The Jay Kim Show #67: Pejman Ghadimi (Transcript)
Today’s show guest is a self-made entrepreneur by the name of Pejman Ghadimi. Pejman has a very unique story. He was born in the middle of the Iranian Revolution, so he spent most of his childhood in France and only moved to the United States in 1997. He was raised by a single mother and, due to the limited resources they had as first-generation immigrants into the United States, he started working at a very young age doing telemarketing at the age of 14.
He eventually worked his way into a lucrative banking job in finance, but he didn’t stop there. He was an entrepreneur at heart, and he left banking and then leveraged his resources to end up building three major businesses which have collectively grossed over $40 million US dollars in annual revenue. He has a lot of insights and shares with us today his incredible journey and his secrets to success. Let’s get on to the show.
Jay: Hi, Pejman. Thanks so much for joining us and welcome to the show.
Pejman: Hey, I appreciate you having me on.
Jay: I’m very excited to have you, actually, because you have an incredible story, and I think that our audience is going to get a lot of value out of what you have to say and just hearing about your incredible journey and what you’ve accomplished. So maybe for our audience you can give us a little, quick introduction on who you are and what you do for a living.
Pejman: Absolutely. So my name is Pejman Ghadimi, and I’m the founder of Secret Entourage as well as a dozen other businesses, but notoriously I am known for having authored Third Circle Theory and Radius. Third Circle Theory is a self-published book that has sold over 350,000 copies globally. And then Radius is its sequel that just came out.
I became somewhat of a business figure being a bank manager at the age of 18 which was very crazy for not having a degree and just having graduated high school, and then followed up to become an executive VP for a Fortune 500 company by 23, only to find myself fired by 25.
I established the world’s first investment fund in exotic cars that was known as VIP Motoring, which can be found at VIPMotoring.net, where I created a concept that allowed people to turn their liabilities into investment assets and ultimately use things, such as exotic cars, watches, and everything else, to grow their portfolio of investments rather than just lose money by making bad decisions around things that they just wanted to own anyway.
From there, I make my mark on the online world having established Secret Entourage, Exotic Car Hacks, and Watch Conspiracy, again, following true with this path of education in finance and mixing the two but bringing it all online.
Pejman: Hopefully that wasn’t too long. I’ll try not to bore you guys.
Jay: No, no, no. Actually quite the contrary. So we’re going to dive into each one of those parts of your story, but I want to dial it way back and talk a little bit about how you started off. You said that you started working at a very young age. You basically, as a teenager, you were already managing people. So tell us about that. You are a first-generation immigrant into the United States, which I have a lot of respect for because my parents were the same — a little bit before your time — but nonetheless, I respect that a lot because when people come to America with nothing and create the lives of their dreams, or what have you, with nothing, it’s always very impressive. So maybe you can tell us a little bit about that experience.
Pejman: Sure. When we first migrated with the US, I was a child. I didn’t have much of a say in terms of where we going and what we were going to do. But my mom was a very important person in Iran working for the government. And the revolution pretty much forced us to become refugees in France because we couldn’t come to the US. And so we spent about 11 years in France and on the 12th year, made our way into the US, finally, on a visa, not even on a Green Card.
So when we got to the US, we didn’t have Green Cards, we didn’t have social securities, and that process took such a long time in itself in that I was well past my 14 years of age and still didn’t have the ability to work or do anything. And my mom, at that point, had already gone through multiple attempts at making or trying to take and do something in the US to try to make us survive. Unfortunately, time and time again, failure after failure in business, we ended up just functioning. She was a cashier at a restaurant, despite having a high-ranking title in our country back in the day. And then I was going to school while we lived in a basement.
So it got to a point where I said, “Enough is enough. I’ve got to help somehow.” So I went looking for a job and, unfortunately, without papers, you’re very limited on what you can do. I started a very small carwash thing going on in the neighborhoods where I offered to wash cars, because we weren’t in an area where…we didn’t have access to things like Uber or transportation, etc. So whatever I could do locally… And then I got very fortunate that I found a way to kind of sneak my way into a company as a telemarketer at the age of 14, and I took that job really seriously, Jay. For me, it was like the only job I could have, and it was paying $12/hour, which was amazing, plus commissions.
For someone that can’t have a job and begged McDonald’s for a job to even clean toilets and was declined multiple times, I felt that it was a blessing so big that I had to take it seriously, and I had to do well. And that’s what I did. I spent four years until the age of 18 being a telemarketer and moving up in the same company slowly but obviously getting my papers by then. And by the time I was 18, I was the director of that very same company, and I had found not only a lot of success both in sales, management, but also had gained a lot of experience in service and everything that came with managing people.
So at 18, I decided to broaden my horizons and try… I didn’t know what I wanted to do in life, I knew for a fact that I didn’t want to be poor. And I had gotten a taste of making money. I was making decent money by the age of 18, and I decided that I had to figure out a way to push myself even further. I wasn’t entrepreneurial. I wasn’t like a business owner. I was just a normal kid that just wanted to make money to help his family.
So I found my way by then, with papers, to a banking interview, and I figured, if you don’t understand money, the best thing you can do is be around it long enough until it becomes contagious. So that’s why I decided to work in a bank.
Jay: That’s awesome. There’s a couple of things from that. First of all, I love that story, so thank you for sharing that. First-generation immigrants that come to this country — sorry, the US. I’m based in Hong Kong right now, but I’m American, so I relate to it. My father has a very similar story. He came to the States back in the ’70s with nothing and basically no paperwork — a very similar sort of situation. And he was a janitor. But he worked his ass off, and he was grateful, had gratitude for just being able to have an income — $2/hour or whatever he was earning back then — and eventually worked his way up. And I think that it’s funny because I think that this whole thing about entrepreneurship now is quite romanticized by what we see online and social media. But back then, and similar to your experience, entrepreneurship was basically just life. It was survival. It wasn’t called anything fancy like entrepreneurship. I love your story there.
Pejman: It’s funny you said that though. I want to take a second and say something about that because I spend a lot of time trying to educate students of Secret Entourage as well as readers of some of my books that there is a significant difference between entrepreneurship as to what it really is and what it’s shown to be today. I think too many people confuse self-employment, they confuse just not having employment, and call themselves entrepreneurs just because they feel like they’re working on something.
I think it’s so important to understand that there is nothing beautiful about the beginning of entrepreneurship because it’s just incredibly hard. So I think the earlier people just stop fantasizing about the word or the title, the earlier they’re going to get a real taste of what it’s really like to be an entrepreneur and not so much focused on the exciting piece of announcing it to everybody else.
Jay: Yeah, it’s a good point you bring up. It’s strange because entrepreneurship, the word its and the concept and notion of it has been around for years and generations. And it’s a huge undertaking. But for some reason — I don’t know exactly why — maybe because of the internet and social media — but it’s, like you said, it’s being misconstrued as just something…as just the glamor side of it, the reward side. But none of the hard work is really focused on. But I think that’s something that’s important, and I’m glad that it’s something that you are actively preaching and helping and teaching to our younger generation here.
So back to your story… After you came out of banking, you mentioned another interesting point where you said you weren’t a born entrepreneur from the get-go. You weren’t doing lemonade stands and baseball cards, that sort of thing. But somehow you realized that, look, you didn’t want to be poor, so you decided that the best way was to, I guess, found your own businesses. So tell us a little about that journey.
Pejman: Well no. Actually, it’s a little bit of the opposite, actually. When I decided I didn’t want to be poor, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, like I said. And I was already washing cars just to make some type of money because I didn’t have a Green Card. I think that came more with the idea early on that, like you said, I didn’t have a lemonade stand. What I had was the understanding that if my time sitting at home was worth zero dollars an hour, then I was going to spend every hour of my day being worth something, even if it’s 10 cents, a dollar, $10, $20. It just didn’t matter. So I stopped worrying about trying to make the most amount of money, and I tried very early on to become as efficient as I could working or putting my time to work as much as I physically or possibly could.
When I got into banking, I took that very seriously. It wasn’t really like, oh, this is a transition to starting my own business. I found my purpose and my passion in banking, in leadership, in management, in teaching a lot of the training programs in banking. So that was part of why I applied myself a lot and grew very quickly through multiple positions. So by the time I got out of banking, even though it was an unfavorable ending, I wasn’t poor by any means. I had graduated banking, in a sense, with a quarter-of-a-million-dollar salary, over a million dollars in bonus money sitting there. I had plenty of savings, and I was far from poor when I entered the world of business ownership at that point.
The hardest part was actually when I lost my banking job, it was really defining my purpose again because I had spent almost six years believing that I would be a banker for life. And all of a sudden, someone had ripped that idea out of my head and had made it in such a way that it was going to be impossible for me to do that again.
So it was more of an identity loss than it was a monetary loss or a decision at that point to make money, because I was, ultimately, considered what you would consider “rich” by the time I got out of a corporate job, which is very untypical in most stories. Most people find the majority of their business success through entrepreneurship and small business ownership. But I found a significant amount of financial success being employed by a regular employer, like most people.
Jay: This is actually interesting because… A lot of the audience, I guess, listening in are either entrepreneurs or a lot of them are aspiring entrepreneurs, and being based in Hong Kong, there’s a huge financial services industry here. I myself, I worked on Wall Street for many, many years. I’m still an investor now, but I’m on the asset management buy side. There’s a lot of people that go into that industry not because they want to be there but for the money. So I’m interested to hear… A lot of them are caught up in the so-called “rat race,” where they’re earning a very good paycheck, similar to the amount of money that you probably were earning towards the end of your banking career. But they’re stuck because either their expenses have gone up, and they’re living above their means, or they’re requiring a very high paycheck to support their salary, the lifestyle that they’re used to. And they don’t know what to do afterwards. They know they don’t want to do banking, but they’re stuck because they don’t have an outlet. So some people are trying to branch off and do, say, fintech or do something kind of related to finance but more entrepreneurial.
How did you come up with, “Okay, I have a healthy savings. I was making a lot of money. Now I want to be an entrepreneur, or I want to start a business”? How was that process? How did you find exactly what to focus on for your next step?
Pejman: Sure. I have what you call… I shared this in my book Radius, but it’s what I call the idea triangle. It’s a funny way of looking at if your ideas are not just good ideas but if they’re the right ideas for you. It’s the same process I used then for myself. It was really looking at what I love the most — what I loved doing the most — and what I was talented or skilled at, and then ultimately how to connect those two things through belief, making I had enough confidence to be willing to undertake some aspect related to those two things.
For me at the time, one of the things I was very talented at was design. I had an eye for design and understanding of how things just end up beautiful. I was always a big proponent of dressing well, the right watches, the right purse. And I had this eye for things that the common public just really liked. My love was absolutely focused around cars. Since I was a talented banker as well, I figured out how can I connect these three very unique things that most people don’t really think of connecting. For me, it was more about, okay, let’s start a business that focused on tuning cars and just kind of providing car brokerage, exotic car tuning and everything in between that. But also, let’s get into timepieces and selling other luxury items only to eventually find myself faced with the US recession that occurred based on the real estate fallout in ’07. And I decided that I had to adapt to my business to something new because, obviously, people were not going to be purchasing these things for the following five years.
So at that point, I figured, what is everybody who has this things going to be think of? The first thing was, well, all of these things are now going to turn into liabilities. So how can we turn them into assets for people and be at the cornerstone of being ahead of what others are thinking by providing for people that have bought from us before a solution to what to do to undergo through this financial crises. So again, mixing what I was good at with things that I understood about finance and bringing it into an industry that didn’t have any correlation to finance, or so it was seem to the world.
Jay: That’s awesome. I’m intrigued, Pejman. I want to hear about this business that you sort of pivoted to during the financial crisis because I was there during that time. I had a lot of liabilities — watches and this sort of thing. So I probably could have used your service there. So tell us about… Is that what is now VIP Motoring or was that before?
Pejman: No, no. That’s what it evolved to. And since then it’s been a sustainable model. And it still offers today, now that the recession is long gone, we still offer brokerage of exotic cars, allocations of ultra-rare hyper cars, everything from acquisition of watches, rare pieces, art, and everything in between. But I think the concept was quite simple. If you’re aware of finance, you obviously understand these things, but there is a depreciation curve and a depreciating schedule to all of these things, like cars, watches, and everything else. But luxury assets, like Louis Vuitton purses, or if you look at Ferrari cars, or let’s say you look at — I’m using very basic terms that people on this show would understand instead of boutique terms, Rolex watches, etc. — all have what you would call a bottom cash value versus other items or — should I say? — liability, such as normal watches you buy in department stores, really don’t.
What that means is that, at any given point, there is a bottom value that, no matter what economic climate you’re in, the item is going to preserve as a basis for demand from other people. So in other words, there is always a buyer out there buying things at the right price, not just always buying them hot.
So what ends up happening is once you understand these depreciation schedules and you understand how and what matters when it comes to different brands and different manufacturers, etc., you can actually understand when you are buying items that no longer are going to suffer from any level of depreciation. As a result of it, you can literally wear them and, in many cases, actually get ahead of an appreciation curve based on the lower supply in the upcoming years and the higher demand for specific niches or specific products.
Let me give you two very simple examples. One, which we specialize in, which is what you call hypercar allocations… So we purchase, for example, let’s say a LaFerrari car for somewhere around 1.4 million due to our unique connections in the business, and that enables us to get one of these cars very early on when they’re first released, without a wait list or anything else. Once we take that car, we offer that car as an investment opportunity to our customer base. So what we say is, we have a car for $1.4 million. We’ll get the re-investors at half a million each to come in on this car with a guaranteed return of 200k in a year.
What happens is we forecast that the 1.4 will turn into 2.5 due to the low supply of the car and the high demand by collectors. So the car comes into our ownership. It doesn’t get actually driven. It just gets stored, well taken care of, and a year later, it was disposed of for — just using a round number — $2 million. If each person was entitled to a guaranteed return of 100,000 on their half a million, they will be paid that, and the rest will be our fee for doing the job.
So the allocation is where being able to get these cars is where we make the money and where it creates an investment opportunity. Now the same buyer, like the same client, now obviously wants to own exotic cars themselves to drive, not just to invest in. So during the recession, obviously FDIC investments or the stock market may have seemed like a big idea, but investing in rare, exotic cars that would only go up was just a safer alternative because there was an actual asset that wouldn’t depreciate.
So those same people, though, now wanted to drive exotic cars. If you’re able to buy, for example, a Ferrari 458 that brand new was $280,000, if you’re able to buy it with a thousand miles knowing that it will never depreciate below $140,000… If you’re able to buy that car at $140,000 with mileage that is significantly lower than what it should have for its age, then you can ultimately drive it back to this higher mileage and dispose of it for exactly the same price.
So for our investor and people who were in our company investing in exotic cars, we offered a very unique program that enabled them to buy an exotic car and ultimately give it back to us — not rent it but own it in full — and give it back to us within 12 months, knowing exactly what their cost was going to be. And in many cases, their cost for owning a Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, would be less than $5000 for a 12-month period, which is unheard of.
Jay: That’s unbelievable. I love that business model. It draws parallels to… Say if I was investing in a stock where you find the intrinsic value, the floor value, and you basically buy it there because you know that, using your connections, your network, and your research, you know that it’s pretty much at the bottom. So it won’t go any further below that. And then using your timing and trading skills, you basically make money off of that. I think it’s brilliant.
Pejman: That’s exactly the same thing except we switch all the stock with watches, cars, and then offer accounting services to help them navigate the tax loopholes around such ownership.
Jay: That’s so smart. That’s awesome. Let’s talk about your other two businesses now that are out there. There’s one called Secret Consulting, I know. And then, of course, Secret Entourage, which is, I guess, your most recent one. Can you tell us a little bit about those two?
Pejman: Yeah. So Secret Consulting was actually a failed business, a tremendous failed opportunity when I first got out of banking, even before VIP Motoring. I decided that I would train bankers. I was talented in training. I believed that I should have been a banker forever, like I said earlier. And when I got a chance to get out of banking, I was so excited to just start my own company just teaching other bankers to do what I had done which, to a lot of people, seemed to be impossible. What was really funny, though, is I quickly learned how incredibly hard it was to start a business in something that you really didn’t understand that well outside of the four walls of the major brands. I was part of a bigger bank. It had some kind of momentum and value just to have the name behind me. And when I walked out to kind of being on my own, I figured really quickly, no one is willing to give me any money for this.
The reality of business kicked in. A year went by of failure and then the launch of VIP came. But I kind of went back, and after VIP, found massive success monetarily and gave me some peace of mind that I kind of had found a new direction in my life. I decided to go back because I still believed in the art of teaching and helping younger individuals take better shape. So Secret Consulting evolved to a a little bit of a different concept than what it was originally intended to. And it became a very… Originally, when it started, it became a very good training program on leadership, customer service, and sales.
And so I started trying to get major banks to buy training for their employees. Again, I got some success but nothing that was scalable. I adapted that business to become more IT focused and become the marketing IT arm of some of these lifestyle businesses I was dealing with at VIP Motoring, and I adapted a new business model to, again, help me not only survive as a business, because I still believed in it, but also try to find what that business was really going to be good at.
That worked, but it didn’t work long enough. But what it did is it gave birth to this idea that I now had a full-technology team, and I also had a very in-depth understanding of online marketing, even though this wasn’t something that I was doing for myself.
So instead of sitting there and saying, “Well, I’m going to help other companies build their online marketing,” I said, “Why don’t I establish an entire infrastructure of a company that allows me to do what I wanted to do with banking but more so hits more people and helps more people learn when it comes to business, entrepreneurship, and everything between — things that were very important to the success of VIP Motoring and also had been some of the core competencies that allowed me to move so fast in the leadership space back in my banking days.
So I created or started a blog called Secret Entourage as a result of that. And Secret Consulting became the IT company that not only managed other people’s companies but also ended up becoming the management company behind Secret Entourage, which started as a blog just to share the success stories of people who had exotic cars and were self-made. And I felt there was a huge demand for this. A lot of kids kept coming up to me and my Lamborghini saying, “What do you do for a living?” “How do you drive this so young?” Even in my banking days, I lived in northern Virginia, and in Virginia, we didn’t have that many exotics driving around at the time. So it was a pretty big thing that, when I would go to the mall, everybody would be like, “Oh my god, there’s this kid. He’s driving a Lamborghini. What do you do?”
So I felt there was a need to explain that. So I created a free blog called Secret Entourage, which stood for the secret to success. “Entourage” stood for “Enter our age.” It was really meant to help young people understand what the possibilities of life were if you apply yourself. And I wanted them to see through the lens of all of these people who they always wonder, “What do they do? How do they have these cars?” And I started to do stories on these people and illustrate it through beautiful imagery that would appeal to younger people.
It was a free site, and I did it as a hobby. I continued to grow it just because I thought it was important, and I love teaching. As a result of it, it just kind of grew and grew and grew, and I let it ride on its own, didn’t really think much of it until one day I realized, wow, there’s a lot of people on this site. There’s a lot of people reading these stories. We’re getting a lot of positive feedback, and maybe it’s time for this to become a self-sustaining philanthropic-type business instead of being one where it requires me to invest all this money and keep this team on board to just bring this website to life. I said, why don’t I come up with…how can this website turn into a real big business that is going to be good for change and change across the board everywhere in the United States.
So the birth of Secret Entourage came where I created a network of 300-plus of some of the most incredible exotic car owners, millionaires, billionaires from across the country and asked them all to pitch in, not with money but rather their time and teaching. My goal was that, if they spend one hour teaching something to someone that they’ve never met through video, that person would be like having a mentor of such sort, even though you would have no access to it in some parts of the United States.
And so I decided I’m going to put this together, and I took about seven years to put together what is today known as Secret Entourage, the brand, which includes Secret Entourage Academy as well as the free blog of Secret Entourage itself and encompasses a lot of the teachings found in my books, which are all, of course, published by this same kind of massive brand.
Jay: Wow. That’s incredible. I was looking at your site earlier. It’s just very aesthetically pleasing. It’s just put together so nicely. I know that you have a lot of different verticals when it comes to the education side. Everything from, say, even finance to fitness to entrepreneurship. So how are you able to curate such high-level speakers and instructors for this?
Pejman: My whole thing was that one of the angles that a lot of people love and some people hate is that, like you said, it’s very aesthetically pleasing. And in some cases, it’s misunderstood because the photography involves exotic cars. It involves beautiful, beautiful imagery of homes, exotic cars, and everything in between. So it’s [screeching sound 0:29:27] very important that people understand that if these images are there, it’s because we want young people to be motivated. We want young people to be curious, even if they have no interest in entrepreneurship. I think so many young people lose sight of entrepreneurship because they focus so much on making money. And there are so many sites that exploit that using exotic cars, lifestyle and everything in between. I’m sure you’ve seen that too. Right?
Pejman: So I thought… I call them cartoon characters. Forgive me for saying that. But if the cartoon characters are using this bait to bring in young people, why can’t people who have already established themselves, who really own these things, who aren’t renting them, who own the latest jets, the latest cars, the latest homes, why can’t they be the ones sharing the real success?
So I felt that if we went away from that and instead focused only on business, we wouldn’t be able to attract and convert people who are confused about the art of money and help them understand the process of entrepreneurship. So I think at first, this was received with a little bit of skepticism, but over time, we kind of showed people, through incredible content and through incredible partnerships with some really big names, like you said, that we are serious and that we’re here to stay.
So eight years later, it’s now very easy for us to reach out to very big names and stay focused on integrity and make sure the content that we’re creating is not marketing based but it is really genuine teaching of good entrepreneurship principles, even if they’re not what people expect.
I said this in a manner that’s really important because people often look up to some of the most known stories. Everybody wants to feature a Mark Cuban. Everybody wants to feature a Gary Vee, some huge names. But I have found that in those names and in those conversations, it is often the least value you’ll receive that is new and unheard of content. So these people are constantly marketing themselves everywhere. And so it becomes very difficult to get out of them some very new content.
So I found that finding individuals who have had massive success who are not as well-known online but are equally impactful, powerful, and wealthy has been the key to being able to grow quality content that is not only unheard of but really focused on teaching rather than marketing yet another product or another service following the lesson learned, if that makes sense.
Jay: Yeah. 100%. I can draw parallels to that because just for a micro-example of something like my podcast, when I have a bigger name star on it, like a Gary Vee or someone like that, that’s great, and I get star struck, and I enjoy having a conversation with him. But honestly, he’s out there so much that nothing that we have in our conversation is really going to add value to any one of my listeners. The episodes that I get the best feedback from is exactly like you said, Pejman. It’s basically the ones where they get insights that are unseen before, so things that are very specific to Asia, guest they’ve never heard of, under the radar, but are extremely successful. Those are the ones that actually get the highest ranking and the best feedback. So I 100% know what you’re talking about.
Your site is impressive. What offerings… If I’m a consumer, and I come upon your site, and I want to enroll, so to speak, what’s the pricing model there? I know you have some free stuff that you offer as well.
Pejman: We offer a ton of free stuff. Our entire infrastructure is built off immense amounts of free value. Our original goal when we founded Secret Entourage was really to focus so much on allowing people to get exposed to entrepreneurship. I’m a big believer that entrepreneurship does not have to mean small business ownership. It does not have to be a segment in everybody’s life, and it isn’t for everybody. What I am a big believer in is that everybody should be entrepreneurial in their thinking and in their ability to be self-sustaining as human beings. So if that involves business, great. If it doesn’t, then it also comes as part of a mindset and a way of thinking, like a perspective on life.
We focus all of our content — thousands of articles, incredible stories, all of that focused on some of the most incredible minds in the world presented in a beautiful manner completely free. Nothing to buy to digest this content.
For people who want to be more guided in their approach and have access to real video courses and lessons, we’ve put together an academy that has made entrepreneurship extremely affordable starting with rates as low as $99 for lifetime memberships, meaning no monthly fees or having affordable monthly payment plans like $27/month, giving people access not only to tons of great courses and information covering over 200 industries by 300-plus incredible minds, but also giving them the opportunity to network in our very unique community of 30,000+ entrepreneurs who have all taken this pledge of joining the Secret Entourage program and helping educate one another as much as educating themselves. And I think that’s really important because the culture we’ve grown in our movement is so much more than just a student-teacher relationship but also it’s the ability to understand that every student has a responsibility to help other students. And teachers are not to be looked at on a pedestal as individuals who are of higher value but rather come to offline meetings we have for students and together have a beer, hang out, have a glass of wine, and are able to have down-to-earth conversations instead of speeches on a stage where it separates them from the students themselves.
So the key was to bring a billionaire in a room full of aspiring entrepreneurs and say, hey, if this was your best friend, what would you be talking to them about and getting them to really be inspired by also understand that there is a huge opportunity for them to network, even with people they thought previous impossible to network with.
Jay: I love how you’ve legitimized the private jets and the Ferrari marketing and it’s like it’s gone full-circle. But I love the fact that you’re like, no, no this is real. These people actually do drive these because of their success. So I love that.
Pejman: A simple line comes to mind. I’m sure you’ve heard this being in finance. It’s, “Money talks but wealth whispers.” I thought for the longest time, I said, “Why does wealth have to whisper? Why does money have to talk but wealth whisper? Why can’t wealth just come out and tell any with money to just shut up?” So we came up with this concept that it was like if the rich guys are talking about it, then the wealthy guys need to be teaching it. So we’ve done, I think, a good job of connecting the two.
Jay: Awesome. You’ve written a whopping ten books to date. Your most recent is called Third Circle Theory. Can you tell us a little bit about that book?
Pejman: So actually, my most recent is Radius.
Jay: Oh, sorry, sorry. Radius, yeah.
Pejman: Which is the sequel to Third Circle Theory, and Third Circle Theory in itself is my best-selling book. Third Circle Theory was a very unique approach to entrepreneurship when it comes to perspective instead of mindset. Many people believe that mindset is the core reason why people succeed in business or entrepreneurship. My theory is that perspective holds a lot more weight than mindset. And so I’ve broken down into a book just every single human being falls into three circles, which is ultimately the mastery of circumstance, the mastery of society, and the mastery of life. So if we’re able to categorize each circle through different things, such as habits, money, perception, lifestyle, and everything in between found in these three circles, we’re able to identify where we find fault in ourselves and where we feel stuck and why.
So using nothing more than your two eyes, I teach people using that book how to progress through life and put themselves in a position for victory which is much more important than doing the work to get to the victory. Because I feel that too many books today are talking about the zero to 100 starting line. You get to zero and here’s what you do to get to 100. But so few books are focused on talking about the negative 100 to zero, which is what Third Circle Theory does. It’s the prequel to entrepreneurship.
I think you can talk the every single famous entrepreneur on the planet, and they’ll tell you that they didn’t find their success by deciding to start a business and then they were at 100 within 10 years. They had to get to a point where they were in the capacity to even get started. They had to acquire skills, habits, and everything before even getting to the starting line. And I think so many young people fail in entrepreneurship because they just think that getting to the starting line, being at the starting line, they just need to get started.
So many podcasts, so many shows talk about, “You can’t stand still. Just do something. Take action.” But so few are talking about what are the actions that you should be taking prior to starting, not starting on a business that you have no idea how to connect the dots on something that you don’t understand. And I use a good analogy for this.
I’m sure you’ve seen the meme that says, in entrepreneurship, you have to jump off a cliff and figure out how to build a parachute along the way. Right? You’ve heard that. I call it this dumb meme. But anyways… The reason that doesn’t make any sense is because if someone jumps off a cliff, and they’ve never interacted with a parachute, they’ve never understood how it works, they’ve never understood what it takes, then they’re going to crash, and there’s no way they’re going to learn how to build a parachute along the way if they don’t understand how parachutes work.
The point is that if you are at the end of a cliff, you have a parachute in your backpack, you understand how to put it together and then make the jump, your survival rate is going to be increased significantly versus your death rate where you actually fall, break your leg, and then can’t get back up to do it again.
I think that if we help people understand that entrepreneurship isn’t what that sexiness about Instagram is and about posting quotes on your Instagram. It has nothing to do with that. It’s hard. It requires to be taken seriously. I think that’s where we can make a big impact is people with shows like your, Jay, that can help educate people can really focus on sharing this message that you have to be prepared to a degree. You can’t just say, “I’m going to the gym, and I’m going to have a perfect body just by going to the gym and showing up every morning.” You’re going to require to take on a great diet. You’re going to require to build habits to being able to show up on time, and you’re going to have to get familiar with the different machines and how to use them. And then, and only then, you’ll find your way and be able to put on a really good show and grow your body to where you want it to go. And the same thing can be done with your mind, your money, and everything in between. That’s what the concept of Third Circle Theory covers.
Jay: Got it. Very interesting. And then the sequel, which is Radius, what does that get into.
Pejman: A lot of people, after reading Third Circle Theory said, “Listen, PJ, you’ve changed my life. I look at life completely differently. But I don’t understand how this is a business book. It’s not connecting the dots for me. I understand why I am like I am. I understand how to change, but what if I’m ready to get to that starting line? What if I’m ready to get started?”
RADIUS stands for Reaching Across Different Industries Uncovering Solutions. It’s what I call the universal language of business. I break down for people what I call the five pillars of business, which are ideas and people, followed by products or service, followed by business, followed by branding, followed by empire. Every business goes through these five pillars at any given time or doesn’t, depending on how good you are at understanding how to evolve from one to the next.
So giving people a very clear path on how business — regardless of industry, regardless of what you’re doing — evolves and what are the steps to take, in a condensed version that is actually applicable at every single word and page, has enabled people that have read Third Circle Theory to say, “Now that I’m ready, I understand exactly what are the steps I need to take. Even though he’s not covering my exact industry, I can apply this universal language of what he’s sharing here to my industry and how I need to grow my business within it.”
So I’ve put together this universal language that every business in any industry can apply and actually evolve or understand why they’re being stuck in certain places.
Jay: Got it. Got it. That’s pretty useful and valuable information. I think all the listeners should definitely check out, if not both, at least one of those two books.
Pejman, thanks, so much for your time. It’s been actually really, really good hearing your story and very insightful, and I love hearing just about your businesses and your journey. And thank you so much for sharing. I want to leave with a final couple of questions which would be pieces of advice that you would give to young entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs, maybe of a younger generation. What’s one takeaway that they can take action on if they want to become an entrepreneur? What’s the first thing that they should be doing?
Pejman: I tell people this… I get asked this a lot. The biggest question, I guess, is, “What do I do in 2018 or in 2017 to be successful? What can I do?”
I tell young entrepreneurs, “Listen. That’s the worst question you can ask because it’s not about what you do in life, but it’s about how well you do it and how much you’re willing to commit to doing it.”
Often people are like, “Am I in the right business? Am I doing the right thing in business?”
And I tell me, “Do you want to be in this business in 10 years?” And often the answer is no. Then I’m like, “Why are you in it today if you’re not committing to getting really good at it?”
Usually it’s like, “Well, there’s a lot of money in it.”
But you’re not going to get to it if you’re not really good at it. So what’s the point of being in business if you’re not willing to commit to the art of business in itself for whatever industry you choose?
I guess my first piece of advice would be, don’t focus or worry so much about what to do to be successful. Be worried about how much commitment and how well you’re willing to do it. And if that still aligns, if you’re willing to commit the next 10 years to it, if you’re willing to become the best at it, then I think that is going to be really the reason you do become that and end up becoming super successful.
Jay: Yeah, it makes a lot of sense, especially for people that, like I said earlier, people in general that have jumped into industries for the wrong reasons, like money — finance is notorious for that. A lot of people, they don’t actually like finance, and they’re just drawn to it for the paycheck. So I think that’s very important to understand that it takes years to become an expert or hone a craft of whatever you want to gain mastery in. Then the money will come after that.
Pejman: Yeah, and money matters. I think it’s important to say that money is important. You can’t focus on the money. You have to focus on becoming so good at something that money follows you. So I think that’s the differentiation. In both cases, we’re not saying money is not important. We’re just saying that talent trumps money in terms of getting it. And you’re going to get more of it in the long term by finding your talent rather than focusing so much on making money.
Jay: That’s right. That’s right. The last couple of questions are, first, what are some things that you yourself personally are working on, or maybe your businesses, throughout the rest of the year, or maybe into 2018, that you’re super excited about and want to share? And finally, where can people find you, follow you, and connect with you?
Pejman: Sure. One of the most exciting times for me is that we’ve taken everything we were talking about at VIP Motoring, and we’ve created two websites to help people understand how to turn liabilities like watches and cars into assets anywhere in the world. It’s called ExoticCarHacks.com, and it’s called WatchConspiracy.com. Those are two sites we’ve created where they’re ultimately newer versions, similar to Secret Entourage but focused specifically on exotic cars and watches and luxury watches and how to leverage those in your portfolio as well as ultimately to enjoy. I’m sure you’re a watch guy and car guy yourself.
Jay: That’s awesome.
Pejman: So we teach people how to leverage these things instead of lose money on them. Those are the projects I’m working on. They’ve grown tremendously. We’ve worked on them for the past nine months. They’re almost as influential as Secret Entourage, which has been around for eight years, in such a short time.
And the best place to follow me is obviously on Instagram. I’m @ICreateMillionaires on Instagram and obviously on Facebook as well with my first and last name. People can search for me. I’m very reachable. So feel free to follow @SecretEntourage or @ICreateMillionaires.
And if you have a question, if you’re listening to this and are excited about getting into entrepreneurship but are still finding yourself puzzled or confused, reach out to me any time. I’m happy to take a moment and walk you through what you can do to find more success in life.
Jay: That’s awesome. Thank you so much. As soon as we get off I’m going over the Watch Conspiracy because I’m dying to learn more about that. Thanks so much for your time, Pejman. It’s been awesome catching up and hearing your insights. We really appreciate it.
Pejman: Hey, thank you again for having me on the show.
Jay: Alright. Take care. We’ll talk soon.
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