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May 6, 2022

Ep 175- Rob Kessler: Inventor, Investor & How to Prevent Burnout

Ep 175- Rob Kessler: Inventor, Investor & How to Prevent Burnout
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Hey, happy whatever it is, because you don't know a, they don't know what day it is. I don't even know what day it is. And it's not that I know. Yeah, calendar. It's just I don't know what date. So we're just gonna roll with it. See how we do. We're here with Rob Kessler. He is an inventor and entrepreneur, and you do real estate, which will cover all of those. But I'm curious to have some conversations. So here's the first question like asking is, how did you end up in entrepreneurship? Because most people don't fall into it. It's kind of like, either a passion project, or it was like, they hate their job. And they're like, I hate bosses. And I'm going to do this on my own. So how'd you end up in Rajender? Entrepreneurship? Well, I mean, we won't talk about that fact, on Monday. So Oh, no, went way, way earlier than that, you know, I, when I was little, my dad used to we get like, I don't know, 50 cents a day, or an allowance or something. And then we got, you know, I think lunch was like two bucks at school. So what he taught us is, he would give us the week's worth of money on Sunday night. You know, you want to go splurge on Monday, Tuesday, and you don't have anything to eat. That's the problem, but you'll figure out real fast. And so I mean, I'm talking in middle school, he was did that. So I think that help on the money money side. But you know, as part of, that allows chores in one of them from cutting the grass. And so, you know, I started cutting his grass, cut the neighbor's grass, and then more neighbors. And I mean, I literally remember being 1011 years old cutting grass, 12, whatever it was, and thinking, I'm going to cut this grass so good that a car driving by is going to stop me and say they want me to cut their grass. And I used to when I would when I would do things. And you know, nobody ever did. So basically was a dead end street. So there really wasn't much traffic. But the neighbors talked, you know, I had three or four grasses I would cut every week during the summer. So start with that. You said your dad who firing you. That was much later in life. But yeah, I work for him in the jewelry business. And so I worked there in my second in my junior and senior year of college, I worked full time in store and went to school full time. And left after college moved to help him open a store out of town for the first his first store at a town hated where I lived, it was so small and so I ended up leaving there went to LA for a while. I came home got into real estate 2006 and real estate totally eight, nine crashed, I went back to work for him in like 2008 or nine. And were there for about another two and a half years. And at this point, I'd done some stuff I was successful. I was one of the top I want three or four salespeople in the company. And I'm like, okay, dude, I need I need more challenge. I can't sit here all day and not be challenged, I need more. And they just weren't willing to push me along. And so just start butting heads a little bit. And you know, when you're a successful entrepreneur, usually that's your firstborn child, even though I'm the firstborn with the exact same name. So, you know, it worked out great, because it was more important for us to have a good relationship than it was for me to work there. So we're we have an amazing relationship now. And, you know, it is with this funny story, I think it is it is a lot, a lot of people that they are working with family can be difficult sometimes, but sometimes it works out. That doesn't work all the time. But when it does work, it was good. But it doesn't always work out. And sometimes you have to like, save the relationship. I got to work or you got to work somewhere else. Yeah, well, you know, he was petrified of second generation businesses. I mean, he had a lot of friends that had them and pass them on their kids. And they just ran him into the ground because they had no idea what they were doing. They were just handed this like Empire. And I think if he instead of him, feeling like we were going to fail if he would set us up more to succeed. I think it would have been an easier transition. My sister is still with the company. She's still the head buyer. I mean, she does a lot there but it his mentality, he just got around a bunch of people that their kids and totally just crushed their entire business. So yeah, I mean, I think that's just what was prevalent for him. Yeah, he'll PTSD from other people's. You know, he took responsibility at 150 employees and you know, 35 million a year in revenue. And I mean, that's not a small thing to just say, you know, here you go. And I knew that and he never gave me anything in my life. I knew I wasn't gonna get anything handed to me but I knew sitting in the sales floor and waiting in retail was just going to make me insane. I just had too much add for that. So I Um, it's funny because like, everything, like we hate doing it using and doing later for ourselves, and it's just like, now I have to do it. Yeah. Well, you know, it's you force yourself into things that you have to do. I mean, yeah, you're right, exactly. It's like, Alright, I guess I have to do it for free. I have to do it for myself now. Yeah, once it's yours, you know, the mentality changes, but my mind is just always wandering. So to sit there and retail environment for 810 12 hours a day, it's just like, oh my god, I was starting just go stir crazy. So we're gonna we're kind of pivot the conversation into inventing because it says Rob Kessler, inventor, so I always like I like talking to people that create because as as in the world we live in, there's like, 99% consumers. And there's like that 1% that create things whether it's creating businesses, product services, and creating a better world in the future. So what's what's your invention process going? Going through? Like, how many inventions have you made? If it's just one? I mean, that's that's accomplishment. I've never done medicine, anything. So let's let's let's talk about that. You know, I came up with a couple of things. This is the first one that I've I've gone after one of mine. Way back. I don't know, man. I was like 20 or 21 years old. And I always saw, you know, that plastic landscape edging that was like a tube on top, and then a piece of plastic came down a little hook on the bottom. Yeah, like, what? Why don't they build the, like, sprinklers into that. And so I had a friend who had a plastics company, and I was futzing around with that it was gonna cost so much to extrude the plastic and make it but I mean, I came up with that when I was in my 20s. And I don't know if anybody ever did anything with it or not, or maybe somebody will now but you know, to me, it's just a, I find a problem. I mean, I can sit in the car and be like, I don't like the way this is laid out. It doesn't make sense. Like that button is too small, or this should be over here. Stuff like that just makes sense to me. And so when I got married in this photo here, it was the beach in Jamaica. This is 30 minutes after I put on a brand new freshly pressed shirt, to one express one MX Express shirts and like the number one selling dress shirt in America, brand new freshly pressed and it didn't even make it to when I said I do 30 minutes after I put it off. So I remember we flew a photographer down, we're looking at the 2500 photos he took the next day and oh my god, my shirt just looks terrible. And every single one of these photos, I hate wearing ties. But I still want to look put together. I mean, you could see my like my undershirt is showing and he just was just terrible. So I came home from Jamaica and I Googled everything I could find everything was around some kind of kitschy collar, say the magnetic ones, the there's like I've seen like, nose 80s hair bands that girls used to wear, you put that underneath and try to keep it up like that is not the problem. The problem is, is there's no structure in the front of the shirt. So I took every piece of plastic around my house, like cut it into different shapes and started stuffing it down the front of the shirt to just give some structure to that part. And so I mean milk cartons, mini blinds and little flexible cutting boards, I was cutting that open. So just trying to figure out what the right material was. I never wanted to sell somebody a $2, you know, piece of thing and ruin their $100 shirt, I never wanted to be responsible for that. So it took me three years of testing materials, and then finally developing a material to, you know, come up with the final product. Wow. That's amazing. You saw it as your own problem that you've solved. I think most inventions are you know, it's if it's a personal problem, and you fix it, you just hope to God that you know there's a million other people around the world that are just like us having the same problem and willing to pay for the solution. So what's the Okay, so you went through testing creating? What's the process like, I've never done this before. So this is my first person I've ever talking to what's the patent process, like, patent process sucks. I mean, the second you start it, it is just writing multi $1,000 checks. So, you know, the first step was, you know, you can go on to the USPTO which is US Patent and Trademark Office and search around for key terms and search around to see if there are other patents that are out there. That would, you know, be what you're trying to create. And I did that and I felt confident enough that there wasn't something there but the first thing that Atari does 1500 to $3,000 is do an official deep dive into patents and see if your thing is viable. So you start with that check and then it's like you know, my guy was I don't know, I I knew that I was going to surround myself and make this the main thing in my life. So I didn't want to go to like, you know, a high school friend that could maybe get it done for cheaper. So I went to the best patent attorney in in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, it was 500. And like $50 an hour, gave himself a nice 20 or $30 an hour raise and the time that we were together, but I ended up spending in the six figures to get this patent. And it took two and a half years to get. So the process is, hey, we've got this great idea. And we're gonna write it this big so that we can cover as much of the product as possible. The Patent Office is like, Nope, we want it to be this big. And then they're like, Okay, well, how about this big? And then they're like, No, how about this bigger? They're like, how about this big like, no. And then you it's just a battle back and forth to get see how much we can get away with and see how much they'll allow it. And every time that goes back is unless you pay for the expedited. That was another great check, like for $3,500. Like, instead of six months to get a response at six weeks to get a response, but that's 3500 bucks right up front. So why don't want to wait six months for a response. So here you go. It was 3500 bucks. So every time you go back and forth, it's and you will think doesn't matter. Amazon's been doing it for a little bit. They might have got it from the patent office to pay for extra shipping. Yeah, I mean, it's. So it's a brutal process, and it's never ending. And so once you get the patent, then it's I have to pay an annual maintenance fee. So you remember those little fidget spinners, those three sided fidget spinners that came out, a lady invented that for her autistic son or something, and she couldn't afford to continue the maintenance fees. And then depending on the product, it could be 1500 bucks a year or 2000 or 5000, whatever. She lost the patent and then somebody came in and swooped in now, there's a billion dollar industry around those stupid fidgets spinners. Wow. So you know, it's, you know, when you're growing the business, it's like some serious, okay, well, I got $10,000 in maintenance fees, I gotta pay this year, I gotta carve out that kind of cash every month to make sure that I can pay that bill. And then next year, it's gonna be 12,000. And next year, it's gonna be 15,000. Next year, it's going to be 20,000. It's like, it's crazy. I never said we do real estate. So it sounds like real estate, where you may own it free and clear. But you still have to pay the state taxes. Yep. And that doesn't go well. You can't? You can you can sell your pattern. But it seems like you'd want to hold on to it. But it's just like us. Yeah. I mean, you know, it's good for 15 years. So you know, you've got that process for 15 years. And, you know, hopefully, you can make something out of it. And there's a million. Yeah, it's been a maintenance cost for 15 years. Exactly. Wow, that's, and then you have a US patent. But we also have international patents. So each one of each country, every single country is an additional maintenance fee. So you know, you can go out and a full worldwide patent, depending a category could be a quarter of a million to start. In, you know, you got annual fees could be another 50 $100,000 a year in annual, you know, just maintenance fees. If you did a full every single country worldwide bet. Are you afraid of because I want the one thing I'm just thinking about right now? Is that are you afraid of like China stealing your idea? Or is that included with your worldwide patent? We're not protected. In China? It's really. So of course I am. I mean, it's, it's twofold, though. I mean, if if they see enough value of my product that willing to knock it off. I mean, if they do anything to us with my product in it, that product, then I can sue the company that's buying it. So I'm protecting the US and all the other countries that we select. So they can't are exported to any of those countries anyways. But if they do, it's also like, well, they think this idea is good enough. Maybe it's building market, and more people are gonna know about it. And the more people that know about it, more people will find us the more product will sell. No competition is good. But you know, it's also got to be done the right way. So so it brings you it's like a no, no, no, there's no such thing as bad marketing. Even if it looks bad, it's still good marketing. Well, one of the things I did find out was is that the patent is in it can be an additional revenue source. So you know, where we have spent six figures plus to get and maintain this patent. If somebody infringes on it, you know, we could still sue them for a million dollars because of that protection. And that is a revenue source to get you know, somebody tries infringing or stealing our patent. So have you have you license it because I'm sure this is this is I have no experience in this whatsoever. I'm just I paid I know a little bit about a lot of things. Can you license this to like a larger corporation and you get paid for royalty fee. And that was so we originally the idea was to make her own shirt. We did a Kickstarter and unequivocally we did not get funded on Kickstarter that but unequivocally the feedback was, why can't I upgrade the shirts I already know and love? And why don't you license technology so you don't have to compete with all these other dress shirt brands. And so we've met with every single brand, every major brand, you name it on takut Ralph Lauren PERRY ELLIS PVH, which owns Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein van, he's, I mean, they're everybody. And we got really far. And then a couple years ago, we got a meeting with Express, which was amazing, because it's actually the shirt I got married in. And so yeah, they flew us up, you know, we came to, to Ohio, we met with them, they were super excited, we're talking about it. They sell 30 million express one MX shirts a year. I mean, this is massive. And so we're in this meeting, and I'm like, Hey, you want the best marketing ever? Here's the my actual wedding shirt for my wedding day. And they're like, Oh, my God, this is great. And then COVID hit. And it found out that Lex Wexler, the owner was basically the guy that funded Jeffrey Epstein. And then, you know, the company was there trying to sell off part of like Victoria's Secret because it was just diving. So like the perfect storm of three terrible things happen. So we've been trying to license it. Absolutely. We just, we haven't, have been able to get somebody to bite. Wow. That's man. It's a very interesting path that you're that you're on that not 11 million people have seen or heard. So I'm really trying to dive in deep here. Because this is a it's very intriguing information. I take it I take it upon myself to know I can have I like having conversation with a lot of different types of people just because I like absorb different information from a lot of different places. So I can talk about random miss things. It's weird. My wife's friends are like, you know, they talk about something and I comment on it. Like, how do you know? Like, I don't meet people, I retain interesting things. I don't know, I've done so much. So you get it. So after, I think I think you're doing amazing. I mean, you try to license it, have you thought about doing something like Shark Tank to get maybe get out there more 1,000% You know, 100,000 people apply every year and you want to try to be one of the 275 that gets picked. It's it's very, very, very competitive. And I we, my wife and I moved to Los Angeles, we ended up meeting Mark Burnett's personal assistant, who was able to get me into like the process. But even that wasn't enough to get me through and on to the show. So I've known other people that know other people that know like the top guys over there. And those guys can't get me on the show. And they're like, super influential. And so there's just it's, it's highly, highly, highly competitive. I mean, it's the best marketing you'll ever get for free. 10 million people will watch it and you know, it could change your life. I've met a bunch of Shark Tank contestants and met a bunch of people but never made it on. This is me. And that's even that's even its own man, you've literally tried everything. I mean, you're doing the business consistently, which is amazing. And then you're trying to do other things to get the business to blow up even more. Because what I like about it is that you're it's a low price point, it's a low price points up pick, upgrade the shirts. And you already have everybody already owns the shirts. So it's just a matter of clipping it in. Can you do a demonstration of how easy it is to clip it in for people that are watching on video. So it's actually sewn in. So that is the challenge with our product. So this is what it looks like. It's nine inches long. So what a tailor will do is open a couple stitches right here, they slide it in, and it sits just inside of the shirt. So the beauty is, you know, like I've got this great contrast. And you can see both sides of this part of the shirt. It's inside, there's always two layers there. So once it's in the shirt, it's in it lasts forever. It'll never fold. It'll never been, it'll never break. And it's just in there. So the beauty is every shirt dress shirts made exactly the same. And so literally opened a couple stitches takes five minutes to do anybody knows how to sew. I've got my little sewing machine right here. I don't know if you can see it, but I am in the middle of upgrading some shirts for our inventory. So we also so we can you can buy just the stay. And then you know have your tailor your dry cleaner or your mom install install them. Or we have a wide selection of Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren Calvin Klein, like tons of shirts that are already bought and upgraded. And then we also have a VIP pack. So you mail me five shirts, we'll install them and send it back to you all upgraded. So easy anyway to do it. And then there's now we have a polo Pack. It looks like you're wearing a polo. So it comes with a little seam ripper. So the way that polos are made, you just pop a couple stitches, you cut this to length, you pop it in your polo, and it just sits in there and stays and totally changes the look of it. So that's kind of a DIY one. But I like that it's permanent too. I mean, just then they're back and you're good to go. And you watched it, do everything you don't want to do and it pops right back up. I mean, think how many times you like put on a dress shirt, you're like leaving the house like dammit, I forgot my collar stays and like this collar is curling up this way. And this one's curling in it's like, you know, permanent collar stays are great if they work, but they're typically too thin to actually be effective. So this is actually thick enough to be in there. And because of the way that the plaque it kind of opens up, you don't really see where any of it is. So it's it's I like it. I'm gonna have to order myself some because I am not a Thai person. I hate ties. I used to be religious and ISIL and I swore ties like every day in high school. So I'm like, I think I'm burnout with ties for a long time and giving them all away. So I think I'm going to that that look right there. That's good. I sold cars D they made me wear a tie on like you're walking, you can always tell the guy that's wearing a tie to do an exam he has to it's like that doesn't that's not that's not the right luck. He's like, he might look good, but he's uncomfortable. Yeah. It's like the single not like not not a double Windsor, just like I had to throw this thing on, you know. So, um, let's talk about selling a business. Have you? Are you in plans to sell this? Are you keeping it for life? Let's just keep the licensing, or I sold one business to businesses already. So I had a screen printing and embroidery business. We sold that. We did that to move to Los Angeles. So we sold that business actually ended up going to one of my clients. And then our real estate portfolio, not really a portfolio, we had two two buildings, but we had 32 offices and two buildings. Probably rented, huh, that's a portfolio thing. So yeah, we bought, we had one in Milwaukee one in Green Bay, we sold them to one guy, that company was called, get off your kitchen So we had all inclusive, small offices. It came about because I was looking to move my screen printing business out of my basement. And I'm like looking at places it's like, yeah, this, you know, 20 bucks a square foot or whatever it's like, then an electric bill and then water bill and then insurance and internet and blah, blah, blah. And it's like, well, I don't know, I could have a good month, bad month, I don't know, what's the number. And so we bought the 6000 square foot building, put my screen printing business. And in part of it, my wife opened a gym, gym and part of it. And then we had eight offices that we subdivided and rented those out all inclusive with internet and everything. We had one our smallest was 95 square feet, we're getting $350 a month, which is almost $35 a square foot just crazy. But when you package it all together, and you're like, Hey, dude, you can have the space with internet and your own lockable little office. You don't have to have people at your house anymore for 350 bucks a month, like, Okay, I'll take that. That's great. Rented like that. So we did that we had 30 offices and two buildings, and sold that to a guy. It's amazing what the market space tells you what's needed. Because like me, I would take that because it gets me out of my out of my house. And I don't know that there's really that much space. Yeah, that's, that's not a bad deal, I would probably do that deal. Just don't go home and do the math because you get mad but you know, it's like, it's just an all in thing. I mean, again, it was a problem that I had, I don't want to be nickel and dime, I don't want to think about what I have to come up with every month. I want to know what my bill is going to be, especially if I'm a small and growing business. I need to be able to budget and so we had $350 offices all the way up to $900 in that in that building and then the next building. I think they were like two or 300 bucks that up to like 15 or $1,600. And so the second building we bought like I bought this building, it was advertised for a 1.3 cap. Okay, and I'm like this, this can't be right. It was 16,000 square feet all brick. It had 20 offices. And it was getting $4,000 a month. And it was bought up by a REIT and nobody was managing it. Nobody not nobody was touching it. It was still getting four grand a month for 100 and they're asking $199,000 for it. And I got it for 160 I redid the carpeting the paints, we put a new roof on just like updated it filled the whole building added two more offices. And I sold it 30 months later for 450 Yeah, all right. You Do that killer man that that's amazing man. What is? What is the use of that? I think you said it. The goal is now to try and find some of the license. So you're still trying to get on Shark Tank? What's your just continue the business? What is How long have you started this, by the way, how long you've been doing. So this magical day was in February of 2013. And again, it took almost three years, we basically launched January of 2016 sold almost a half a million units to people in 100, and almost 130 countries. So the goal, you know, we were going to do a shirt and then we went to just this aftermarket kit. We've actually launched our own Dresher. Once again, we did right in the beginning and of COVID and sold out and couldn't make anything else that company's called Go tireless. This one. Okay, so first shirt designed to be worn without a tie million dollar college pre installed, we're starting to bring that back out. But one of the cool things that we do is I can digitally print anything on fabric. So we did the shirts or the Make a Wish Foundation, took their logo, printed it right on the fabric, and then we cut and sew it into the shirt. So it's on the cuff, it's on the collar band, it's inside of the pocket. So if you're looking for like a branded company shirt, you don't want that left chest, you know, tradeshow looking shirt, like that. You could have it digitally printed into the fabric and write in and have a dress shirt, that's your brand. So that contrast instead of it being some pattern, it's actually your logo. I might have to do the I might have to do that. This isn't their epic. I mean, they're made in Turkey. They're incredible. We're doing them for about $55 a shirt, it's a 50 shirt minimum, because you know, we're to have to make it worthwhile at the factory, which are 55 bucks a shirt. 50 shirts take about eight weeks to make. But they're really high quality. Our shirts have the whole the it's called a convertible cuff. So I've got a hole in between the buttonhole and between the buttons. So you can wear cufflinks with it. Any most anybody body color, and then this can be any color you want. Any any logo, any colors. Any anything. That's amazing. That's yeah, that's pretty cool. That's pretty cool off the top of my partner see wants to split it. Because like, one thing, the problem with me is like, I'm like, I'm big. I'm like I use I'm like big and tall. I need like extra sizes. I can shop at certain places. Were extra small to four XL in slim and standard. So we should have you covered. I mean, I'm six to 210 pounds on a good day. So I wear an extra slim, extra small, extra large slim, is what I wear. So I'm a same height but a little bit bigger. All right. XL standard. I was like that low to two hundreds, like 10 years ago. I'm just I'm just a big guy. I mean, look at my wife, dude. I can't be like, you know, she's she's tiny, not tiny, but she shredded. Trying to try to stay in relatively in the range. That's amazing. Are you still doing real estate at all. I'm just getting back in I actually had my license the whole this whole time. So I did it for I don't know, 14 years in Wisconsin. And then we moved to LA for five and a half years just moved to Georgia. And as a way to get me out of the house and kind of like meeting people and learning the areas. I've moved my license here Georgia with the lady that helped us buy a house. So I'm gonna putz around with it. I've got a concept that we're working on my wife and I are working on right now that we'll hope to be rolling out in the next year. But something a little different in real estate is, you know, we like to try to find something a little different we can do. You can what's what's beauty about real estate, you can kind of create your own niche. And a lot of there's a lot of different things that people don't even talk about that people are doing so and like it's kind of cool that real estate is so expansive, expansive, because even what you did with your with your little offices, that's amazing. And secure, it's creative, and it's it's creating opportunity out of nothing. And you'd like for next year. We'd like for extra return and 13 months. So we get back being creative. Since we like we like muscle in the real estate world. But are you so you're only you're only doing agent type prosper transactions right now. Yeah, I'll just do you know, showings and inspections like I was going to be an architect. I thought I wanted to be an architect when I went to college. and real estate was just a way to get me into those homes to see you know the architecture and to be able to appreciate it and I, I was in UW Milwaukee, which was like the number two architecture school in the country at the top at the time, and I grew up on the east side of Milwaukee. And all those homes, these mansions that are on Lake Michigan were all built in the 20s. All the way down to like these duplexes. And so the woodwork in the detail in some of these houses, just incredible. So I love you know, exploring that and checking that out. I've always done kind of the residential side, we owned commercial because like, I never liked the idea of bathrooms. And when there was a to me, there's more visual issue. So had 20 offices and three bathrooms or four bathrooms in that one building. So it was very, very minimal. Plumbing. That's the way to go the way to go commercial. You can definitely amplifier, because at least we stay away from family or songs the one count on I don't want to single family houses. Oh, we fall Yeah, no. Yeah, the doors, the better for me. You know, 32 was in two buildings was great number we bought one building for 185. The other for 160. We put tons of money into them to make them nice. But both were fully rented. And we got out of those, I think in 2018. So a year before COVID hits. And you know, who knows what, I don't know what happened to those commercial buildings if they're full or empty, or, you know, he thinks somebody who's just kind of looking for a place outside of their home is going to be out. So I don't know if they did well or not. But timing worked out. We sold those and bought a yacht and then started the Charter Business. That's my wife on our boat in Los Angeles. So how profitable is that? Insanely? Really? Yeah, it's to play. My, my partner, my business partner, he's always joking around. He's like, Well, we all we're always trying to get nice things that other people pay for. I love that. That's my life. Yeah, I mean, we, you know, we wanted to do a boat, I was helping a buddy who was a captain, he had three boats, and he was running business. And I didn't think he was very good at the business. But he was, it was a great industry. And so we'd looked it up and just kind of did some research and scooped up this boat and built help business out of it. We're in the process. We we had an offer on it. But Los Angeles has made it impossible for us to sell the business. So we're just gonna have to sell the boat at some point. Because what are you done with California? Oh, man. Yeah, none of none of the licenses are transferable. And so I keep asking him like, hey, well, can we find a way like the business owns the licenses like, nope, whoever buys it has to go to the end of the line of everybody else, just trying to get in line to get into the business. And so like, nobody's gonna buy a business that's operating and let it sit for a year and a half to get active. That's just not how it works. So you guys are actively not allowing me to sell a business. So it really sucks. But now that we're in Georgia, we're like, it's time to move on. Maybe it's worth it to be as the face of the company to hire, and partner with somebody in the backend that we can get residuals off of it. Well, we've got the boat running, but it's you know, we're now we bought it with 350 hours now it's almost 2000 hours on it. And so I've got a great captain, I've got a great team over there. But it's still a lot of stress. It's a lot of worrying. It's a lot of just so far away. I went I flew 34 times last year, mostly to go out there to work on it or to you know, help out when one of those guys couldn't do it. So I was out plenty. I like being home and we're on five acres now here in Georgia and I got lots of space and projects and you know, we run stuff for a while and kind of move on. That's good. We switched because I was just in Georgia and I just moved to LA so we're we're switch roles here. Yeah. My wife came here to work in January of last year, and I'll tell you what, and she was here for seven weeks. She found this house there was nine offers we won. And two weeks later I was packed up and out of out of California. Yeah. Well part of the part of Georgia you live in now. We're southwest of Atlanta in next to Peachtree City in a town called Tyrone. Tyrone we're on a dirt road my internet sucks. I get like 10 Download internet so I'm happy that this podcast is working because there's if it was raining and stormy it probably would be in and out like crazy. Yeah, one of my one of my clients that I'm actually going to deal with he lives in Kings Mountain. No one It's a close next to Columbus something mountain. I can't think of it right now. But there's there's a lot of opportunity I like I like Atlanta, there's so much opportunity Atlanta, so much opportunity. Our new idea, I think it's gonna crush it down here. So we'll, we'll have to hop back on and talk about it once we get the groundwork laid, because I just finished a course on how to buy a boat and start a business and do the whole charter thing. So that is about to launch. And California. Yeah, just don't do it. And as this new thing that we do, we're going to, we're going to keep track of everything. So we haven't put out a course on the new thing that we're doing. So it's amazing. And I'm really glad you mentioned that just because a lot of people don't see the value in courses. But if somebody does, somebody already went down that path, laid it all out for you. Why not take the course? I wish I would have done that from my first business. I won't even started it. Yeah, I mean, I think, you know, I think that was one of the challenges I found with my product is, there's very, very few things on the planet, you buy one place, but you have to go somewhere else to get it installed just to use it. So I didn't really have that path to follow with million dollar collar, which was a challenge. But with the charter thing, it's like it's a boat, it's a process, it's it's a thing that can be replicated fairly easily. So I just thought that was just a cool thing I was compiling all the information was actually kind of fun. And going through it all again. We built we're one of the top charter boats in Los Angeles. And if you search charters in LA, we're we pop up and we've got a different looking boat than everybody else's boat. And so I don't know, we made it pretty successful pretty quick. So that's amazing. What is what is a quote that is yours or somebody else's that you resonate with? I think it was Wilt Chamberlain, but he said something along the lines of give more than people expect and you'll, you'll always be successful. I just back to those days of cutting grass, it's like I always want to make sure I cut every blade of that grass and that the lines were perfect. And I just always even my screen printing business. Like we folded every shirt individually, I labeled them all of my own label, like I just made it a little bit nicer than people get it like, Oh, this is great. You know, the packaging for our product is better than most people expect. I had one friend that was like to your packaging is better than like, or maize or something like you're just way too over the top on your packaging. But it's a nice surprise. And it doesn't cost that much money to put things together me. People order so much stuff on Amazon now. And packaging is like not even a big deal. It's just stuff. Half the stuff I ordered comes in a plastic baggie with a barcode on it. I mean, it's like there's nothing to it anymore. So doing a little something extra. It's not expensive. And it I think it stands out. It's putting the love into the product that not most people don't care. Most of you don't care. So putting my mom does all the shipments. I mean, if you order from our website, and it'll say your name, it'll say get your packing slip Daniel, and then she'll sign it, Chris and like the human being touched it. So it's something extra. And then if somebody gives me a hard time about not getting what they expected. I'll say I'm really sorry, my 72 year old mother messed up. Can you cut me some slack and I will make it right. If you don't have to fire her. Don't say we don't want yeah, I that tradition ended with me and our family. Don't make me fire my mom, please. A lot of people like there's a, it's a fun. So funny thing that helped my I have a lot of clients. I'm like, I'd rather keep my employees and my clients because my my clients service a lot more employees, my client, my employees serves a lot more of my clients. So you as an individual player, not really as important as my as my people are. And it's kind of hard to convey that. You don't want to tell the client that too much. This is gonna go on the clients. Yeah, my dad was so he was in the jewelry business and grew an incredible, incredible business. And he it was always client first team second, and company third. And if you put the client's needs first, then and make sure that you know the team is working together. Well. Everything worked out he grew faster than any other jewelry company in the country. I mean, he's he was, I think, number three when he retired behind the third largest independently owned jewelry store in the country, so highly respected in the industry. And it's just just made made decisions. So it's easy to kind of follow his path on how to do business because I watched him go from nothing to 35 million a year in revenue I have a good question for you. And it's something I haven't done before. But how do you stay consistent and don't hit burnout? Because you've been doing this you started nine years ago which is a long time. How do you not burn out in business? I think it's a passion thing. You know if you're just an it's might be channeling my Gary Vee, but, you know, if you're just doing it for the money, it's easy to burn out because you there's never enough money. But every time I get an order, even better when I get a review from somebody, I was like, Dude, this is this thing change my whole outlook. And people look at me differently. They don't even know why they're looking at or what they're seeing is different to me. But when I get a review like that, to me, it's that's that's what makes it I mean, money's great. But getting something in the hands of somebody that's looking for that I've always been looking for this. I always thought this was a problem. That to me, you know, and there's days that I'm like questioning my life choices for sure. Fortunately, when I'm doing that, usually my wife is on top of the world and she's doing great and she lifts me up and the days that she questions her her choices, and I'm doing well and you know, so we balance each other out really well that way. That's a it's a it's a hack to have your partner on the same page, even when ups and downs come because it's never it's never ever all the way up or flat. It's it's a roller coaster. I'm sure reading and writing out those commission checks for the maintenance of your pens, just like here we go again. Broken hits again, like Oh, and it comes out in like I'm not even I don't even know when they're coming. It's like oh, 3500 here. 2700 There. Okay, cool. I appreciate that. So I'm gonna put your website down here million dollar Go check it out. I think it's a great product. I'm at the bison, my wife actually so so I have to done. Let me get the pack watch. My three minute video should be like this guy's knucklehead. I hope he can do it. I can. Yeah. I have a very big problem with ties. I haven't worn a tie since I got married. And I will probably live with that for a while. Yeah, I think outside of being in a couple friends weddings. I have not worn a tie since my sister's wedding. And then before that one time, I got to go to the Magic Castle and you have to wear a tie to get into magic castle in LA. So that was the one time I've worn a tie in the last like 15 years I think wow. It'd probably be a no for me like a faster way. You can I found out you can you know where you got the little buckle up there with the two strings like you could wear that like oh, cool. That's called a bolo ties. Okay, yeah, you could do that. But you can't you have to have a tie and a jacket. But it's magic castle, though. Do you have to go like It's epic? I've never heard of that. Are you in LA? I am. Okay. It's in. It's it's just on the north side of sunset. I think it's in West Hollywood, but it's invite only so but it's it's a huge it's a mansion. And every different room is a different magician who's just doing their act and you just bounce around and you can see different shows. And it's it's insane. But it's it's an invite only thing. So you got to find somebody who's a member. I just looked it up right now, because I'm curious. I was I hear new things that I'm just like, Well, I appreciate your time. I hope I hope we get some clients off of this. I'm definitely gonna be a client so I'm gonna have to buy some and some my Wi Fi the Wi Fi watch the three minute video because I don't have time for that. And if you want the custom shirts that go there's information there at Go Go I will sit down with pilots. Alright, we appreciate your time. Man. This is a really great interview you open a lot of a lot of questions that I had. Now I know a little bit more about the patent office. So somebody stops are randomly 10 years from normal. Yeah, I met Rob Kessler talked about patents and maintenance and all that stuff. And it's already here. See? Yeah. I appreciate your time. million dollar Check it out. Thank you. Thank you best

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Rob Kessler


Rob Kessler is the inventor and co-founder of Million Dollar Collar & goTIELESS, a relatively simple solution to fix what his company dubs "Placketitis" The sinking, wrinkling, and folding of the placket of a casually worn dress shirt. goTIELESS is the first shirt designed to be worn TIELESS featuring Million Dollar Collar.
Prior to Million Dollar Collar, Rob built a screen printing and embroidery business from a spare bedroom in his house to over $1,000,000 in revenue before selling the company. Although the company was never intended to be a screen printing company, word soon spread about the high quality, great pricing and never miss a deadline guarantee.
Rob's sales experience in a number of high dollar industries including Diamonds, Real Estate and Automotive Sales provided a unique blend of backgrounds to transition him into the fashion world. His ability to look at the world through a different set of lenses than most people lead to his success in every sales job and with both of his own businesses.