Don Hobbs is president, SUCCESS Enterprises. Recognized as Realtor Magazine’s “Top 25 Most Influential People in Real Estate.” President of Motivational Mega-Star, Jim Rohn Productions, Co-Founder Hobbs Herder Advertising, pioneer of Realtor® branding (a massive industry disruptor) & influencer to 1M+ agents.
4:55 – Who was your attitude coach growing up?
7:40 – What’s the backstory with grandpa Antonio Garcia? Tony Bike Shop. Mentor and coach
12:40 – Personal Development. Jim Rohn. In 7 years, you become the president of Jim Rohn. How do you define attitude and tell us about those seven years? How did you bridge that gap?
14:11 – lowest point and highest point?
17:24 – Did Tony Robbins leave before you became president? What were your feelings about Tony?
19:05 – Selling tickets.
20:57 – There are lots to learn from excellent and non-excellent people. What did you learn from failure? Who have you worked with in your life that you saw as the greatest example of positive attitude? A story of turnaround.
24:46 – Determination and attitude is the difference for a lot of people between success and failure.
26:27 – How do you change your insides? As a man thinketh
30:10 – What was the attitude when your real estate training company went berserk?
34:19 – Personal branding is a big deal and changed the industry.
37:41 – What was the funnest presentation you’d ever done?
43:13 – What does it mean to be an innovator? Glenn Sanford
44:26 – Knowledge through the decades. Attitude lesson as a newborn. It’s a new birth every day.
45:33 – Attitude lesson at the age of 10. Loved being a brown-noser.
46:43 – Attitude lesson at the age of 20. The value of time.
48:13 – Attitude lesson at the age of 30. How to keep growing to keep up with the financial growth.
50:51 – Attitude lesson at the age of 40. Keeping humble and keeping your sanity. Making smart moves. Come from a place of giving instead of from a place of taking.
52:19 – Attitude lesson at the age of 50. Get off the treadmill and think.
55:22 – Attitude lesson at the age of 60. Remember who you really are. Don’t get lost in what’s happening. Don’t compare your life to others.
58:33 – Show Close – https://www.instagram.com/therealdonhobbs/
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Ladies and gentlemen, we have a legend. Somebody that I didn’t know impacted my life. It’s such a high level and chances are when you get to meet this guest, you are going to sit there and go, “Oh my God.” This guy impacted my life and I didn’t even know it. Who is this guy? His name is Don Hobbs. He began his seminar career at eighteen when he went to work internationally with renowned speakers and people who feel that he was the Father of Speaking and Personal Development. I have listened to 1,000 hours of Jim Rohn. He was one of the true pioneers in global development. He set records working with Jim. He worked his way to become President of Jim Rohn Productions at the early age of 25. In 1986, Don left that position and Cofounded what was known as Hobbs/Herder Advertising, an industry interrupter and that’s what we’re talking about.
We are interviewing and seasoned to innovators and disruptors. We have a true innovator, disruptor and interrupter in this thing called The Real Estate and Personal Development Business. He started this thing called the S.O.U.L. Institute in 25 years. He worked in that. He worked with Gary Keller, developing BOLD and I’ve been through the BOLD training, believe it or not. He also helped him with the one thing, which Gary is a legend and unbelievable. He also has something called the Care Network and Wildfire Rescue. I’m going to talk to him a little bit about giving. Don has spoken to over 1 million realtors. He has developed and has completed one of the biggest, massive real estate training guru’s bottom line in the world.
The Realtor Magazine named Don as one of the Top 25 Most Influential People in the Real Estate Business. I can go on and on about this guy. Why don’t we listen to him? I’m telling you, hold onto your seats because he’s done it all and now the new President of SUCCESS Magazine and new role SUCCESS Enterprises. I can’t wait to see what he does with this periodical, something that I’ve been reading and subscribed to for years. With that big long introduction, let’s get some attitude with Don Hobbs.
Don, welcome to the show.
It’s good to be here with you. Thank you so much for having me. I love the work that you’re doing. I love that this revolves around attitude. You mentioned Jim Rohn, it all started me early on but that was the foundation for my whole career. I’m glad to be here. It’s an honor.
You and I have a similar past. I had a family at eighteen and I got right into the business. Me and you were both hitting the streets early. I’d love to know how does a guy at eighteen years old takes on and engage one of the foremost speakers? Number one, what was your attitude when you did that? That’s going to be a great story. One thing I always like to start asking is this. I want to know who was your attitude coach growing up? Who formed your attitude before we get to you be an eighteen and doing that?
I think the biggest thing I would say is Jim became my attitude coach. He was the start of that and I’m not sure where it came from but I had a winning attitude. I didn’t play college sports. In fact, I left school at eighteen and all of that. My grandfather was a good influence. He was a fourth-grade educated man who had a business and a bunch of real estate. That was a good thing. He taught me how to treat people and how to be an adult. They call me premature. I was adult-like at age 12 or 13. I was doing stuff. The biggest thing is I knew that I wanted more and I knew that where I was raised was not how I was going to be and that was a big part of it.
I wasn’t raised on the other side of the tracks. The tracks were there and I was on the side of it. It was right there in the tough area of Los Angeles, I didn’t have a family that had a lot of money so it was a challenging time. I knew that I wanted more of this. I became a great student. I became big at whatever I did because I wanted to excel and I’m not sure where that came from. My dad wasn’t like that. My mom has a great heart but she wasn’t a striver. I hit Jim Rohn and in fact, she was the one who bought me a ticket. She said, “This guy reminds me of you,” which I thought was funny. Now I look back in hindsight. I went to see him. I remember walking into The Western South Coast Plaza. This big hotel and a ballroom. I’d never been in a hotel with chandeliers. That was way beyond where I was raised and how I was raised.
I saw this guy speaking and I was blown away. I was like, “I want to do that. I want to be him.” I was totally taken. It was a date night and I’m sitting there in a seminar. Who in the world wants to be in a seminar? I think it was a Saturday night and I was taking copious notes. It’s the stenographer’s notebook. It blew my mind and I was like, “I want to do that.” That’s how it all started for me there.
I’ve always said that especially when we train people and I know you’ve heard this, “The best way to show someone you’re listening is to take notes.” I have vaults of yellow pad paper from all the people that we’ve been. You did mention this one guy named your grandfather. Interestingly enough that that came out. I’d love to know his name. I know that you told me that he owned real estate and was a bit entrepreneurial but is there a backstory? Give us his name because I love to give credit to grandpas.
What was his deal? What was his fire? What did he say to you that maybe did it? When you look at him and when you think about it, it’s time to give tribute to him. I’d love to hear about him and his story.
He was an uneducated, fourth-grade education. He was Arizonan. My grandmother was from Mexico. He and came up to Los Angeles and made that journey. He started making stuff happen and way back when working with his hands and working in somebody’s bike shop. He ended up buying Schwinn Bike Shop. We all know Schwinn. He built Tony’s Bike Shop, which by the way, I don’t know how many years later because I think it was started in the ‘50s. It’s still Tony’s Bike Shop. He was the rockstar in that area but it was fun because he was a simple man. He had simple lessons and taught me a lot about how to treat people with respect. He taught me a lot about how to see the possibilities in opportunity and defeat was only defeat if you laid down and let it happen. He was the one that spurred me on it.
Tweet: Reading books is a large part of your growth, and you can learn from other people’s experiences.
We were involved in the trapshooting industry. I don’t know if that makes any sense. I was a Professional Trapshooter at sixteen. He had trained me from an early age. I was around this men’s sport and got a chance to play with some big-time players and was good at it. It looked like it was going to be a direction for me but it was also about being around these adults and not acting like a kid, not being a little boy and all of that stuff. It was a chance for me to grow up fast.
Here’s what I want to know. I’ve never had interviewed a champion trapshooter. What is the attitude lesson of a champion trapshooter? What can people learn about their attitude?
It’s an individual sport and like many individual sports, it’s all focus and concentration. In that game to win, It’s clay pigeons. You can rank in terms of 100 shots. That’s how we did things. At the high levels, if you miss one, you’re out. It’s a never-ending focus. There are no mistakes allowed whether you’re condition or not. You’ve got to see the target is broken and mentally see what you want to happen. There was a lot of visualization. I’ve visualized a lot.
You’re telling me that if you hit 57 clays in a row and you miss one then they say, “You’re out of here.”
No, but 99 isn’t going to rank anything on the scoreboards when you’re at the top level.
You got to pop 100 in a row.
Yes and then have what they call Shootoff like playoffs. You shoot sometimes another 25, 50 or 100 more. If you have a big championship where they had thousands of people, you’d have to go sometimes 200 to 300 in a row.
Were you a champion at this?
I didn’t ever did 300 in a row. Let’s stop there. I was a state champion in California and it was not a national deal but my intention was to go to the Olympics. In those days, we had amateur and professional. I was winning so muchand I’m going, “I need to make that money. I want to make the cash.” I gave in, took the cash and gave up my amateur sense.
Do you ever regret that or do you say, “Screw it, I made enough money, I’m good?”
I think I made the right move for the time. If you think about the twists and turns and the forks in the road, It could have gone this way. I’ve been fortunate.
Do you ever skied and shoot anymore?
Hardly ever unless I can win, I don’t like playing.
It’s a very common trait among successful people.
I don’t like mediocrity. It’s hard unless I get back and do 1000%. It’s a funny question.
Let’s go to eighteen, you do this Jim Rohn and I was the same way. Personal development, complete nerd, can’t listen to enough at all and I have them all. Talk to us a little bit about, in seven years, you become the President of Jim Rohn’s company. Number 1) I want you to tell me, how do you define attitude? Number 2) Tell me about those seven years on how you stood at the bridge as a new guy and then became president after seven years? Define attitude and then walk us through that journey some of the big attitude lessons there.
I think I got some of this and I’m not sure if it’s exactly what he said but my takeaway from it was attitude is the filter through which all of life happens. All things good and all things bad are all the time present. If you watch the news and focus on that, you’re going to go, “The world is a disastrous place.” If you focus on the right stuff and get around the right people, you go, “The world is an awesome place.” To me, attitude is about how we see the world and allow ourselves to filter through which everything comes and helps us to make the choices about what we believe. At an ultimate level, It becomes our beliefs.
I’ll rephrase my question because this will be better. Number) I want to know the lowest point in those seven years you had with Jim Rohn and then number2) I want to know the highest point in those. That way, you don’t have to tell me the story because I may ask you that later. The lowest point, highest point and getting to where you were going.
The lowest point is absolutely right off the bat. I’m in straight commission and I sold nothing. If I sold anything, I sold all the guns, gold and things that I had bought when I was making big bucks as a professional trapshooter. I sold everything to stay in the game. I remember my mom calling me going, “You should get a job.” I remember even a time and I discussed this, I’ve had her in audiences and said this out loud. I remember saying to her, “I can’t be around you now because I have to keep my own attitude up. I can’t be around and hold mine and yours up. Now, I’m out.” It was a little bit of time before I started getting my feet underneath me and started to see what was going on.
I don’t know if you know this or not but during that same time, big gawky kid came along and worked for Jim too. His name was Tony Robbins. We were there in those early days. We were both flailing and failing but we had such an interesting group and I saw that there was a success in there. Even though I was not there, I knew that was what I wanted and saw where I was going. There was a part where I was around all these players. The Founder of Verbal Life came out of there. There were some big players that came out of our core and it was cool to be around them. I began to see a path and learn from each experience and each person. It was awesome to be in that environment. I know that being around winners and people that have that attitude is a big piece of success. It’s hard to be the only one with a great attitude.
You’re running around a bunch of people that are pulling you down. The crabs in the bucket, as we like to call them. I was around a bunch of winners and we had a chance to start growing. That was the beginning of it and it was hard. I’m telling you, I didn’t need my mom to tell me to quit because I was thinking about quitting. I won’t say daily. I’m sure it was not that because we had some wins but I would say monthly I was going, “Is this what I should be doing?” I kept seeing a longer picture. I kept thinking, “I want to do that. I want to be him. I want to be like that.” We got to hang up around with Rohn after all the seminars and all that stuff. It began to formulate not only a relationship but also a greater deeper understanding of personal development. I’m reading more books and beginning to evolve. I took a speed reading course. I was devouring books, which was a large part of my growth. At a young age, a lot of it was other people’s experiences but I didn’t have them. What I know about is stuff.
Tony is crushing things. Did he leave before you became the president? Did you know he was maybe special? What was your gut instinct on him? What was his attitude back then?
He was undefeatable. He was a bit of a renegade. You can imagine that I’m sure knowing him as you probably do. He thought big and went big. for that reason, he flopped hugely. He’s tall so when he falls, he falls big. He was always determined. Somewhere, I found a picture of him and me training a group when I was 21 and he was 20, something close to that. I think his departure was very similar to the time when I moved into that role because I do remember him calling and going, “I want you to come and take my firewalk.”
I remember Rohn and I glance at each other going, “Firewalking. Really, Tony?” “I’m busy that day. I got to do my hair or something. I got laundry to do. I can’t come and walk on fire.” We chuckled at the whole thing until it began to get a lot of publicity and the rest is history, as they say. He’s incredibly well and still a good friend of mine. In fact, we got him booked to speak for an event of ours and all that stuff.
You used to go around and sell tickets for Jim Rohn seminars, correct?
This is just because I’m a nerd. Do you remember like, “Ladies and gentlemen, I want to let you know that these tickets used to be $999?” Did you do anything like that? Was there any canned stuff that can come back to you? I’d just love to know.
Tweet: You are enough, and you can do it.
First of all, it was $35. $35 in 1976 is $200 or whatever by now.
You’re selling $35 tickets to Jim Rohn seminars, holy crap.
The funny part is we had an 8-millimeter projector that we would carry. We had to do the intro, remember your name, remember me enough to introduce and then go watch Jim. You pushed the button, it went for fifteen minutes and then we had the close. You’re ever thinking about the things you’re not getting accomplished. I went after the pain points and then whatever it was. We’re doing it at the South Coast Plaza and you could come and join us for only $35. It wasn’t that but it was something like that. It was a simple deal.
You used to go from market-to-market. Would you go stay in crappy hotels?
We didn’t do that. I did that in my other company. In my next company, we did the same thing. We had travelers staying in hotels and all that. I lived in Orange in LA County and was able to stay in Southern California my whole life.
You’ve been surrounded by lots of excellent people and there are lots to learn from people who are excellent but there’s also lots to learn from people that aren’t excellent that maybe are hurting and have had a financial reversal. I’d love to know what did you learn from failure? The second thing I’d like to know is who have you worked within your life where you went, “That person is hurting,” then it all turned around for them? Who’s the greatest example of a positive attitude for you that’s been a success? We may or may not know them but what I’m looking for as a story of a turnaround for our GAPers, where they go, “I’ll never forget, Don told me about somebody that was in the shitter and now they’re killing it.” I’m sure you know plenty.
I’m trying to think of some of the best stories. We did have a lot of people that did turnarounds. I ended up spending a lot of my time in the real estate space. In that world, people that were struggling at many years and finally turned around. One of them is a remarkable story. I talked to him. His name is Jay Cannone. He came to me when he was struggling. It was a lot of kids living in a 1,100-square-foot home for all his life. He’s working his butt off in real estate. His dad was in real estate and always thought he should be there. He also thought he should be a success.
The reality was he was not knocking out of the park. He was getting his butt kicked. He came to one of our programs. One of the things that happened is he invested heavily in what he didn’t have. He started running up credit cards and he was like, “I believe.” I remember one night he called me and he goes, “I’m starving. I don’t know how I’m going to pay any bills. I don’t know how I’m going to do any of this stuff.” I said, “Honestly, Jay, you’ve come this far. I know you’re on a great path. I’m telling you to stay the course, do what you’re doing, keep working on what you’re doing and watch what happens.”
Two months later, he calls me and he goes, “You got to call me. This call is not like those other ones. This is a different call.” He said that the faucet opened. He’s listing and it went crazy. He hits this thing and it explodes. The funny story is he goes from 1,100 square feet with all his kids. Three years later, he buys a 9,000 square foot home. When he calls me, he goes, “You got to see this. Do you know the fountain in front of Caesar’s Palace? Mine is bigger.”
Was he a student of yours?
Yes. It’s a fun ending to that story too because he was a friend and we kept in touch for all these years. One of the things that he did is he wanted to meet Jim Rohn. When Jim was doing what we assumed would be his final public program in Phoenix, Arizona, I said, “Jay, fly out and bring your wife.” We went down and I introduced them. They got to meet. He was a huge Rohn fan. He’s a little bit as you were saying. That’s the story.
Tweet: Keep being humble and make smart moves.
What is the difference between success and failure for most people?
Attitude is a major function. Skills come and go. You can be great. I know people with lacking skills that kill it and with awesome skills that are not making it. The biggest difference is going to be the attitude. Honestly, that’s not because it’s your show. I’m telling you that in the end, that’s exactly what it is. The biggest thing that I saw with people like Jay is a lot of it had to do with their own internal beliefs. We still deal with this all the time in our training, programs and success. It becomes the inner. When they believe it on the inside and they start changing on the inside, the outer results have to change. They do.
First is an internal job then an external job. Rohn said, “Work harder on yourself than you do on your job.” Most of us are working harder and harder on our work. We put in a few more hours but do another thing or two. Nothing wrong with that because perseverance and hard work pay off. If you still don’t believe inside, it doesn’t matter. When it pops for you, you get luckier when you put yourself in the right mindset.
Attitude Booster number eight, love adversity. We all know that adversity is the mother of perseverance. We cannot become perseveres unless we love adversity, which we talk about and we did four shows on. How does somebody change their insides? Somebody that’s struggling now that is reading. What’s your advice to them when they’re going, “Don, that’s great. I need to change the way I think inside? How the hell do I do that?” Tell me some of the ways that you found other people have done it or maybe yourself.
A number of things that I will tell you. Reading influences of those around you. Nowadays, we got shows like yours. We have shows, podcasts and YouTube. We have much content that we can absorb and people don’t watch. If you want it now, it’s simple. You have to go find a guru and somebody that was going to be in your life. They’re all around. Even the followers of gurus or 3, 5 and 10 generations down, they’ve got something to say that we need to hear if we’re in that place. I think that we’ve got to read. We were talking about this little teeny book. It was probably that big and it was called As a Man Thinketh. Do you remember that book? Have you ever seen that?
I have it in my library.
It’s a little teeny book. You could read it in 30 minutes, even if you’re a slow reader. I used to carry that in my red jacket pocket and put it in my coat pocket. I pulled that sucker out and it was like the Bible. People said, “Open it up and there’s a magic message that has to do with exactly what I’m going through with.” I found that that was true so much of the time. That was my little book for keeping on track. Glenn, let’s face it, Think and Growing Rich is one the founding, nothing better.
Tweet: Remember why you’re here. Then, focus on your game and win.
It’s a little tough to read. I love your caveat on As A Man Thinketh. Who wrote that? Was it Swift?
James Allen. It’s the sweetest little book ever. Honestly, it was about reading. One of the things that Rohn said was, “It’s about the people you’re around and the influences of the people you’re around.” We’ve heard it many times. Your income is going to be the average of the five people you’re hanging around most of the time. There’s a lot of cliches but the reality is to look at it. I told you we were living in Puerto Rico. Part of that is you look around and go, “Look at who we’re around here.” The expectations begin to grow because we’re around people that are playing at a big level but at a bigger level. That’s what it comes down to. How do we get around the people? If you’re not around the people, you’re going to go by the book by the people. You’re going to go read the blog by the people that are doing this.
I need to get your whole neighborhood on my blog. It’s all said and done. There was an old rumor, did Jim Rohn like to have a scotch every now and then after he spoke? I had heard that before. He couldn’t have been a big drinker as successfully was but they said, “He used to like to have it.”
I never knew him to have a scotch. He usually had a Grand Marnier, Cognac or something in that range. He was my smoking cigars or whatever. That’s what we used to do together.
You used to smoke cigars. No kidding.
Not all the time. In moderation. I don’t make it a habit.
Tell me what it was like or what was the attitude when your real estate training company went freaking berserk like a million realtors. Hobbs/Herder and you were producing Tony Robbins content if I remember. Is that right or not? Who were some of the big wigs that you did? Tell me about that whole experience. You guys were crushing it.
First an accident then the old thing about preparation meeting opportunity. When I left Rohn, I left under a tough time because I didn’t want to leave Jim at all. He married a woman who I didn’t care for. We’ve healed since then but he married the girl. He would come back to the office the next day and go, “I’ve been thinking about the decision we made. I have been thinking we should do it.” I’d be like, “You’re not thinking. It’s somebody else thinking.” I couldn’t get through that and honestly, I didn’t even know how to deal with it. Communications-wise, I resigned and then I was off trying to figure out, “What the heck am I going to do now that I don’t have a job? I don’t have a thing that I love doing and all that.”
A partner and I got together and we started a company. We were looking for something that was like, “What are we going to talk about that isn’t Zig, Rohn, Nightingales and all our heroes? How do we have an original thought?” We started down a path with some unoriginal stuff that we put together. The part that makes it original is the way you frame things. That was good but we had a piece on personal branding and personal marketing. In real estate, that was unheard of. People were joining Century 21 to wear a gold coat. They were wearing a joining ER agent. They were a powder blue, a polyester piece of horrible clothing.
They were going with the company brand and we came along and said, “If they don’t call you directly, they don’t ask for you and you’re with the number one company in the world, you’re still broke.” We started down that path and people started to like, “That’s it.” We kept growing that. Part of it was we locked into it then secondarily, we saw it. We saw what the trend was happening and the explosion and put everything into that. We built an ad agency that was going to do personal marketing and personal branding for all those people. We were doing 15,000 to 20,000 campaigns a year for individual realtors and having 50,000 people and more a year going through our programs.
We charged outrageous money by considering what was normal in the industry. We were outrageous in our prices and people heard we were good that they had to come. We walked into that one and it turned out great. It was phenomenal. We didn’t expect it. We knew a lot of the big speakers. I remember telling my partner one day, I said, “If I ever get that ego attitude, slug me. Pop me in the face and remind me that I’m just a guy.” We managed to keep most of the humility and did pretty well during that time. It was fun. It was like being a junior rockstar.
Tweet: Remember who you really are. The hard part is we get lost in what’s happening and think that’s who we are.
Tony Robbins said to me several years back because he’s in a different place now but at that time, he said, “I’ve got the right amount of fame. I can go into a restaurant, eat and I don’t get bugged by everybody like an actor might but it’s nice to have some fame.” I think we were in that place where we had enough. I could be in Europe and somebody would walk up and say, “I went to your program back then and I didn’t have to live under the rest of people bugging me forever.” It was great.
As I entered into the real estate business at eighteen, the Mike Ferry’s Superstar Retreats, Howard Brenton and all those guys, I hope you’re okay with me saying this but you guys were the fathers of personal freaking branding. I bought my company when I was 23. When I was 22, personal branding and personal videos were big. I found one of my old VCR cassettes with me on video, “Hi, this is Glenn.” That’s a big deal. Personal branding is still happening. Do you see personal branding continuing to be the driver or is there something now that’s changing things like social media and celebrity? I’m a big believer. What I try to do is make agents famous. I teach agents how to become famous in their markets so Celebrities a big one. Is there anything like that or any tweak of what you were doing?
It’s the same thing. I could do the same program. The difference is the methods. The medium has changed. We’ve gotten more opportunities. It’s still the brand called you. You’re asking a great question because if you’ve got readers who are building a small business or whatever in social media and they go, “You got to be personal. You got to show your heart.” We were like, “We were saying that in ‘86. It was always about. ‘Let me tell you how great I am or let me tell you who I am.”” When you tell them who you are and they go, “I like him or her. I like their style. I like what they stand for. The life messages and all that stuff.”
That’s when people bond and now it spreads faster because of social media. We’ve got more methodology for that viral stuff to happen. I was laughing. I may have said this to you even. Social media back in the day was, “We went to Cleveland, spoke for 500 people and told them to tell a lot of people that they liked us.” That was social media. There was nothing. Now, we’ve got the ability to use those personal marketing skills, tell a story and make the connection on a human level. That’s where people bond and become your followers. I didn’t mean that in a bad sense but they’re your followers because they love who you are, what you expose, how they know you and the heart that you have.
That’s called shared values. It’s all about creating that shared value between you and a prospect. The whole other thing that I love to discuss is you can build a real estate business nowadays for free. Why do people pay any more? Why do they even pay to do the real estate businesses beyond me? All you realtors that read this, go to the Source of Sales I’ve been doing. I don’t know if you’ve seen that. I know you joined, thank you but I do. How to build your business for free every day? Stop paying people because the times here were unreal.
The video is big in those VHS. Now, we can pop a quick YouTube or shoot a quick live and we’re off to the races.
Don, what I’d love to know is what was the biggest sale, the funniest sale or the biggest presentation you’ve ever done?
I’ll tell you one that I think you’ll like a lot on the funniest side and that was a guy who I’m still friends with. He was vice-president of a big real estate company way back in the day. This is the Jim Rohn era. I walked in to sell him a program and I had never received a check this large because it was going to be like a $1,000 check. I never had gotten that. All my checks were $35 and I was about to get a $1,000 check. I walked into Steve’s office. We had a conversation. He goes, “I want to think about it.” I said, “Do you need help making a decision?” He said, “I could use some help.” I reached into his briefcase, which was sitting open on his desk. I pulled his checkbook out, sat it in front of him and said, “Write the check.” He wrote the check. We have been friends. I’ve spoken to his companies. I can’t even tell you how many times. It was like 20 or 30 times through the years. We’re long-time friends.
He probably loves telling that story.
For it was like, “It worked.” It was crazy. The biggest presentation was speaking for conventions, 10,000, 11,000, 12,000 people. When you hear ladies and gentlemen, you hear yourself and you’re seeing yourself on the big screen. That’s always fun. That stuff pumps me up. We have a lot of fun with things like that.
Hopefully, we can get you back on the stage. I wanted to touch on everything that you had done. I know we’re running short on time. I want to know your thoughts on the challenge that is set before you? Becoming the President of SUCCESS Magazine, SUCCESS Enterprises, what’s your attitude with that? What’s that indelible change that you want to use with that medium, all those followers and subscribers?
We’re fortunate we have a lot of subscribers. We have a whole bunch of social media followers and Jim Rohn is part of that. All these years later, the company ends up buying Jim Rohn’s library when he’s getting sick and preparing to pass in Kyle Wilson. He sold the library to SUCCESS. Now, we’ve got that. I go from starting my career to finishing my career but it is unbelievable. People don’t know this. It’s a 123-year-old publication. It’s the biggest names in the personal development field. It was not called personal development when it was almost mystical, weird thought or new thought. All those words that were used, that’s what was going on with SUCCESS. We’re excited about the SUCCESS.com brand. That’s not a bad domain to have. It’s a pretty good one.
Tweet: You’re way bigger than you know.
What I think is that we need to honor the tradition of this publication because it has changed lives. Anybody I talk to like you and me, any of us of that era, they’re all like, “I’ve been reading that for years. I still subscribed. It was part of my early-day reading.” Every month, I guarantee, Tony Robbins and I were reading that book, magazine and talking about the articles. For me, it’s like coming home and there’s a huge responsibility that I feel but I also see the opportunity because we have so much that we can give from the resources. We’re building a coaching company and so many new courses. We’ve got a lot of things. I can’t spill the beans on all of it but there’s some cool stuff coming that nobody will see coming. That would not have been natural in mind and yet it will be such a great way of holding this brand up and letting people be part of this historic and awesome brand. We’re excited about it.
I can’t help but think God has a touch on this, considering the life you’ve had, the people you’ve touched and the audiences you’ve spoken to, you are now the captain of this ship. As a subscriber, a reader and a listener, I’m thrilled that you’re at the helm and I’m excited to see what you do. GAPers, if you are not subscribed to SUCCESS Magazine, you need to get on this. If you want to change your attitude, you want to get from who you are to who you want to become from where you are to where you want to be, I’m telling you SUCCESS will do it.
I want to say one thing, Glenn. There’s another Glenn in my world and his name is Glenn Sanford. He was the one who made this thing happen. He’s the one that saw the vision for SUCCESS and brought me to it and said, “Let’s put these two things together.” I want to acknowledge that because if it wasn’t for that, there would not be this opportunity. I’m enlightened by it that I wanted to get that acknowledgment.
Glenn was fabulous. We talked about innovating and influencing with him. I did more of a history angle with you. Why don’t you give me a quick sentence, if you can? What does it mean to be an innovator to you?
If you look at Glenn, you will say he’s out of the box. In fact, he’s so far in the box. You can’t even find the box. The box is over there and he’s over here. Innovation is about thinking about what hasn’t been done. I always ask the question, first of all, who do you have to be to achieve what you want? The second part is, how would you beat yourself at your own game? How would you beat you no matter how good you are? How would you beat you? That conversation leads to innovation. It leads to, “Here’s what I would do differently than what’s been done already.” In real estate, the best people for a long time, if you didn’t know there were buyers and sellers and somebody said, “Why do these people want to buy and some people want to sell?” What would it look like if you were to build a business from scratch? It would look different than it does. Innovation sometimes is trying to get a fresh picture of what it is you do and not following along the path that’s been done for years.
That’s defined by a lifetime innovator for Season Two of the Get Attitude Podcast, which is all about influencing and innovating. I want to do knowledge through the decades. Do you have five minutes for me?
I talked to you a little bit about this. This is our trademark here on the show, where we walk you through your life to learn the attitude lesson. Some of our guests are eccentric enough to believe they remember the day they were born. What we want to do is walk you through your life and get the attitude lessons at certain benchmarks, which are the decades. Whether you remember or not, I’d love to know the attitude lesson that is there when you think of birth or childbirth.
New beginnings, fresh everything, start from scratch and by the way, we get a chance to be rebirth every single day.
That’s a profound thought. GAPers, grab onto that one. Every time you open your eyes, it’s a new day. It’s a new birth. To truly feel like you were born again every day. Don, that’s good. Nobody’s gotten there. I want you to think about yourself when you were ten years old. That would have put you in 3rd or 4th grade. I’d love to know if you remember your teachers, your schools or whatever. What do you remember about being ten? What was the attitude lesson that you learned?
I was a great student. I loved being a brown-noser to the teachers. I knew that if they liked me, that would make it much easier.
Sales guy, there you go. Who needs Myers-Briggs?
Frankly, that’s funny because I used to win all the chocolate selling contests and all that stuff at that age. I swear to God. It’s funny. That was a little bit of a tough time, however. My parents were divorcing in that range. That was a messy time. My dad was a tough character. He had a real rage challenge. It wasn’t an easy part of my life during that time but I remember special times about it and mostly around teachers.
The power of an influencer to you, how about that coming out? That’s great. Do you have siblings?
I don’t. Only child.
Now you’re twenty years old. You’re not in college and you’re sitting there, rocking it with Jim Rohn. I can only imagine you have 100 of them. What’s the attitude lesson at twenty that hits you over the head?
Between 20 and 21 that year, I made $100,000. Everybody always went, “I want to make six figures.” Even now, “I want to make six figures.” I’m like, “It’s not worth anything anymore.” It is for sure. I made $100,000 that year and I remember Rohn saying to me, “Great job, Donald.” He always called me by my full name. He said, “Now figure out how to do it in half the time.” What I learned at that moment was the value of time. If I hadn’t already discovered how important time was, the biggest difference between the most successful and the average is the way they use their time. If you can figure out how to do something once, you can compress that into less. Once you’ve done it and you know how to do it, do it faster. It goes for everything.
As Tony says at the many UPW, I’ve been to, “Is it possible to make ten times the money in the same amount of time?” It’s so powerful and the key to getting rich at least financially. Let’s talk about 30. Now you’ve left Rohn. You’re 30. What were you doing at 30? I think you were Hobbs/Herder then. What were your attitude lessons at 30? Do you remember your 30th birthday?
Isn’t that crazy? Nobody does.
I was on a Big Cycle at that time. Probably that era, I don’t know about that year but that era would have been largely about figuring out how to keep growing. I’ll give you my hindsight lesson and that would be to keep growing, to keep up with the financial growth. Rohn used to have this line about if it grows out and expands and you don’t grow up to be where it is, it will come back where you are. That was a time when I was feeling that. There was an element of expansion, retraction and contraction. It was a lot of, “I’m not big enough. I’m not good enough. I’m not enough to do this and allow the success to happen.” For me, that was a lot of the learning around that time.
That is life-changing. What you’re saying is for real estate agents and loan originators especially during this time. I closed $800,000. I think what you were saying is that you have to grow as a $1.6 million person in order to take that $800,000 to $1.6 million. Is that what you’re saying?
You got to grow to keep becoming the person that would earn that money. In large part, there is a part of that, which is the inner beliefs that you’re having to take the layers of the onion and peel back to get to the core of how great you are. We are created by God to be amazing and then we start believing stuff that we’ve been told to keep allowing ourselves to achieve more and earn more than our parents. Whatever those beliefs are, those we hold ourselves.
I was at an Open House Sunday down in Florida and the agent looked at me. He goes, “I almost feel bad considering how bad everybody is doing there in Southwest Florida.” He’s like, “I almost want to apologize to these people.” I’m going, “Ooh.” Chances are, half of those people are going to pull back. Let’s go to age 40.
I’m rocking and rolling. Keep your sanity and humility for sure. I want to say the peak but we were darn close to a peak of that era for me. It was about keeping humble and not letting our heads get big. Making smart moves, not like the brash bold. Don’t you know who I am? I’m invincible. We did have those thoughts.
I’m sure that it’s natural. What’s the number one lesson on “humility”? Give us something, Don. I know you got it in you that we can take about being humble.
Come from service instead of coming from the ego. Come from a place of giving instead of from a place of taking and come from a place of remembering why you’re here? Why I was here to give and help people change their world? To influence not to collect and not to be a taker.
Joe Reitz was a professional football player we interviewed. He said, “I had coaches that were transformational and I had coaches that were transactional.” That was his answer. He said, “I always try to be a transformational person.” The big 50 hits. Do you remember your 50th birthday party? Did it mean anything to you? What’s the attitude lesson at 50?
It did and it was a time that I had, in essence, stepped out and retired. I had come to a place where I wanted to get off that treadmill and take a couple of days to think. It was powerful and hard. There’s the question, Glenn. Who are you when you don’t have this? Who are you when you don’t have the success adornments and everybody going, “You’re awesome. You rock?” Who are you when that’s not happening? I was dealing with a lot of the internal like, “Who am I going to be when I now grow up?” That was happening at 50. That was the stage I was in.
You never stop growing but certainly, our GAPers fight through the same thing. Who am I at our next step? We have people that are reading that are involved in personal reversals, financial reversals and emotional reversals. It’s constant reinvention and redefinition of who you are. Are you 60 yet?
I am. I want to say one thing because you talked about the GAPers that are making their comebacks and doing great work now to make that happen. I lost a ton. I lost a lot of my financial wealth during that next little gap right after that time. It was a challenging time to think. I thought I was done and all this stuff was going to be easy and it was not. Having to dust myself off and then even more than that to get back into performance, not performance like a stage performance but get back into gear. When I started going down, it was almost like, “My gosh.” I started coming from a place of fear instead of from a place of certainty, which is where I live my whole life. It took a number of years to get back out of that and it wasn’t until my mid-50. We climbed back into some fun stuff. Here we are in Puerto Rico, enjoying a different life and have a successful real estate business. We have a lot of things. I’ve got the love of my life upstairs and two puppies. one of which you’ve heard clearly.
She made the first dog appearance on the GAP. I love it.
We flew him all over first class and it was anything but first class but we love our little family here. We’ve got friends. It’s been a big life and it’s all been remarkable. That’s happened in the last several years.
The attitude lesson at 60. Your message of hope for our GAPers who are reading from the great Don Hobbs. This guy has been around, guys. Tell us your outlook, not only your life but the life of the people that live that are reading this blog that is saying, “This guy might’ve closed the gap for me.” What’s the message of hope for them?
This is my message at the end of almost every one of my talks. Remember who you really are. The hard part is we get lost in what’s happening and think that’s who we are. By the way, success or failure, either one. We think this is who I am in success and failure. These are not who we are and at a core level, heart and soul. We were made in God’s image and likeness. We’ve given such great gifts in life. We’ve been given such an amazing thing. We lose sight of that. Getting lost in stupid little things and judging ourselves against other people. I’ll tell you that was one of the biggest for me with judging myself against my self previous. Beating myself up over the stupidity of certain moves that I made and then also comparing myself to others. It’s tough.
One of the challenges with social media is if you look at the lives that are all shown there, which is the best of film real and you compare yourself to that, generally speaking, you will feel less than if you’re inclined at all that way. I would say, remember who you are. I promise you’re way bigger than you know
Don Hobbs, I want to thank you for giving us a killer show. I think your message of be true to yourself. I want to know, is there a question you can ask yourself besides who am I? We all know the quality of our life is determined by the quality of questions we ask ourselves. Do you have certain questions that you ask yourself that make a difference?
What more can I do with this situation if it’s a tough one? What’s possible in this moment? What can I do? What can’t I do because a lot of people get lost. Even now with masses, virus and stuff. It’s a lot of, “I can’t.” We went through an election and I made a big point of this coming into it. I said, “I’m not going to take sides.” I’m not trying to be political here. I’m just saying we have survived 246 years of presidents. We have been with Democrats and Republicans. We’ve been through every possible socio-economic cycle. I’m telling you what goes on out there has nothing to do with your choices about yourself and what you will do for yourself, your family and the people that were most important to you. It’s absolutely nothing.
There is the world and there is your world. I suggest everybody start working on their world. I suggest everybody go follow Don Hobbs on social media, get to his website. If you’re looking for a keynote speaker, I’m sure you still will keynote whenever things come up. I’ve heard him speak. I had to speak after him. It was always a little intimidating when you get an old legend in front of you but hopefully, I pulled it off. Follow Don, look at his stuff, consume his content and I promise you, your attitude will improve. Don Hobbs, it was great having you on the GAP for Season Two. May God bless you and much luck with SUCCESS Enterprise or SUCCESS Magazine. I know you’re going to do great.
Thank you. Appreciate it. Keep doing your good work.
I will. Don’t you worry. See you.
- Hobbs/Herder Advertising
- O.U.L. Institute
- SUCCESS Magazine
- Jay Cannone – LinkedIn
- As a Man Thinketh
- Think and Growing Rich
- Source of Sales
- Glenn Sanford
- Joe Reitz – past episode
About Don Hobbs
Realtor Magazine’s “Top 25 Most Influential People in Real Estate”
President of Motivational Mega-Star, Jim Rohn Productions
Co-founder of Hobbs Herder Advertising, pioneer of Realtor® branding (a massive industry disruptor)
Influencer to more than 1 MILLION Realtors…..and counting!
★ Extraordinary trainer and keynote speaker ★ Leader in human and business development ★ Touching people, one life at a time.
Don was the co-founder of MAPS Business Training, with Gary Keller (founder of Keller Williams Realty International), MAPS focuses on success through business models and systems.
Sometimes, the hardest thing to do is to take an idea or concept for a business and develop it into a real business. While it is easy to mistake doing some business with owning a business, going from “I” do it, to “They do it” is a process requiring the right models and systems to go big.
Long-time sales and business executive with extensive leadership skills on the sales and operations side, Don began a successful sales and leadership career when he was just 18 years old, with personal development guru, Jim Rohn. In 1986, Don co-founded, Hobbs/Herder Advertising, with partner, Greg Herder, and helped grow the company from infancy to a $20+ million powerhouse in the real estate marketing and training space. He has owned several companies, including Hobbs Herder Marketing Systems in Tulsa, OK, famous for its RECAMP program which revolutionized marketing in the Mortgage and Insurance industries, as well as served on several Boards of Directors.
Don enjoys tennis, golf, traveling and flyfishing the world, and lives in Austin, TX.
Many great books which have shaped my life. Here are a few: The ONE Thing – Keller & Papasan, Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill, Positioning – Trout & Ries, Getting to the Heart – Athene Raefiel, The Traveler’s Gift – Andy Andrews.