Welcome to the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast Interview with Mr Houston Gunn
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Introducing Houston Gunn
Todays guest, joining us on the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast interview.
He is just seventeen years old, and has packed more into his last few years than most of us manage in a lifetime.
An entrepreneur investor, author, go getter, speaker, money lender, lover of riding dirt bikes, and writing music, he really has the drive to make things occur and on his own terms too.
As Houston Gunn says in his own words “I learned early that you don’t get what you don’t ask for.
When I was 13 I asked my parents if I could put my income from appearing in a TV commercial to better use by partnering with them on a real estate project. They said “Yes.”
How The Dots Joined Up For Houston
When I was 14 and working on my first book I asked Donald Trump if he’d answer some questions about entrepreneurship. He said “Yes.”
Like anyone else, I’ve heard my share of “No’s,” too. “No” is a part of life.
Certainly its a part of business but I try not to take rejection personally.
Hearing “No” motivates me to try harder next time.”
So is it that simple, or is there so much more to becoming a success and a millionaire by such an early age?
Well we are going to find out as Houston Gunn planned to be one before leaving college! Big dreams indeed.
Well let’s bring onto the show to start joining up dots, as we discuss the words of Steve Jobs with the one and only Houston Gunn.
During the show we discussed such weighty topics Houston Gunn such as:
How is Grandma gave him life the changing advice of “the only person in a job who is getting rich out of your efforts is the employer!”
How he believes that you need take every opportunity and turn it into a positive….no matter how hard it may seem!
How he wrote over 100 letters asking to interview businessman and sportsman and didn’t receive a response from 99 of them…the one he did was Donald Trump!
How he started flexing his hustle muscle at the age of 7 by selling merchandise at his mums dance studio!
How he came to the realisation that we all have to live by the motto “Why Not Me” everyday!
Products By Houston Gunn
How To Connect With Houston Gunn
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Audio Transcrtion Of Houston Gunn Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK, David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:26]
Yes, hello there. Good morning world. I hope you’re all okay. And you’re rocking and rolling. It’s Episode 111 of Join Up Dots. And we have got a great chap on the on the show today. He is somebody that will put most of us movers and shakers or the ones that call ourselves movers and shakers to shame because he has started doing he’s been at quite an early age. He’s just 17 years old and has packed more into his last few years and most of us managing a lifetime. An entrepreneur, investor, author go getter speaker, money lender, lover of riding dirt bikes and writing music. He really has the drive to make things occur. And on his own terms to as he says, In his own words, I learned early that you don’t get what you don’t ask for when I was 13. I asked my parents if I put my put my income from appearing in a TV commercial to better use by partnering with them on a real estate project. And they said yes. Then when I was 14 and working on my first book, I asked Donald Trump it’d be to answer some questions about entrepreneurship. And he said yes to like anyone else I’ve heard my share of knows no is a part of life and certainly a part of business. But I try not to take rejection personally. Hearing a no motivates me to try harder next time. So is it that simple, always so much more to becoming a success and a millionaire by such an early age, where we’re going to find out as our guest plan to be one before leaving college big dreams? Indeed. It’s a delight to bring onto the show to start joining the dots of Eastleigh. Well, one and only Houston gun. How are you? Houston?
Houston Gunn [1:55]
Good. How about you?
David Ralph [1:57]
I am rocking and rolling, sir. Obviously, we’re share it with the audience, because that’s what we do. We just had big internet problems. And over time, I’ve been wanting to say, Houston, we have a problem. I bet you get that all the time. Oh, yeah.
Houston Gunn [2:09]
Absolutely. hasn’t been a day. In one year that I haven’t heard it?
David Ralph [2:15]
And do you laugh every time? Or do you just kind of groan.
Houston Gunn [2:19]
absolutely, I just go along with it. Because it just kind of, I don’t know, I guess it’s just something that I’ve become known for amongst my group of friends. So
David Ralph [2:29]
it’s one of those things you never going to get away from. And you’re never going to get away from also being a person that people are interested in. Because you are, as I say, 17 years old. In the introduction, you started your entrepreneurship and age when most people are just riding around on their bikes and playing football and sort of messing around. What was it about you that got you going? And I suppose the bigger question is, are people interested in you, because of what you’ve achieved, or because of you your age?
Houston Gunn [3:01]
Well, I would say, going to what I’ve done in my age, I would say I would have to be a bit of both. Because many people if I would have been even in my mid 20s have done real estate and etc, and a bunch of different entrepreneurial things. But I’d say since I’ve been 16. And now 17, doing these things that really kind of catches people’s attention. So I’d say I’d have to be a bit of both. That really catches people’s attention. And I’d say I really got started and exposed to this whole world of entrepreneurship, just from my parents, and my grandma Linda, who just exposed me because I come from a whole family of entrepreneurs, my parents were entrepreneurs, and my grandma was an entrepreneur, even going up to my great grandparents were entrepreneurs. So I’ve just really been exposed and observing what they do, and really just learning from it.
David Ralph [3:58]
So So what’s that? Hey, moment, whatever key phrase or bit of advice that you got, when you vote Yeah, okay, I know what you’re saying. This is my path.
Houston Gunn [4:08]
Well, big quote, that definitely influenced my direction. And my path life came from my grandma, Linda, and I share this on my first book. And she told me when you work for others, you make them rich. And when you work for yourself, you make yourself rich. And at the time, I somewhat understood it. But it didn’t really click until I was a little bit older attending these real estate seminars and business conferences and observing what entrepreneurship really isn’t doing it for myself.
David Ralph [4:38]
But he’s, it’s some, such an obvious truth that it makes you wonder why so many of us don’t grasp the fact that yeah, if you’re working for somebody, more often than not, they won’t pay you for the extra effort you put in, it’s just a job, and you’re lucky to have a job. And that is the kind of mentality with so many people, it’s a job. And you know, many people haven’t got a job nowadays. So just put up with it. But you’re never going to get rich, as you say, you’re never going to get rich. And if becoming rich means providing more comfort and more support and a better standard of life for you, then it’s got to be something that we’re all aiming for wonderful.
Houston Gunn [5:18]
Absolutely. And going into with an going to have a job rather than being an entrepreneur. And one thing I’ve really observed and that I try to really bring out in my first book is through everything that I’ve observed in my three years going through high school so far, is it really isn’t about entrepreneurship, it’s about getting good grades, going to college and getting a job, which is great, but it might not be for everyone. Maybe somebody else wants to take a different path or has a passion for something, or maybe just knows he wants to be an entrepreneur but doesn’t know where to start or what to do. And I would say from everything that I’ve observed, entrepreneurship isn’t really a promoted path.
David Ralph [5:59]
I must be somebody the other day, well, I speak to so many of these guys, on and on a daily basis, the amount of entrepreneurs and successful people kind of say, and I don’t want anyone out there listening, thinking, right, I’m just going to quit school and not follow through, because it’s a good thing to do and get an education. And qualification is a good thing to do. So that’s not the point I’m going to be making. But the point is, so many people say that the process of going through school, just to come out the other end with a qualification, basically, instead of inspiring, it takes it the other way. And it becomes a factory just pushing the kids through until they come out the other end with no clearer destination. And when they started, you’re in school at the moment. Do you see that? all around you? Do you see people just going through the motions because I know they got another year and another two years until I congratulate?
Houston Gunn [6:55]
Absolutely. And one thing I’ve really observed is I’ve done all the business and marketing classes. And one thing I really kind of see that as kind of a problem is they just open up a textbook and they say, okay, what’s the definition of a target market? Or your demographic? Just what’s the definition? So it’s really all about definitions. Instead of going out there and doing it, I would say that’s really one of the best ways to learn, and also learn from your mistakes. So you might also make mistake is just going out there and doing it.
David Ralph [7:30]
So it should be more focused on life skills more than sort of education. Absolutely. And the more of a take action education. Do you know a chap, I think he’s vaguely well known in America, a chef called Jamie Oliver,
Houston Gunn [7:43]
the name rings a bell I can’t pinpoint at the moment.
David Ralph [7:46]
He said, He’s an English guy. And I know that he’s done some programmes in America and stuff. And he did a thing over here where he says when he was going through school, and now he’s a millionaire chef. And when he was going through school, the last thing he really wanted to do was be at school, he just wanted to be earning money and hustling and getting on with it. And he would see so many kids that were prime for a great life, a motivational life, an inspirational life, I suppose. But they lost their way just because their motivation on a daily basis with teachers and and professors and other students just saying you’re not going to amount to anything, just whittle them down, whittle them down, whittle them down until they started believing in it, and playing up to the fact. So they started being disruptive in the class and not paying attention. So he took these kids who had been expelled from schools, or just lost causes in the education system, and put him in a school that he created. And it was just for a TV programme. But he took world famous experts and doctors and professors to run the biology classes, and world class artists to run these sort of the art schools to by actually having people whose whole passion was doing these subjects, whether they could motivate the kids to actually be inspired to do it. And what it turns out, it really is the best very few teachers out there that are truly inspirational and can get the last generation to focus in on their their qualifications and their education, to the teachers. It’s a job. But then there’s one or two teachers, but we all remember when we were going through school and we got our they were amazing. And when we think about it, it was because both ones were the ones that were teaching us more about finding ourselves than actually what was in the textbook, would you do you find those kinds of teachers?
Houston Gunn [9:40]
Yeah, absolutely. And speaking about how people maybe not be be as inspiring and a storey that I had actually my first day of freshman in high school and made a welcome and the high school assembly in the gym. Believe it or not, the leadership teacher actually went on to announce that if you had good grades, go on to college, and get a degree and get a job. On average, you will earn $1 million in your lifetime, and everyone was going wild teachers, staff, students, and I actually was starting to think, and I actually did the math that if you work for 50 years, your life, let’s say from age 22 to 72. Only to earn $1 million in your lifetime, that would only be $20,000 a year, not including any taxes or expenses. So that kind of really almost ticks me off that they are putting this message that you can go work for your whole life just to make $1 million. And that’s really kind of when I started to set the goal how I plan to graduate from high school millionaire because I don’t want to be a millionaire by the time I’m done working for my whole life. And I would encourage everyone listening and viewing that you should set goals because no one should be worth a million dollars in their lifetime. You should be worth more.
David Ralph [10:52]
And when he said that? Did you kind of look for look around at people and go Why the hell are you clapping here? Why are you cheer? Did you did you feel that passionately? Were you the only one in the room with your arms folded with a colon kind of quizzical look on your face.
Houston Gunn [11:06]
Absolutely. Once I really did the math, I was just kind of shocked. But I was really kind of just almost done that people are just cheering for this, I guess it’s just when you hear the word $1 million people just go wild, when you really think about it, a million dollars Ain’t that much anymore. And one thing of how that really inspires me and how I really take different positive but also somewhat negative events to help motivate me, and I guess inspired me, as you take whatever is the negative, for example, the million dollar statement from the leadership teacher, and then you just use it as fuel to help promote your message and just get your word out there and just take action to go out there and do what you want to do.
David Ralph [11:53]
I agree with that. Totally Houston. But I imagine so many people out there listening to this wanting to create kick ass life for themselves are trapped in there is easier to believe the negative stuff when the good stuff?
Houston Gunn [12:07]
Well, it just kind of really gotta sort out. And really go with your own beliefs of what you really think is positive and negative. And then also just think about it and maybe just follow your passion because do whatever you’re passionate about. Because whether it is being an entrepreneur or maybe going to go out and get a job, because that’s great. Because that’s what you’re passionate about. And what’s that saying? Like, if you’re passionate about what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. So it’s really all about at the end of the day, just finding your passion and doing what you want to do.
David Ralph [12:41]
It’s very aware of Oh, isn’t it for a 17 year old and I mean that with a greatest respect, you know, you don’t seem like the 17 year old, I’ve got kids and I have 17 I have 17 year olds come into my house. And I say to them, or white lads, and I go, and I can barely say two words. And I think myself, you know, that just kind of dripping around. But you you’re somebody who is, you know, just the fact that you are relating to people like me, for example, Dave Ramsey, Donald Trump’s, and I’m not putting myself in their category by any stretch of the imagination. But the fact that you’re putting yourself in these these positions, where I would find that stressful going into sort of interview Donald Trump and you did it at the age of 14. Is it just because when you’re that young, you don’t know any better? Or is it the fact that you’ve got some kind of superpower that the rest of us haven’t got?
Houston Gunn [13:33]
Well, I would say when I was reaching out for the interview for Donald Trump will actually believe it or not, I sent out over 100 of requests for different interviews from all the successful and famous entrepreneurs, and I believe also send out request to athletes, because the Summer Olympics were going on at that time. And believe it or not out of the hundreds of requests that I sent out, Donald Trump was my first and only response. And that’s going back to what you said in the intro about how I really learned that. I don’t really take no personally. But I know I’m going to get no more than I’m going to get Yeah, so I just took the chance and took the risk of asking all these people. But I also said what I was doing and position myself by saying hi, and this 14 year old, who’s writing this book about entrepreneurship, and how I did real estate, etc. And I leverage what I’ve done with my age, to really, I guess, help position myself to create a better odds of me getting a yes.
David Ralph [14:36]
I’ve spoken to a few guys now, who are teenage entrepreneurs, and they’re doing great guns. And to be honest, the first one that came into my life on this show was a little bit of a fluke. But we really connected and it was a fantastic programme. He’s a gentleman called Henry Miller. And he’s created Henry’s humdingers, which is like a spicy honey product that he sells across America. And he was on the Shark Tank programme, and he got investment from from the sharks. And one of my colleagues said, you need you need to get more teenage entrepreneurs, because what you’re doing, you’re focusing in on the older avatar for the show, the people that I call is the last generation, they’re the ones who are already in Jobs already have got that inbuilt negative approach to this is where I am, I’ve got to put up with it. And what we need to do is focus in at the beginning of the curve, to the guys who are just coming out of school or college or still in school and college, to say to them, this is a great world that we’re on, this is an amazing place. And you look at Houston gun, what he’s doing, you look at what Henry Miller’s doing, why can’t you do that? You know, what have they got? But you haven’t got? And you’re already answering those questions, you’re giving a blueprint to success in Houston, the fact that you send out 100 letters, and almost expect none of them to come back. But then when you do, I would ask you and I don’t know what the other names were that you sent. But I argue that you probably got one of the big boys to actually respond. And is that that that odds game isn’t it is that law of averages, you’re playing the numbers game, and putting yourself in a position for success? where most people would do 1230 it’s not working and give up? Is that a key message to everyone in life? But you’ve got to try it more than you’ve ever done before?
Houston Gunn [16:24]
Because whenever you’re trying to do something, you’re definitely going to be told no more than Yes. And you don’t want to give up even if you get a certain amount of no’s and row just keep going at it. Because eventually you’re more than likely found to get a yes. And just the more you ask the higher you raise your chance that you’ll get a yes. And really one of my sayings is, with the whole always ask is it’s better to it’s better to be told no than not knowing it all.
David Ralph [16:55]
Yeah, yo yo us certainly a preaching to the converted here, everything you’re saying, hitting me big time. And it’s so it’s wrong. But I’m at my age. And I’m going Yes, I agree with this I agree with is totally. But I could I just couldn’t see this for like 1520 years, I was just on the corporate gig, I was an employer, I was somebody that was doing a path but I bought was the right path. But now I look at it. And I think it was somebody else’s path. So everything that you’re saying is an absolute blueprint. And I hope the listeners are out there, jotting these down. Because you only need three or four of these statements on a bit of paper and look at them every single day. And you’ve got a head start on, I don’t know probably 90% of the planet, I would have thought.
Houston Gunn [17:36]
And with all these tips, I guess how you call them blueprints that I’m given out, it really is. It’s really all stuff that I learned and I really applied and or what I’ve observed from doing and really just starting to click with me, the more I do it. So even if it might not work the very first time and just keep taking action and keep doing it and doing it. And make sure if you fail, because failure is always a possibility. But make sure you learn what you can from that failure to make it a positive outcome by learning from it and being able to do better the next time.
David Ralph [18:17]
Well, let’s start taking you back and start joining up the dots of your life because it seems to be certainly in the introduction, the starting point was you appearing in the TV commercial and getting paid and been saying to your mom and dad, I want to buy into a real estate project. Now, was that something that you just had a fall in your head? Let’s do this, or was there a time as the leading up to that in that commercial? That you were starting to think if I had some cash, if I had some cash, I know what I would do with it? How did that work?
Houston Gunn [18:47]
Well, it wasn’t leading up to the commercial. But it was in between the commercial. And my first real estate deal, were started to attend to real estate seminars where my parents would be taking me to them. Then my parents got more heavily into the whole real estate world. And my whole family’s done real estate. My dad was a contractor. My mom’s done real estate investing in my grandma was a real estate developer. So I’ve seen all them do it. And going back to one of the things you were saying earlier, I just really asked myself, why not me? If they can do it? Why can I? So then I just really asked and told him I’d like to do real estate with my money in? Could I do real estate deal with you. And believe it or not, when I first asked, I asked them if I could lend them money to do a real estate deal. But they didn’t want me to lend money. So they said I could become a partner on their property. So I I just decided packets and opportunity. And with that opportunity, with all the numbers out I’d make a better return on my investment than having them sit in CDs, which I have been doing before that. And one thing I like to say is the only CDs I like now are the tonnes of music on even though CDs or with music are going away now with all the digital era. But I really just asked myself, why not me? If they can do it? Why can I?
David Ralph [20:11]
And did they laugh at you when you first said it? Or did they just embrace that question straight away.
Houston Gunn [20:16]
They just really embraced it straight away, because my whole family’s really got started early. And believe it or not, my mom opened her first business, which was a dance studio at the age of 17. While she was still in high school. And when she graduated, she had a full business with customers and clients at the moment she graduated. So she just took that and ran with it. And so one thing I also like to say is I beat her out and she opened her first business at 17. And I didn’t mind that 16
David Ralph [20:48]
go Houston, go Houston. So thank you. Yeah, I’m just saying that, with the online opportunities that we’ve got, where you don’t actually have to go into brick and mortar and set up a dance studio, like your mom did, and actually pay rent and all those kind of things, kids, and certainly my kids, I’m going to drive this into them, they’ve got the opportunity to just connect across the world through the internet, and build businesses, you know, on a nickel and dime, basically. So there’s very limited risk other than finding something to channel your passion in, and spending time and time and time doing it. But you could come out of college or university or just school, we’ve already realised business supporting you, and what how good can that be in life.
Houston Gunn [21:33]
And I tell us one thing is a lot of people underestimate just what they can do, especially having all this online and digital technology. Now, it is so much easier, easier to distribute what you’re doing even let’s say you are a musician, and maybe you have a CD, mean, you have all these iTunes in Twitter, you can just post links. And there are so many ways you can just market at little to no cost and promote whatever you want to do and what you are doing. And even if you need funding nowadays with the whole digital world, you don’t need to go necessarily walking around and networking given business cards to find funding with all these now Kickstarter, websites and programmes, it’s so much easier to get access to capital. And it’s just so much easier to connect to a more wider audience
David Ralph [22:26]
that there’s kind of limited risk. Of course, there is risk. But to my way of thinking now, it’s more risk in time and effort. You know, I’m doing a show, it’s going absolute great guns, I can’t believe how well it’s doing across the world. But actually, when I look at the cost, it’s taken to do it. Probably the most expensive is the microphone. And so and that’s it and that microphone could last me five or six years before we you know, it gives up the ghost. You can create a business on really a shoestring but you still have a risk, but it’s a it’s a very small risk compared to brick and mortar, I would have thought
Houston Gunn [23:02]
you just gotta find out and make sure you do whatever you have to do to get it set up correctly. And just do what you can do to help mitigate the risk to as low as you can get it.
David Ralph [23:14]
I’m going to play a little speech about risk. And this is something that Jim Carrey said recently, and I like playing this is one of my favourite little motivational speeches. But um, I want to play it and just see your feelings on this. So this is Jim Carrey, and he said this recently,
Jim Carrey [23:28]
my father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [23:55]
Should we be talking about at school Houston, bash, we play in every school, just because that’s a really different way of thinking about it really helps open up and really think about it. And I like the whole part is you can fail at something you don’t love. So you might as well do what you love. And that is just really great thing and and really goes back to this finding your passion. I haven’t heard that. But I wish I would have heard it before, then because that was really great and really powerful. It’s astonishingly powerful. And once again, it’s astonishingly simple. It’s not rocket science, any of this any other conversations, you can listen back to over 100 of the conversations that we’re having. And pretty much everyone says, I you’ve got to take a leap of faith. So you’ve got to sort of challenge a few risks, be you’ve got to put more effort in when you’ve never ever done before. See, you’ve got to find a passion because when the effort starts getting too much, you need something to follow through, you’ve got to find the failures as quickly as possible so that you can overcome them to get the successes. And I suppose the last thing is, if you can make sure that you don’t see them as failures, they’re just stepping stones to your success, you’ve really got a head start and everyone else would you agree with that?
Houston Gunn [25:05]
Because at the end of the day, it really goes back to finding your passion and a way to make money at it.
David Ralph [25:10]
How do people find their passion Houston, when? And I’m going to ask your question as your sort of point of view on this. But then I’m going to sort of tell you what I think has occurred over the last few 50 6070 shows. But how do people in your point of view, find their passion.
Houston Gunn [25:27]
So I would say finding your passion really just goes into what you can see yourself doing and something you enjoy doing, where you can spend several hours a day working on it. And just maybe it’s something you already do. But you might not do it to make money and just find a way where you can do whatever it is, whether it be a product or service, and go find a way to make money at it. And there’s just so many different avenues you can go and you just really got to first start out doing research and finding what you can do, especially how we’re talking about earlier with all the technology and the internet and everything online is there’s so many different avenues. So just really find something that you would have a drive for and something you’d see yourself and see yourself wanting to do for several hours a day to work on. And really that’s your passion,
David Ralph [26:22]
I’m going to spin that on its head. And this is what’s been coming out of the conversations that the tagline of the show is connecting our past to build our future. And I know I’m a total advocate, but we have clues in all our lives to help us find that passion. And it isn’t even a finding the passion, we already know it. Because it seems to me if you look back to our younger self, when we had no opportunity of earning money, or very little money, we were doing lots of things because we just love doing them, we would come home from school, and we would just do stuff because that’s what we love doing. And now if you look back on those, and you start jotting down on all the things, so if you like the fact that you know you you would go around mowing people’s lawns and washing people’s cars to make money, then there’s highly likely you’re going to be an entrepreneur, if you’re somebody that likes to get loads of people together and make clubs in gangs in your in your sort of shedding the bottom you have a garden, you might be a networker. And there seems to be a direct correlation between our younger self and what the people now are doing, who are successful, literally to a man and a woman. They’re all saying to me, yeah, yeah, I did. I like doing that when I was a kid. I used to like taking machinery apart and doing things like that. And then building them up. And now by like building businesses, or building websites, and all that kind of stuff. They already know their passion, because it was what they were doing when they were children. And they weren’t being paid for it. What What do you think about that?
Houston Gunn [27:48]
Absolutely. And how you mentioned car wash. And one thing I really see is because you don’t have to be an adult to wash cars. And really even might not be the thing you’re full passionate. But let’s say you like working outside, and you like maybe cars and everything. Maybe start out if you’re in high school or some washing cars, because if you can start washing a bunch of cars, and then you can start paying for gas in your car and start paying for the stuff that you want to do. Instead of having to go put and get a part time job that let’s say a fast food restaurant or grocery store, where you’re just making minimum wage, and getting paid for the time you work. You could go wash cars, and then do something that you have somewhat of a passion for, and make money to put gas in your car while you’re in high school and do the different activities that you want to do.
David Ralph [28:44]
When I was a child, I used to do a paper around every single day and you don’t see many children nowadays going around delivering papers. And I used to wash cars, and I used to wait until the really most miserable, horrible wintry day when it was freezing cold. Because you literally knocked on any door and people go Yeah, I don’t fancy doing it. And bears bears your money. So if you find that sort of Avenue where people haven’t got that enthusiasm, but you have you can make make big bucks. So did you do any kind of small style entrepreneur when he was when he was a child? Was you a hustler?
Houston Gunn [29:18]
Well, I would I’ll share the storey and how it goes back to house and my mom had a dance studio. And one time I was about seven years old, I decided to approach her. And I asked if I could sell different merchandise and can concessions came later. But I started out selling merchandise were asked if I could sell merchandise. And after everything was paid off, could I keep the profit. And my mom really took this as a learning experience for me to associate accepted and said yes, I could sell. So I went around selling different glow in the dark necklaces and all those different novelty items during the dance recitals. And walking around through the theatre. Selling and doing the math, counting back changing everything with a blue fanny pack with chains strapped on. And my mom really took this as a learning experience for me, where it really taught me that it’s all based about how hard I work. And that’s how I’ll get rewarded in the more and the more harder that I work, the more I will potentially make.
David Ralph [30:25]
And it’s as simple as that is finding a market and putting the work in.
Houston Gunn [30:30]
David Ralph [30:31]
So when when you were sitting with Donald Trump, because I’m fascinated with him. Did you kind of What was he like a caring old uncle did? Did he give you a different Donald Trump to what we see on the TV?
Houston Gunn [30:44]
Yeah, I would say when I met him, he was probably one of the most nicest and most personal people I’ve ever met.
David Ralph [30:50]
And and what other sort of big cheese’s Have you met that you can compare?
Houston Gunn [30:54]
Well, so far, I’ve also got to mean how you mentioned I met Dave Ramsey being here in Nashville, Tennessee, and because he’s in this area as well. So I did meet him and anyone who doesn’t know who he is, he is just a, he’s a financial guru. And he was really nice as well. And it was great to meet him. We also traded books. And I would say, those are the two so far that I’ve met with, there’s plenty more on my list. And the next one that I’m planning on trying to reach out to meet is actually ABC Shark Tank. Barbara Corcoran is she endorsed my second book, shooting for success as my first book got endorsed by Donald Trump that schools are success.
David Ralph [31:39]
Have you spoken TJ Hale? Who runs a shark tank podcast? No, I have not, I’ll put you in contact with him after the show. And I’ll see if he can do anything in that regard. I don’t know if he’s got any sort of direct contact with the shark tank. But he certainly runs a successful podcast based on the storeys and the the back storeys of the show, it might be useful for you to see if you can work your magic in that direction.
Houston Gunn [32:00]
Okay, that’d be great. Thank you
David Ralph [32:02]
know, we would do that with that. That’s what it’s all about. Houston is about networking. So when when you when you were meeting Donald Trump, and when you were meeting, Dave Ramsey, and these successful people, and I noticed you didn’t say that you’d met me, Houston, but I’ll let that go. I’ll just let that go. What are you thinking to yourself? Yes, I can see exactly what has made these people where they are, or was it kind of, I don’t really get what this person has done that’s different to everybody else. But boy, they’ve done it,
Houston Gunn [32:33]
I would say what I’ve really observed is not even with the big, successful, famous entrepreneurs of Donald Trump, Dave Ramsey, but even just more of the average successful entrepreneur, like my grandma, I’ve really seen as they put in the time, and if something has to get done, they get it done, whether it’s be six in the morning or 11. At night, they do what it takes to get it done, when it needs to be done. And they just really take the action and put in the time. And just really goes back to just the taking action or not say that’s the biggest thing is if they see the opportunity, they take action.
David Ralph [33:25]
And is it easy for them to do that, because now they are successful, they can outsource, they can, you know, put money in it, but they’ve got spare where we’re at the very beginning, you’re doing everything yourself.
Houston Gunn [33:40]
Absolutely not say also one of the biggest things I’ve also seen and really started to really take an impact and start thinking Obviously, I’m not to that point yet in my life. But one of the biggest things is once they really make the success that they have, they make the money and make everything then it really goes back to giving back whether it be to charity or to the community. And that’s one really great thing that I think is a great thing to do with the success that you have is you make the money, obviously, you have to have some for yourself, but then you just give back to help the community or help a charity.
David Ralph [34:23]
That is a way of thinking that the more you give back, the more you get. So you buy into that.
Houston Gunn [34:30]
David Ralph [34:33]
And what kind of charities and stuff would you be interested? I know it’s sort of early days, because you’re still striving, striving striving to get to that point. And I’ve had I’ve got no doubt in talking to you. But you’re going to get to that point. And you know, we’re going to travelling you’re awake. But are there sort of communities and and charities that you’re interested in at the moment?
Houston Gunn [34:52]
Well, at this moment, I haven’t necessarily done all the research on different charities. But I’ve also been thinking and considering options of eventually maybe starting my own nonprofit.
David Ralph [35:03]
Go for you go for you, Houston. Yeah, I think that’s great stuff. So you Thank you, you’re looking big plan all the way through. So so let’s just sort of jump back because your storey is one that I’m fascinated about you now, but I’m also fascinated with how you got there. So you did that real estate project with your mom and dad? And they said yes. And you put your money into that. And then you started it seems to me almost sort of a year later, or within the six months writing your first book. What did you have? That was enough to write a book? Oh,
Houston Gunn [35:37]
well, it was really well started about how I came up with the idea of writing a book. And actually I was on a school assignment called the job shadow project, still during my freshman year where we had to go shadow somebody in a field of work that interests you. So I actually job shadow, the CEO of a private money lending company, who’s been a mentor to me and my family in the real estate world. And I just, I originally asked my mom, if she could ask him, if I could job shadow him. But then she flipped around said, No, you’re gonna ask him. And she really just put me in the situation of me starting to learn to ask for what I want. So I reached out and simply asked if I could job shadow for the day. And he said, Yes. So during the interview that I had to conduct for the project, he actually flipped one of the questions around on me and basically challenged me to write a book. And if anyone wants to hear that interview, it is shared in my first book, school for success, how I plan to graduate from high school millionaire, that you can also get on Houston gun calm.
David Ralph [36:45]
And so what did he seen you both because the fact that you are shadowing him, I would imagine, although he says yes, there must have been a bit of info, I’ve got a lot to do. Anyway, now I’ve got these kids are hanging around for the day, I’ll give him my time, I’ll give him my enthusiasm. But really, I could sort of do without it. But he wasn’t that kind of personality. He was somebody that actually saw something in you. And then I can challenge you even at this stage to do something bigger.
Houston Gunn [37:11]
And as I mentioned, there was also the previous connexion as we went to his seminars in business and real estate seminars. And he was also a mentor, where he really was one of the people that also helped teach me a better understanding about real estate.
David Ralph [37:30]
And when he said, write that book, you kind of gone. Yeah, I’ll do that. That’s fine. You must have gone my book. I’m only I’m only 14, what are you thinking about?
Houston Gunn [37:41]
Well, I was thinking about my English class, because English is definitely my worst subject with writing, and reading. And even now that I have the book out, or even when I went through English 11. There’d always be friends or other classmates. And the last Friday joke he wrote, he wrote a book, but I didn’t you get on the test. And I said, that’s what editors are for. And really, I just really took the challenge in, I had no idea how to write a book, but I figured I’ll give it my best shot.
David Ralph [38:15]
That seems to be your thing. And it’s amusing that your surname is GM, because you seem to give your best shot on everything.
Houston Gunn [38:22]
I guess it all falls in line. So yeah,
David Ralph [38:24]
it all falls in line. It certainly does. So you’ve written your book, you’ve done your real estate deal. When was it that you started going? Right? This is what I want to do. And it wasn’t that you was being kind of asked or challenged or tested? When did you start to find your feet and been start expanding on your own?
Houston Gunn [38:42]
I’d have to say, I really started to take action and really think differently. And I guess more questions stand up with what I believed in. As my freshman year of high school kind of came to a close. And I’ll show you a storey which really was probably the biggest impacts and how I mentioned earlier about taking negative influence, and turn it into fuel to help motivate you to do what you want to do. And this is a storey that actually happened in my ninth grade honours English class when we had to write 1000 word paper on a topic of our choice. And I chose the topic of first trustee blending, as I already did a real estate deal, and private money lending. So I figured I got somewhat of a grasp on it. But when I can write this thousand word paper, allow me to do more research, to learn in, I guess, educate myself more on something that I’m passionate about, as well as it’s 1000 words, and I’m writing a book so I can also then put it into the book. But believe it or not, when I had the topic, the topic was rejected by the teacher saying you cannot fill 1000 words on first trustee lending. And I knew I could. And I’m sure anyone else who’s familiar who has done first seed lending knows that you could more than easily fill 1000 words, on lending. Even if you just slapped a contract right in there. That’s definitely more than 1000 words. And I really started to question I guess, argue it and stand up for watching everyone else choose their topic, when it’s more about just different controversial topics that you might not even learn anything from when I want to do something that I want to learn from. And I really started to question it until I had to choose a topic. After one was originally after that assigned to me of advertising towards males, which I didn’t want to do. So then at the end of the day, I just had to suck it up and choose a random topic that I had no passion for, and put it together overnight. And believe it or not, I ended up failing English by a percent and a half.
David Ralph [40:49]
But that teacher should be ashamed Really?
Houston Gunn [40:52]
Well, I share that storey in my book as well. And that’s really I was frustrated at it. And I actually because I just really, I just finished my junior year of high school where I did a ninth grade English again. And I really goes back to what I was saying about taking the negative influence and negative outcomes, but then fueling it to turn it into something positive. And that was really something that helped motivate me to writing my book. And believe me, the teacher got a signed copy when it was done.
Unknown Speaker [41:26]
And what did you sell? You know,
Houston Gunn [41:28]
I would say I said about something like thank you for the extra motivation to help me finish my book.
David Ralph [41:34]
Oh, you’re such a diploma? Anya, I would have said something much different than that.
Houston Gunn [41:39]
Well, I decided for the best it would be nice to just keep it clean and I guess
David Ralph [41:45]
respectful. Houston gun you a bigger man than I am You certainly Oh,
Houston Gunn [41:49]
David Ralph [41:50]
So so if you went back and you was a teacher in your school and bake, they called you back in to run a class on sort of business class, what what what would be a kind of lesson there you think would be good to do for to inspire kids to actually take chances?
Houston Gunn [42:05]
Well, if I was teaching a business class, I would say one of the best assignments, it wouldn’t be writing a paper paper might be involved with it. But how I was talking about how I took the different business and marketing classes, I would say, if I could choose how to teach a business class, I’d say I would do it have more take action education of maybe just assign a project where it might not necessarily be something where everyone’s passionate about but it’s just a small project. But it’s where you’re going out there and actually doing it and learning it instead of just reading out of a textbook and reading the different definitions.
David Ralph [42:46]
That that’s the only way that you’re going to achieve isn’t it but actually doing stuff because you do stuff and you you learn and you fail, and you learn a bit more. And then you have successes, it ties everything into what we were saying earlier. But living in the hypothetical world, we can all do that. We can all say, oh, if I had done that this would have worked. And that would have worked. But of course, that’s just the comfort zone that we’re we’re staying rooted in, oh, you’re getting me worked up here, Houston, I, I want to come down to your school and shake up a few people I really do. But I think it’s the same in all schools,
Houston Gunn [43:18]
I would say with my whole experience from schools. And that’s what I try to bring, I guess awareness, in my first book school for success is that it’s geared towards going out and getting a job, which is great. But if it doesn’t talk about entrepreneurship, and entrepreneurship starts to die out, you need to have entrepreneurs in order to have jobs.
David Ralph [43:40]
I think he’s a field for just keeping control. It doesn’t inspire I remember going through classes where, you know, I loved them, because the teacher was a bit of a free spirit. Did we get all the work done? Yes, we did. Did we enjoy ourselves? Yes, we did. But I also remember other ones where the teacher was just there to tell us what was in a book. And they would just put it on the board. And we would just copy it from the board into a book. You know, you can’t go 40 years at school just doing that kind of stuff. You gotta you gotta realise that these kids have got one chance. And it’s up to us. And it’s up to the parents. And it’s up to the teachers, it’s up to all of us to be able to light that spark in these kids to go out and not necessarily be an entrepreneur, I’m not saying that at all, but at least find a job that they can love doing. And not just think life is going to be rubbish, school was rubbish, jobs are going to be rubbish, it’s time to die. And it seems that we’re we’re sort of moving kids into that kind of lack of ambition, lack of dreams mode, that they’re just accepting, because we keep telling them that it’s going to be like that.
Houston Gunn [44:46]
Oh, one thing occasionally I would sometimes refer to school because like you said, there is these classes where you have these great teachers, but you enjoy being that. But Selman most of the time, I guess, it’s more schools, I guess, quote, unquote, the job that you don’t like doing, but you have to do?
David Ralph [45:06]
Yeah, that’s right. And I think if I say to any kid, you know, do they like being at school? Or more better question? Have you had a good day at school? When it’s things like art and sort of English and things like that? Or drama? They’re more likely to say yes. And when it’s things like math, and business lessons and stuff, they’re going to say no. And at the end of the day is because of those ones are slightly more creative, I imagine and let the kids speak for themselves, more than the other ones are just a series of rules to follow.
Unknown Speaker [45:36]
David Ralph [45:38]
Oh, we’ve started a whole new conversation here. So right, well, just before I send you back on the mic, and send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self, I just want to play the words of Steve Jobs. Now, I play this to all the guests on the show, because it is a fascinating speech that he made. And even though you’re 17 years old, I’ll be fascinated to see whether you can see him relevant to your own life. So I’m going to play the words of Steve Jobs. And then we’re just gonna have a quick chat afterwards.
Steve Jobs [46:06]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards, 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leaves you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [46:41]
Can you see being school but there aren’t there is faith and trust and intuition with the kids. But those words that Steve Jobs is saying to inspire them to take action. Do you think it’s there? Or is that another speech that we should play at school
Houston Gunn [46:57]
that is absolutely spiritual should be played in all schools. And I really picked up from it, the whole going toward part is you can’t really, you can’t really have the exact path. But he referred to it as connecting the dots forward. And I kind of really see that with me, because I always say is because I get asked the question a lot of where do I see myself in five years being the age that I am. And I would I would always say is, I see where I want to be, but I can’t exactly say what’s going to happen between then in there, all I know is I’m going to do my best and take the action to get there, whether something comes off and it goes off to the side and then comes back. Or it’s going to be a straight line. You never know. But just take the action to be where you want to be and what you want to be.
David Ralph [47:49]
It’s a squiggly line, the route to success, isn’t it? You know what you’re saying? I often think myself quite a lot of the time, it’s like looking through frosted glass, where you can kind of see where you’re aiming for but you don’t really know. But you just keep on rubbing at this glass rubbing at this glass. And every now and again, it becomes a bit clearer. And then you think, Oh yeah, I know what to do. So you do it. And being a little bit later it Frost’s up again, but you work even harder, and then it cross up. So you rub it even more. And then you can see a little bit more. And it’s just like that is kind of but your future is kind of there. But you can’t quite see it until you actually make that step. And you achieve what you’re aiming for. And you go Okay, yes, I’ve done it. Oh, no, the frosted glass is better again. and away you go and you start rubbing and trying to see what to do. Because no one’s got the answers. ebay. No one’s got the answers at the beginning. And whether you are Donald Trump, Richard Branson, or wherever, if you sat them down and said, You know, when you started base, did you know that you were going to succeed? They’re never going to say yes,
Houston Gunn [48:45]
is that really goes back to this. The asking is being told knows better than not knowing it all. So if somebody is Washington wants to reach out to somebody, you just got to take the risk and not be afraid of being told now.
David Ralph [48:58]
Houston, I’m going to play the to now for the Sermon on the mic. And this is the part when we send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And when you say if it’s not going to be that much of a journey. But if you did go back, what kind of age Houston, would you like to get hold up? I’m going to play the theme music and when it fades out, you’re up. And this is the Sermon on the mic. Okay.
Unknown Speaker [49:22]
Here we go. With the best bit of the show.
Houston Gunn [49:40]
Well, I’m just going to let everyone know the audience how you asked the question before, what age I’m really going to choose out of the small gap I have. And I would say I’m going to go back to seven when I was selling different merchandise for our moms dance studio. And
I would say Houston,
you got to just start asking for what you want. You’re going to do it later on. But you got to take the action and start now. Because the earlier you start the better start now. Because if you see people doing it, why not you? Why not me? And I’m going to keep it short and simple. And leave it at Why not? Me
David Ralph [50:28]
Not? Oh, great statements. The simple ones are the best. And the simple ones are the most memorable. Why not me? love that. I love it Houston. How can our listeners connect with you sir?
Houston Gunn [50:39]
Well, if anyone wants to reach out to me or even purchase both of my books or even just one of them, they can reach out to me at Houston young calm. And that’s Houston spelled just like the city h o us to n and gun with two n’s g you and so you can just reach out to me on the website, there’s a contact box. And there’s all the different information whether you want to look up if you’re in the United States, where I’m because I’m about to launch my a big book tour if you want to stop by as I’m on a book signing if you’re in the area, or if you want to just get more information about me or even look up my web series on YouTube at Houston gun, the YouTube channel.
David Ralph [51:24]
It’s been an absolute delight having you on the show. Sir. Thank you so much for spending time with us today joining those dots and please come back again when you have more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures Houston GM. Thank you so much.
Houston Gunn [51:38]
Thank you for having me.
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you are wants to become so he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to Join Up Dots.com to download this amazing guide for free. We’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.