you know, 2020. I’ve been investing at least 10 percent of my paycheck during
all that time. So I’ve been through this the market crash in 87 and 2000 through 2002 and the financial crash of 2008 and recently is that I’m looking in, you know, the
seat cushions that are in our home sofas for extra change because I’ve been buying stocks as the price has been going down.
[00:08:29] Sure. So when I when I met Joe in the late 90s, we started to get to know each other and become friends through church.
[00:08:39] And also, I was I was getting started trying to build my career and figured out what I was going to do yet. But I was networking with Joe. And at one point, he had brought my wife and I into his office. And we basically we were just trying to get situated as a new couple, then married just about five or six years and is particular to knowing what to do at the beginning of a financial crisis. I wanted to mention that at the last financial crisis, Joe gave me some advice like this and I didn’t want any part of it. I was watching what was going on and it’s going to sound really stupid right now.
[00:09:18] But right at the end of the last hour, right before the last financial crisis went full blown, I did not listen to Joe and I decided build a spec house, which obviously when you
look back, that was about the worst thing you could do.
[00:09:30] Right. Leading up to the real estate crash. And so as we’re leading into some tough times, I’m looking back going, man, I wish I had listened to Joe. So I’m bringing Joe in
so that we can get some good advice.
[00:09:43] And just before we get into some really practical stuff, because I want Joe to talk about the real practical things that are going to help. I think part of the valuable way of
looking at how to deal with times where things aren’t easy would just be to take a quick review of how Joe started his career, because I’ve heard the story before. And so,
Joe, when you decided to start out as a Financial professional. The way I’ve heard the story is you did not have very much money and you were gonna go ahead and
become a financial professional, so tell us quickly, just how did that go? What did you do and how to work out for you?
[00:10:22] Well, to be honest, we did have some funds when we moved to Montana because I had investing since 1986 and I got out in 1993. But when we came up here, is there
everybody in small business knows. Small businesses are cash vacuum cleaners. They just suck the cash right out of you. And for the first couple of years that we were in Whitefish, it felt like nobody in Whitefish would do business with us. The company that had been working for earlier had quite a bit of turnover. And this was a small town
and there were 17 competitors in the business. Exactly the same time that I was here and I worked literally 60, 70, 80 hours a week and it just felt like I wasn’t getting any
traction. So we just blew through all of the savings that I had saved up all those years in the Marine Corps, just getting the business up and running. I started my business
going door to door, just like the Fuller Brush salesman. And I’d walk out and say, Hey, I’m Joe CoCo. I have an investment firm here in town, please do business with me.
And people were like, you know, you seem like a really nice fella, but the company you work for, there was four people before you and you’ll probably be gone in two
years anyway. So thank you very much. But I’m not interested.
[00:11:35] And I was really getting frustrated and desperate. So what I did is I went up to Libby and Libby at that time only had one financial advisor. And he was primarily doing
business with people in the town of Libby. But there was all kinds of folks who were moving to Libby from California and Oregon and Washington who were living out in the woods. So I would go out and knock on doors in the woods, and I’d meet these people that had worked for boeing or some other large company in Seattle or Portland, and
they had these 401ks and their advisors were not licensed in Montana. So I got that business. And one thing about business, and you’d probably know this as well, Dave,
is that success breeds success is that people want to do business with successful people. So after a few years of of struggling in Whitefish, people realized I wasn’t going
any place. And then all of a sudden, the business just came rolling in. I mean, there was a there was times where I led my my firm in Montana for new accounts. I was
opening up 18, 20 accounts a month in the 5 or 10 year period in my career. And after the 5 year period, I stopped knocking on doors and I really wasn’t advertising. The
business just kind of exploded on its own.
[00:12:52] Well, that was a great point, because what I wanted to hear you say was that if I was a business in the Flathead right now, I’m planning on doing this. Being successful in
the long haul, my ability to succeed through this crisis is going to pay exponentially once everybody realizes that I’m one of the businesses that can make it through a
crisis like this kind of when I heard you say, well, Whitefish is an interesting town because people are nice, but they generally are not all that enthusiastic about doing
business with the new guy.
[00:13:25] So you have got to survive for five years before the town basically says, OK, it looks like you’re not going away. So now I’m planning on doing business with you. And it’s
hard because sometimes in a big city it’s easier because people are just mean to you to your face. But in Whitefish, people are nice to you, to your face, but they still
don’t do business with you.
[00:13:45] Just smile and wave, right? Yeah. Well, let’s get into the practical stuff, because as I said, starting tomorrow, the governor has a stay at home order. Prior to this, pretty much the economy already looks like it’s doing really poorly at the moment. And so this is not going to help. And so on the other side of this, there’s all kinds of theories
on what’s going to happen. But absolutely, it would make sense to be preparing for something difficult to navigate to get on the better side. And so I want to come up with
kind of a few scenarios and having you just talk about, you know, what you think is a great strategy, three different three to four different scenarios.
[00:14:26] So the first are these are all going to be completely different.
[00:14:29] But first one is let’s let’s say that you’re you to Whitefish and you’ve been just kind of ski bummin and hanging out and you were gonna get your career later. So this wasn’t on your agenda. But you just found out that because you’re in tourism, that you’ve been laid off. You are paycheck to paycheck. You did actually plan to one of
these days get your act together and get a real job. But that’s your reality right this moment. What do you do to get through the crisis? And then, you know, what would
you recommend to that young man or woman who just kind of found himself sitting in that situation, getting ready to deal with the next few months?
[00:15:06] Well, if you if you came to Whitefish to enjoy yourself and have a good time. And but you are planning on starting to adult, then an opportunity like this, the first thing you
need to do is hang out with positive people, because I can tell you that during times of panic, there are plenty of pessimists out there that are going to drag you down. But
you know what? There’s also lots and lots of optimists who are out there as well. So the first thing I would do is pick and choose my friends wisely. And I would hang out with people who give me good gas and avoid the people that centrally talk about how the sky is falling. The next thing that I would do is I would take an assessment of of
of my current situation, because many people are in better financial shape than they actually think they are, because, you know, I don’t have any money in the bank, but
that doesn’t mean that you have negative net worth. It’s quite possible you have some skis in the in the garage and might have a canoe or a kayak. You might have an
extra vehicle that you don’t necessarily need right now. And when cash is short, you might want to go ahead and convert some of those things into cash to get you
through the tough times. Now, when we first came here and we were blown through our savings, it got to the point where our savings was just about gone, Dave. And we
had to sell a piano. And Linda loved the piano that we had, but we had two babies in the house and they had to eat. So we sold our piano and we sold it for four or five
hundred dollars.
[00:16:39] Not a whole lot of money, but that four or five hundred dollars got us through the next mortgage. That does not mean that we don’t have a piano today. In fact, we have a much nicer piano today than than the one we had originally that we sold. So if you have a pair of skis that you’re in love with or a kayak that you just really enjoy. If you
sell it now does not mean you’re gonna be without skis and kayaks forever. But what it does mean is that you’re going to be able to afford your skis and kayaks in the
future. So do an assessment. Take a look at all the things that you have. The other thing is that in a time there’s a crisis, there is also opportunity. And I’m seeing signs all
over the valley for that. People are hiring, particularly the grocery stores and the delivery takeout folks. I’m talking to my secretary, Erica, and she has a friend from
Billings who is done very well for himself financially and is a day trader. He makes his living managing his own portfolio. He has a side gig delivering food, and he’s making
six hundred dollars a week. He says he can make twice that, but he goes, why would I? I don’t need it. I just want extra of pocket change.
[00:17:42] So in this particular scenario, this guy, all he does is deliver food from different restaurants to people who are shut ins. And he’s making 600 hours a week. There’s
absolutely no reason why people in whitefish can’t do the same thing. What I would say is that you’ve got to be on your A-game and don’t get sucked into just grasping
for the low hanging fruit. And I’m seeing a lot of folks, Dave, who are waiting for those unemployment checks to come rolling in or they’re hoping to get their thousand
dollar stimulus check. And what what is doing is it’s killing their spirit, because if things get tough, keep your eyes open, because there is lots and lots of opportunities out
there for people to keep their eyes and ears open. After Katrina, it was amazing, the numbers of folks who lived around Louisiana who figured out that what people need
in Louisiana more than else was strong backs and chain saws. And they were going down and they were making five hundred to a thousand dollars a day, cutting wood
and removing debris out of people’s yards because they saw the opportunity. And I can tell you, if we’re in the middle of a crisis somewhere in this crisis, there’s going to
be opportunities for the folks, keep their eyes open.
[00:18:54] That’s good advice. And so, yeah, I think the best piece I got out of that was if you’re laid off, you don’t necessarily have to be laid off right now.
[00:19:02] No. And people say, well, why should I get a job if I’m gonna get unemployment? Well, if you’re looking for the long game and if you want to think like a a wealthy person,
a wealthy person says, hey, I need to increase my personal singling value in the marketplace.
[00:19:18] And if your resume shows that there were breaks in your resumé, they’re gonna say, well, why from March until May of 2020, were you not working? Well, that was during
the Corona virus thing. Well, that entrepreneur who is hiring people is going now, but the three guys I interviewed before, they figure out a way to work through the crisis.
Are you going to be one of those employees that basically takes the low-hanging fruit or are you going to be somebody has to be there for the long haul? You’re going to
up your signaling value if you work through this particular crisis?
[00:19:49] Well, that’s really good advice. So now let’s go to the other end of the spectrum, Joe.
[00:19:54] So you’re wealthy and you actually already have everything. The problem is, is everything is going down in value right now and it’s just painful
[00:20:05] To watch all that effort they put into creating all that wealth. What should
[00:20:11] Well, I know this is not you don’t know. Everybody’s got their own unique financial situation. You’re a professional. But just generally speaking, if you’re if you have wealth
and and in your wealth is being attacked, well, what are the best strategies for those times?
[00:20:26] Well, I think that what I said before, I do an inventory for poor people. They need to inventory themselves and get a feel for what exactly that they have.
[00:20:35] The advice is exactly the same for people who are wealthy. Do an inventory to ensure that the assets in your estate are organized in such a way that they’re meeting your
objectives. Now, for most of our clients, is that they are obviously very concerned about the values of their stocks. But most of our retired clients who are wealthy, they
don’t have all their money in stocks. They have their money in bonds. They have their money in rental real estate. They have their money in gold. They have their money
in cash. And many of our clients, they’re there. They’re organized in such a way, Dave, that they’re never gonna be forced to sell an investment at a time not of their
choosing. So they can wait out the storm. And I certainly learned this in 2000, 2001 and 2002 with my retired clients back then, because it was three back to back years where the stock market was going down. And yet folks still needed income. Well, what we did essentially is when those cds came to instead of living off the interest of
those cds, we sold the cds and used the cash and left the stocks alone. And then we saw that nice run up from 2003 all the way up through 2008.
[00:21:48] They were able to regain and then in 2008, when the financial crisis hit, did the same thing again, is that we stopped selling stocks and started selling the bonds And cds when they came to or just sold them in the marketplace because they’re up in value. So for folks who have some funds, what I would suggest they do is maybe go and
see a financial planner like Cocoa Enterprises and just sit down and do an assessment to ensure that the the assets in your estate are going to be weatherproof. Is that we
tell folks all the time, we’re not the business of predicting thunderstorms. We’re in the business of building arcs. And it’s quite possible that you’ve got a portfolio and a
family estate that’s well organized, but maybe not. Maybe there are some things you may be doing because things might be getting better. They might get worse in the
short term. And what you want to do is to make sure that all weather account. So the wealthy, you need to make sure the investments and the assets you own are
actually protecting you instead of hurting you. That’s sound advice.
[00:22:52] So now this is one that. So I’m I’m a mortgage broker. So I know a lot of realtors and even some new mortgage brokers.
[00:22:59] So a lot of folks were I mean, we were in a environment literally just three months ago where it looked like everybody could make money in real estate and mortgage. I mean, it was just like sign up. There’s people ready to get these deals.
[00:23:15] And so it was it was a good time to be in it if you were brand new three months ago. So imagine you’re one of these new folks. And just within the last twelve months, you
actually quit your job and you are now out there on commission. And then right in front of you as a economy, it’s about to implode. And obviously, things are going to
differ on the other side for that person. What’s the best thing they can do to do the best they can? I know some of you addressed already, but just what would you do if
that was you? And you wanted to still succeed in this new career endeavor. But, man, you you you realize that it’s not going to be as easy as you thought I was going to
[00:23:54] Well, I think the first thing I would do is I start working half days, 12 hours. So in other words, instead of working 40 hours a week, I’d be working 70, 80 hours a week.
Because what you’ve got to do is you gotta prime the pump. And the fact is that, yes, the real estate market might be having difficulties, but there there’s gonna be
buyers and there’s going to be sellers. And you and I both know that we rarely get paid for the marketing and hard work we do today, the same day. So whatever work
you do now, you get paid six months from now. So three months ago, when things were rocking and rolling, the reality was we were not working that hard. And so what’s
happened is that we’re not seeing the business because of the work we weren’t doing before because it was just walking in the front door. So in order to improve the odds
of us succeeding, you got to get to build up your game. You’ve got to start working more.
[00:24:47] Yeah. Ive been to your class on Joe, by the way, usually once a year does a fantastic class on sales strategy. And one thing I remember from that class that you just
brought up was when you’re new, assuming that the business isn’t rolling in, you have the most time to go
[00:25:05] And get yourself established. And then when you’re busy, you don’t really have that much time to do that. So when I hear you saying is navigate your cash well and use
this time to to do that, pounding the pavement. Because probably also I didn’t hear you say this, but in my mind, a lot of the other people are going to be doing it now.
[00:25:24] Right. Right now, a lot of a lot of business people there are crawled up underneath their desk and they’re sucking their thumb. And so there’s yet there’s less economic
activity. But there’s also less people providing the services that that customers need. Now, here’s an example that from 1994 through 2000, the stock market was doing
very, very well. But if you remember, the Fed, the Federal Reserve was raising interest rates. So for people who bought bonds and say 1992, 1993, 1994, when interest
rates were low, interest rates spiked. They went up like 2 percent and bonds got hammered. So a lot of retired clients who had bought a lot of bonds, their their
investments were down in value and their advisors were not calling to talk to them. So I’m out knocking on doors as the new guy at exactly the same time that interest
rates were up. So clients were coming in and I was seeing these clients on their on their doorsteps and saying they’re doing the complaining. My broker sold me this bond
and is now selling for 80 cents on the dollar. And I go, we’ll take a look at it. And so it’s the Tennessee Valley Authority bond or it’s the Treasury bond paying, say, four and
a half percent. But we now have bonds that are paying seven and a half percent because I was there on the doorstep. They were interested in the bonds that I was
selling. And back in those days, you could sell fixed annuities at 7 percent. In fact, we call a bond fund repair kits because people’s bond funds were down. They could take
the proceeds, put them in these things. And in seven years we could replace what they had lost in their other investments. Now, it wasn’t a matter of me having any sort
of financial genius. It was just me being out knocking on doors when other people were crawled up under their desk in the fetal position at the same time. So in times like
this, if you just started a sales position. Work harder.
[00:27:17] So we have a stay at home order.
[00:27:18] But regardless of that, you’ve got a phone and you’ve got an e-mail account and you could just be going after.
[00:27:24] Absolutely. I don’t know. Do you ever use polk directory?
[00:27:28] When you start your book, you know, that was something I sold you maybe 17 or 18 years ago.
[00:27:33] Oh, OK. Right. It was you. You were my first customer that.
[00:27:39] I sold it for about a year and I was actually struggling to sell it. And when I met Joe, he was like, oh, I love the polk directory
[00:27:46] Oh, thank God. You know how to sell everybody what it is real quick.
[00:27:51] Well, the polk directly is a database of information in your town. And it was incredibly helpful for me when I was up knocking on doors because I would knock on the door
and I try to get people’s names and they wouldn’t give it to me. But it didn’t matter because they had the information already because it’s in the polk directory. It’ll tell
you who owns the property, the phone number, how long they’ve lived there, whether they’re working or whether the retired, how many people live in there. So there’s a
lot of demographic information in that. So it was a little eerie because people didn’t give me their information, but I went back, use the polk directory to send them a
thank you note.
[00:28:25] And I noticed nowadays you can get most that stuff online to the different sources. It’s definitely possible to gain a lot of information to follow up with clients or before you
need them.
[00:28:36] There might be more whiz bang opportunities. But the point is, is that if you’re stuck at home to be stuck at home working. Yeah. And and use that that those those assets
because quite frankly, things are a lot better now because you can actually meet people. They have cell phones now where in the old days when I first started, most
people just had one phone in their kitchen. And if they weren’t home, they didn’t get your messages. And now we’ve got Skype, we’ve got facetime, we’ve got Facebook Messenger, we’ve got Zoom. There’s all sorts of ways that we can connect with clients. We can’t use this pandemic as an opportunity to say, well, I can’t do anything.
[00:29:15] Agreed. So three different scenarios, three different kind of strategies.
[00:29:22] A lot of people have a family. So if you could real quick and I know you and I talked before this, you didn’t necessarily have the amazing answer for us. But what do you
recommend for getting the family on board, for whatever these plans are that you need to make it through the tough financial times?
[00:29:39] Well, the main thing is that you have got to be optimistic is that you can’t be coming home after a hard day at the office where people told you no and and have gloom
and doom because the family is taking their their signals off of your your confidence. And if you walk around with your shoulders slumped over and your pouting and all
the time, you’re giving bad gas to your family. And instead of focusing on what the customers are doing, you’ve got to focus on what you’re doing, focus on your activity.
So one of the things that I used to do is I used to say, OK, if I make one hundred and fifty contacts where I actually ask people to do business with us, I’m knocking off as
soon as I do that. Now, sometimes I was able do that on Friday afternoons and sometimes I have to do that on Sunday evenings because for one reason that I get all
those calls in. But after a while I learned that I really wanted to spend time with my family. So I got my hundred and fifty contacts in as efficiently and as rapidly as
possible. Now, I could not control whether people said yes or no, Dave, but I can control whether or not I asked them to do business with me. And in difficult times. And
you know this too, is it? It’s really easier to be purveyors of great information. So we’ll call up people on the phone, say, hey, I got this great information for you, Dave,
and I wanted you to know about it.
[00:30:58] And you say, geez, thanks, Joe. I really appreciate this Great information. And 30 seconds after I leave, it goes in the cylindrical file. Right. But if you really want to up your
success, you can’t just leave people great information. You’ve got to say, would you do business with me? What was it going to take for me to to do business with me?
Because if you do that, you will increase the odds of people doing business with you exponentially. So to get your family on board. Be optimistic. Now, Linda’s credit when we came here. She was instrumental in helping to reduce our expenses. Now tell you how how intense we were is that we had one car in those days and Linda got the car
on Wednesdays. So the rest of the week I had the car for doing business, going door to door. So on Wednesday, she would drive me in the office early in the morning. The
kids were in the pajamas. I get the office about 6:30 and she’d have the car and that’s where she’d do her grocery shopping and take the kids to the park and all that sort
of thing. But we had one car. Linda, would she bake her own bread and make her own pizza dough and make her own crackers? And I literally went down to the equity
feed supply store in Kalispell and I bought bags of wheat that I grinded and and made into homemade flour by 50 pound bags of oats. And when I bought it from the guy, I
said, hey, is this stuff fit for human consumption? And the guy says, well, if it’s good enough for horse races, it’s good enough for you.
[00:32:28] Now, I know that may sound a little extreme for some of our listeners, but the fact is that we bought a 50 pound bag of oats in those days for five dollars and 50 cents.
And that was pretty much my breakfast for about a year. So take five dollars or 50 cents and divide it by 365 days. We learned how through creativity to truly reduce our
expenses so that we give the business enough time to to succeed. Now, eventually, you can’t do this forever. So I always say starting a business or starting a new
enterprise is like trying to collect pearls on a breath hold. So you’re here if you’re on the surface. You take a breath of air and you dive down and try to get as many pearls
as you possibly can before you have to come back up to the surface again. Don’t be messing around on your breath. Hold while you’re on your breath. Don’t be looking at
fish. Be gathering pearls. What that means to be working. So if you wake up in the morning instead of, you know, checking your e-mails and checking all the reports and
trying to figure out what font should be on your business cards, do the work necessary to feed your family. And if your family sees you doing the smart work, that’s gonna
help their confidence.
[00:33:48] So so get the family on board. But then do the work so that eventually they’re gonna be rewarded for their work and helping you get through the tough time.
[00:33:59] My my family made a lot of sacrifices. Twenty five years ago. But they’re now enjoying the fruits of those sacrifices today.
[00:34:08] Awesome. Well, hey, Joe, we’re going to wrap it up here. And I just really want to thank you for providing some wisdom. A lot of good nuggets of wisdom in there.
[00:34:18] And if anybody knows Joe, like he he’s very willing to to get he has his professional business, but he dedicates time to help people of any walk of life. Would I be correct to
say that you make time for anybody that needs to know what to do and he knows what to do? So I would appreciate you coming in here, Joe.
[00:34:39] Thanks, Dave. I’ve really enjoyed myself this morning and good luck to everybody out there.
[00:34:42] I know this is going to be tough for a few people. And I will make the same pledge if you need help and you wanna to reach out to me like I I definitely want to talk to
people before they make major decisions that might affect the long term and trying to help you make a great choice. And thanks for listening to Make It Work in Montana.
And thank you, Joe. Thanks.

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