RJ Hodges is a professional speaker, entrepreneur, certified life coach, and practitioner in the healing art of Reiki. He is best-selling co-author of the book Mission Unstoppable partnering with George Fraser and Les Brown. He is also author of You Can’t Practice At The Game: The Art of Mastering You.
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Time Stamped Show Notes
(click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.)
- [00:58] – RJ is originally from Atlanta, Georgia
- [01:08] – As a business and life coach, he developed a philosophy – The Art of Mastering You
- [01:15] – Over the years, RJ learned that when you master yourself, you can accomplish anything outside of you
- [01:43] – RJ’s area of expertise is to help professionals transition from Corporate America to become full-time entrepreneurs – help entrepreneurs bridge the gap in their lives and businesses, and help aspiring entrepreneurs to bring their ideas to life
- [02:54] – One BIG and Unique Value Bomb: “Criticize, analyze, and publicize”
- [03:09] – “You need to critique your business everyday. You need to break it apart”
- [03:28] – Have a group of people analyze your business and let you know where something is not working or clear for them
- [04:05] – Publicize – How do you communicate in your business?
- [04:51] – Worst Entrepreneurial Moment: RJ got involved in a network marketing company where he calls himself the “ignorant on fire” because he doesn’t know anything. He had a PBR in his mother’s basement and he invited a lot of people to come over at 7pm. After an hour, there was still no one there.
- [05:58] – That destroyed RJ as a first-time entrepreneur
- [06:10] – This happened not once, but a couple more times and this almost stopped RJ from becoming an entrepreneur
- [06:48] – Incidents like RJ’s experience just make people feel The Imposter Syndrome
- [07:10] – “No matter what, it’s not over”
- [07:50] – “Play the game in a different way”
- [08:13] – Entrepreneurial AH-HA Moment: 3 years after RJ’s worst moment, his mother passed away. He went into a church-chapel at 11pm and he prayed. In the midst of praying, he got a revelation. What was revealed to him was the phrase, “Born to Win”
- [09:23] – RJ walked away with that in mind and started to master himself
- [10:12] – “If finances are low, invest time in yourself”
- [10:41] – The only way you lose in life is when you quit
- [11:02] – The system of success works from the inside out
- [11:58] – What is the one thing you are most FIRED up about today? “I recently started a group on Facebook called Superior Entrepreneurs”
- [12:28] – RJ believes that entrepreneurship means that you serve somebody and leave a legacy
- [13:11] – The Lightning Round
- What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur? – “Self-doubt and the feeling of being inadequate”
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – “A principal is only as good as the person or the spirit it comes into contact with”
- What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success? – “Meditation and paying attention to my intuition”
- Share an internet resource, like Evernote, with Fire Nation – All Business
- If you could recommend one book to our listeners, what would it be and why? – The Laws of Success – Complete – “This is kind of like your Bible – you have to read this book”
- Imagine you woke up tomorrow morning in a brand new world, identical to earth, but you knew no-one. You still have all the experience and knowledge you currently have, your food and shelter is taken care of, but all you have is a laptop and $500 dollars. What would you do in the next 7 days? “I would find this world’s version of social media and I would immediately get on social media to start providing value to those people in this new world.”
- [16:25] – “Don’t continue to edit alone”
- [17:02] – RJ is offering a free 20-minute virtual coaching consultation for the first 20 people that send him an email: email@example.com
- [18:00] – Connect with RJ on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Youtube
RJ Hodges: Oh, yes. Most definitely.
Interviewer: RJ’s a professional speaker, entrepreneur, certified life coach and practitioner of the Healing Arts of Reiki. He is the best-selling co-author of the book Mission: Unstoppable, partnering with George Frasier and Les Brown. He’s also the author of You Can’t Practice at the Game: The Art of Mastering You.
RJ, take a minute and fill in some gaps from that intro and give us a little glimpse of your personal life.
RJ Hodges: All right. Well, I'm originally from Atlanta, Georgia where it’s actually pretty cold and raining right now, but this is home for me. And the only thing that wasn't included in there is that I'm also a business and life coach. I developed a philosophy that I call The Art of Mastering You. Over the years, I've learned that when you truly take the time to master yourself, man, you can accomplish anything that’s outside of you. Other than that, I spend my time trying to stay warm in cold Georgia when it’s cold and traveling and helping other entrepreneurs.
Interviewer: I love all of that. And what I want to do, specifically, with what you just shared, is maybe have you take a couple minutes here and just share with us, what is your specific area of expertise? What is your specialty, RJ?
RJ Hodges: Well, like I said, I told you about the philosophy of the Art of Mastering You, but when I work with my core and target audience, I mainly work with professionals that are looking to transition out of Corporate America into full-time entrepreneurship. A lot of them are trying to figure out how to get some life back into them. They're so used to making a living that they have no life anymore.
So, I help them with that. I help them strategize and make that transition. I also work with well-established entrepreneurs. To help them fix any hindrances or anything that may be somewhat broken in their business. I often say that, I work with a type of entrepreneurs that are trying to leave a legacy. And not just try to make a buck just to make a buck, but they want to leave a legacy. Something that’s going to impact the world and make it better. And I actually work with them, and actually partner with them in doing that.
And last, but not least, I specialize in working with aspiring entrepreneurs. Those who may have a great idea or they never owned a business before and they're looking for somebody to kind of get in the trenches with them. To help them plan and strategize to bring that idea to life.
Interviewer: RJ, what's something we don’t know about your area of expertise that we as entrepreneurs should know?
RJ Hodges: It’s something that’s a phrase that I think I created and I say it to myself every day. I say, “Criticize, analyze, publicize.” And people say, “What the heck does that mean, RJ?” Because it’s just cliché and it sounds good when I say it.
But, Criticize, I always tell people, you need to critique your business every single day. You need to break it apart. You need to pick it apart. And sometimes I think, when nurturing our businesses, we want to, you know, we’re so happy with the visions that we have, but what we have to realize is that those visions aren’t for us, they're for the people that we serve. So, not only do you need to criticize your business, but you need to have a group of clients, a group of people that you trust that they can tell you the good, the bad, the ugly. The things that are not working for them so you could make your business better.
When it comes to Analyzing, I always tell people, I can't tell you the number of entrepreneurs that I've worked with that they don’t analyze their business. They're so stuck on a strategy that’s not working. Maybe because they purchased a strategy from some guy that was standing in front of a Lamborghini, and said, “Hey, if you do this,” –
Interviewer: You'll get this.
RJ Hodges: – “you're going to have a Lamborghini, too.” And they're stuck on that strategy, but I always say, analyze your business. If it’s not working for you, change it.
And the last thing is, Publicize, which I kind of equate publicize to, how do you communicate, specifically, your business. How do you communicate to your audience how you can solve their issue in a very unique and innovative way?
If you can criticize, analyze and publicize your business every single day and just keep that phrase to you, you're going to build something absolutely incredible.
Interviewer: Fire Nation, those three key terms. Something to think about and just apply to your business and see how you turn out. Now, RJ, you have had an interesting journey as an entrepreneur, and within that journey, I want you to take us to your worst entrepreneurial moment to date. Don’t pull any punches; just take us to that moment, RJ. Tell us that story.
RJ Hodges: Alright. I know there's not crying on Fire Nation. So, let’s see if I can get through this without getting sad.
So, I'm about 18 or 19 years old. This is my very first experience in business. I got involved in a network marketing company, and I am what they call, “ignorance on fire.” I don’t know anything. I know absolutely nothing, but I'm on fire, and I'm having what we use to call back then, a PBR. It’s a Private Business Reception, and I'm doing it in my mother’s basement. So, you know, my main goal is, I'm about to make a $1 million in this company because I know tons of people. I know family, I got friends, I got tons of people that need to make money. So, I invited everybody that I know to come over to my mother’s basement. It starts at 7:30 p.m. people. I told everybody to be there by 7:00 p.m.
So, 7:15 p.m. comes and there's nobody there. But that’s okay, it starts at 7:30 p.m. 7:35 p.m. comes and there's nobody there. Around 7:42 p.m., my mother comes downstairs to the basement, and I think she only came down because she actually lived there, and nobody showed up. Not one family member, not one friend, not one friend of a friend showed up, and it destroyed me as a first-time entrepreneur. It developed a level of not good enough, or inadequacy within me, and I would be lying if I say this only happened one time. This happened a few other times outside of that. And it almost stopped me from becoming an entrepreneur before I really got started.
Interviewer: So, Fire Nation, we already have this thing called, the Imposter Syndrome that live within us all. It’s just a reality. We’re a human being. We have the Imposter Syndrome. We have that voice in our head that says, “You can't do that. You shouldn’t do that. Who are you to do X, Y or Z?”
It’s there. It’s honestly the reason why we’re still alive as a species because we were afraid to walk out of a cave in the middle of the night because of the saber-toothed tigers. So, be thankful you have it, but now embrace it and realize, hey, it’s just part of me being a human. How do I rise above?
So, I mean, when you have a situation like RJ experienced, it just reinforces that Imposter Syndrome voice. And a lot of people just give up and quit there. But thankfully, RJ did not. He broke through after, of course, some time feeling sorry for himself as we all have.
But, RJ, that’s kind of my big takeaway. It’s just that’s going to happen. Those moments that doubt that voice. What do you want to make sure our listener get from your story?
RJ Hodges: That no matter what, it’s not over. You know, I think a lot of times as an entrepreneur, it doesn’t go right. But a part of entrepreneurship is recreating. Every day in my business, I'm recreating. Because no matter what I create, once I apply it, if it doesn’t work, it goes back to analyze and I recreate. I come up with something else.
Being an entrepreneur is about being really creative about what you're doing, and at the end of the day when it doesn’t work, it’s not over. You have to kind of look at this like, I am playing a game. And if the game doesn’t work originally how I plan, I just restructure and I play this game a different way.
Interviewer: Fire Nation, play the game a different way. You know, you don’t have to play it by anybody’s rules, make your own rules.
Now, RJ, you’ve had a lot of stories where you had some great ideas, some “Ah-ha” moments, but take us to one that’s meaningful to you. That you think’s going to resonate with Fire Nation. Tell us that story and how you executed on that “Ah-ha” moment to turn it into success.
RJ Hodges: Well, about three years after the low moment of the worst entrepreneur moment, I was about 20-21 years old now, and my mother had passed away. So, the only person that was kind of supporting me had passed away, and it’s a Friday night, and I go to a church chapel.
Now, if you're 20-21 years old, and it’s a Friday night and you're in a church chapel at about 10:00 P.M. or 100:00 P.M. at night, it’s pretty bad. Because you're supposed to be out doing something else at 20-21 years old. But I was just literally in there just praying because I didn’t know what else to do. I had done everything that I knew to do in business at that point, and nothing was working. And in the midst of that, I got what I call, “revelation knowledge.” I call that “revealed knowledge.” It’s something that you know that you did not know prior to it coming to you.
And what was revealed to me in the back of that church chapel was, “born to win.” Now, I didn’t know what the heck that meant, to be perfectly honest with you. All I knew was that what it spoke to me was, again, it’s not over. There's something bigger than you outside of this hurtness, pain in these situations that you're going through, there is something bigger than you that you're supposed to accomplish. And I walked away with “born to win.” I walked away with knowing that I was just as good as everybody else that I admired in business or that I admired in life. And “born to win” started me mastering myself because in that moment, I always say today; I learned that nothing ever works for me until I started working on me. And I walked out of that church chapel not pitiful, not sad, but a winner. No matter what the outside situations were, I became a winner internally. And if you can become something internally, the external just has to catch up.
Interviewer: Fire Nation, if you want something to work for you, you have to work on you. You have to invest in yourself. We’re not always talking about money. Of course, there's going to be times where you do have to invest financially in yourself, but hey, if finances are low, invest time in yourself. Go to Google, go to YouTube. Find these free courses that are out there.
Invest, invest, invest. There is so much free content out there right now. It is mind numbing. You just have to make the commitment to work on you, then you'd have that knowledge and that experience work for you.
So, RJ, that’s my big takeaway from your “Ah-ha” moment, but what do you want to make sure our listeners get from that story?
RJ Hodges: The one thing I want to make sure the listeners get is that, you may be in a dark place, right now, but what I want you to understand is the only way you lose in this whole game of life is if you quit. That’s the only way. There's no other possible way that can lose. I know you may not be able to see what's going to happen, but if you don’t quit, I'm telling you, things will change.
I also want you to understand that the system of success, it doesn’t work from the outside in; it works from the inside out. Because when I got that “born to win” revelation, nothing really changed outside of me immediately. “Born to win” actually became the first speaking and empowerment company that I started some years later. But that didn’t happen immediately, but it changed in me, instantly.
So, if you can get something. If you can start developing the inner you and get that to line up with what you want, everything can change instantly, but you got to keep pressing it. You got to keep going. You have no other option.
Interviewer: The system for success work from the inside out, Fire Nation. Absorb that. Now, RJ, you have lot of cool things going on right now. I mean, writing a book with George Frasier, Les Brown, I mean, rockin’ and rollin’. But what is the one thing that you are most fired up about today?
RJ Hodges: I recently started a group on Facebook called, Superior Entrepreneurs, and that’s what I'm most fired up about. I'm fired up about bringing a level of real integrity back to entrepreneurship. I have nothing against everybody that’s out here that’s marketing with the Lamborghini’s and the courses and the cars and you can get this, and you can lay on the beach. But I was brought up in an era where entrepreneurship was about serving people.
It wasn't just about making money for the sake of making money, and I'm not against making money, entrepreneurs, because it is a great thing, but I believe entrepreneurship, it should serve somebody. You should want to build a business that leaves a legacy so that when your long gone, your great-great-great-great-great-grandkids, they know who you are. I want to be on somebody’s mantle one day. I want to be that person that their lives are different because I stuck to a level of standard and I had a level of integrity and I did something that changed the world. That’s what I'm excited about. Breathing that breath of life back into entrepreneurship.
Interviewer: Wow. Fire Nation, I hope that you are as fired up as RJ is about his future ends of our future which is the lightening round. So, don’t go anywhere because we’re about to thank our sponsors.
RJ, are you prepared for the lightening rounds?
RJ Hodges: Always.
Interviewer: What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
RJ Hodges: Definitely self-doubt and the feeling of being inadequate that I wasn't as good as the other entrepreneurs that I had seen.
Interviewer: What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
RJ Hodges: A principle is only as good as the person or the spirit that it comes into contact with. And if you guys get nothing else from me, please hear this, “You can get the five steps of how to get wealth or the ten steps of how to make six figures in the next 90 days, but if those principles do not come into contact with you, the right environment that is able to birth those principles, it will not work. You got to master yourself. You got to get rid of your hindrances.” That’s the best thing I've ever heard ever in life.
Interviewer: So true, Fire Nation. Master thyself. What's a personal habit that contributes to your success?
RJ Hodges: Meditation and paying attention to my intuition. I always tell people, I do invest into programs and the marketing tips, but my intuition has led me far beyond anything that I have ever invested.
Interviewer: Can you share an internet resource, like in Evernotes, with Fire Nation?
RJ Hodges: Yeah, recently I came across this sight called, allbusiness.com. If you want to up your entrepreneur I.Q., you got to go to allbusiness.com. I mean, every topic, every innovative thing that you can think of that has to do with business, it’s on there. I love that sight.
Interviewer: With Fire Nation, it’s all about mastering you. Like, go learn this content. There's so much out there, it is just there just waiting for you. It’s free. And RJ, if you could recommend one book to join A Mission Unstoppable on our bookshelves, what would that book be and why?
RJ Hodges: There's one book and it’s Napoleon Hills Laws of Success, Complete. I mean, if you’re an entrepreneur. This is your, for lack of better terms, this is kind of like your bible. You have to read this book because it’s not just about building a great business, but, more so, it’s about building a great life in the midst of building a great business.
Interviewer: RJ, this is the last question of the lightening round, but it is a doozie. Imagine you woke up tomorrow morning and a brand-new world identical to Earth, but you knew no one. You still have all the experience and knowledge you currently have. Your food and shelter is taken care of, but all you have is a laptop and $500.00. What would you do in the next seven days?
RJ Hodges: The first thing that I would do is I would find this world’s version of social media. And I would immediately get on social media and I would start providing value to those people in this new world about how to create the life that they desire and deserve. And I would take all of the money that I had to promote that information. Because if you can add value, you could create a customer base. And if you could create a customer base, you can create any business that you ever thought about. That would be my move.
Interviewer: Love that. RJ, let's end it today on Fire with a parting piece of guidance, the best way that we can connect with you and then we’ll say good-bye.
RJ Hodges: The biggest thing that I want to share with you guys is, don’t continue to go at it alone. This is probably one of my biggest mistakes as an entrepreneur. As I was feeling inadequate, as I didn’t know what to do, I kept going at it alone. But today, you have tons of resources. And, more importantly, you have tons of business coaches just like myself who are out here that want to get in the tranches with you, that want to help you plan and strategize and analyze and do all of those things that you need to do. Don’t keep going in circles, get help, ASAP. And I actually have a free gift for you guys that is going to help you do just that. You ready for it?
RJ Hodges: Alright. Okay, cool. Here we go. I want to give you guys a free 20-minute virtual coaching consultation for the first 20 people that email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. So, the first 20 people that email me and say, “You heard me on Fire, I want the free 20-minute coaching consult,” I'm going to personally get on Skype or Zoom or whatever works best for you, and we’re going to talk about where you are in being in business. More importantly, where you want to go. And I'm going to give you some tips and some strategies on how you can get there.
Interviewer: Wow. Fire Nation, this is one of those gifts that if you don’t stop the car right now, or stop your run, or just do whatever needs to do to email email@example.com, and say, “Hey, I want my 20-minute call. Am I one of the first 20?” What are you doing? This is so much value.
So, RJ, awesome stuff, brother. Really appreciate that. Is there any other way you want Fire Nation to contact you to learn more about you?
RJ Hodges: Yes, definitely. RJ Hodges speaks on all social media. I'm on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. I also have a YouTube channel at RJ Hodges Speaks, as well. Connect with me, you guys, and also you can join my Superior Entrepreneurs Group, very new group on Facebook, as well, where I give out coaching. I go live once a week, and I give out all types of do’s and don’ts, per se.
Interviewer: Fire Nation, you are the average of the five people that you spend the most time with. You’ve been hanging out with RJH and JLD today, so keep up the heat and head over to eofire.com. Just type “RJ” in the search bar and his show-notes page is going to pop up with everything we've been talking about today. These are the best show-notes in the biz. The time stamps, links galore. And of course, Fire Nation, that 20-minute call awaits you, firstname.lastname@example.org.
RJ, thank you for sharing your journey with Fire Nation toady. For that, we salute you and we’ll catch you on the flip-side.
RJ Hodges: Thank you.
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