Travis Johnson is a Navy guy, and he's going to probably look funny at me when he finds out I turned down an appointment to the Naval Academy. He's got the Nonprofit Architect Podcast. Shares his perspectives as the former vice president of books by vets, and he's a board member at the Shine Foundation. He's a volunteer with 1300 plus hours of volunteering. He's really paying it back and paying it forward, and he's helped raise more than a half a million dollars.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 486
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See Tom's Stuff – https://linktr.ee/antionandassociates[04:43] Tom's introduction to Travis Johnson [09:03] Helping out organizations as he was helped [12:38] Working with non-profits [20:17] How to partner with other non-profits [25:00] Using podcasting as a tool [31:11] Sponsor message [33:13] A typical day for Travis and how he stays motivated
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Episode 486 – Travis Johnson
[00:00:08] Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.
[00:00:24] Hey everybody, it's Tom here with episode four hundred and eighty six of Screw the Commute podcast. We are in that proner month here at Screw the Commute every September. We really honor our veterans and military folks because I couldn't be doing this and you couldn't be probably doing what you're doing if it wasn't for them keeping us safe. And we really want to thank and highlight those great people that are doing great things in the world. And we got one here today. We've got Travis Johnson. He had I would I don't want to laugh about it, but I would say a rough childhood. And and I mean, rough 36 moves before graduating high school at 17 years old in six states, five foster homes. And listen to this surviving two murder attempts, one from his mother and one from his sister. And only way I can make any sense of that is that that lady, when she tells you to clean your room, you better clean your room. Don't know. You're going to tell us what happened there. Jesus, what a thing. And it turned out to be so wonderful and helping so many great people that are doing great things to help people. It's crazy. So I don't know how he got the intestinal fortitude for that, but we sure going to hear about it.
[00:01:44] All right. If you'd like to get big affiliate commissions for me, just email me at Tom@screwthecommute.com and we can get you into our affiliate program and you can make anywhere from eight dollars and fifty cents that you can blow at Starbucks to in excess of 5000 for a one speaking engagement. So and everything in between. So you can make real good money from referring our stuff and we never get refunds because we take care of our customers. So so give me an email at Tom@screwthecommute.com. Pick up a copy of our automation e-book. This e-book is allowed me are the techniques in the e-book has allowed me to handle up to one hundred and fifty thousand subscribers and sixty five thousand customers without pulling my hair out. And just one of the tips we actually estimated a couple of years ago has saved me seven and a half million keystrokes, definitely saved me carpal tunnel syndrome. So grab a copy of that at screwthecommute.com/automatefree. And also pick up a copy of our podcast app at screwthecommute.com/app. And you can put it on your cell phone and tablet. Take us with you on the road.
[00:02:58] We got in click. You know, a lot of people give you an app and then you got to try to figure it out. Well, we have complete videos and screen capture to show you how to use it. Now, I usually tell you about my school now, but I've got something way, way bigger going on. We're doing a pilot program to help persons with disabilities not only get trained in a highly in demand skill, which is Internet and digital marketing from home, so they don't have to travel to getting them hired and or start their own business or both. So I really want your help with this. You know, I've raised a lot of money for dogs and homeless children and all kinds of things. And as I look back, I'm really proud of those things. But they kind of look and, you know, it's kind of like a Band-Aid that, you know, what happens to those five hundred kids after a year that I fed them? And what happens then? You know, so so in this case, I want to change somebody's life forever before I kick the bucket on this earth. And and the the idea is we're going to help five people get hired or start their own business. And we're also going to use some of the money to hire persons with disabilities to run the program. And then I'm going to roll it out really big.
[00:04:13] I'm going I took a grant writing course. I'm going to go try to find big money to help lots of people. And then that's going to be one of my legacy projects for the world. So if you can help out, that'd be great. Check it out. IMTCVA.org/disabilities. Click on the Go Fund Me campaign. Anything you kick in is great. And if you're really flush with cash, you can sponsor a person yourself. So just get in touch with me about that. So that's the story and I'm sticking to it.
[00:04:44] All right, let's get to the main event. Travis Johnson is here. He's a Navy guy, and he's going to probably look funny at me when he finds out I turned down an appointment to the Naval Academy. Oh, yeah, I did. I couldn't. I saw those guys jogging to class. I thought I can't do it. So anyway, he's got the nonprofit architect podcast. Shares his perspectives as the former vice president of books by vets, and he's a board member at the Shine Foundation and benefactor of 20000 bucks, I guess, of his own money. He's a volunteer with 1300 plus hours of volunteering. He's really paying it back and paying it forward, and he's helped raise more than a half a million dollars. So, Travis. Are you ready to screw? The commute?
[00:05:36] Absolutely, Tom. Thanks for having me on the show today.
[00:05:38] Oh, it's my pleasure, man. Boy had a little bit rough in the beginning there, huh?
[00:05:45] You know, I kind of feel bad for all the disadvantaged people out there that had smooth sailing childhoods, they didn't know how to build any perseverance, fortitude or dedication growing up without all the problems that I had. So really story out there. Have you had a great childhood? You're throwing a leg behind. And I really do apologize for that.
[00:06:03] You know how true that is, because so many people, you just say boo to them and they like collapse like somebody just stabbed him in the eye. And yeah, I I'm not a parent, but I see a lot of this stuff going on. I kind of act as a reporter. And these, you know, these kids nowadays, any kind of pressure, they just fall. They turn to drugs, alcohol, gangs and cry and cry and and safe spaces. And I wouldn't wish your extreme version on anybody, but you can make it put some pressure on kids. I think it's going to help him in the long run.
[00:06:38] Oh, absolutely. And really, when you're in this kind of situations like I had growing up, it really helps you to stay a little bit objective and kind of defer or deflect some of these terrible circumstances just for a few moments to give you that chance to really see what's going on instead of just really experiencing what's going on, you see. You can look at my childhood and see the terrible things that happened. And here's the deal. When you have some kind of trauma like that or experience like that, it's not your fault. But here's the deal. It is your responsibility to get healing and take action and move forward in your life regardless of what happened to you. We can keep pointing the fingers at other people and the pending on where you are in the political spectrum. You point them at different kinds of people. But I know without a doubt that it's really hard to get the whole rest of the world to go to therapy to fix your problem. So take care of your personal healing and take responsibility and move forward.
[00:07:36] Jeez. Now, I can't imagine I can't keep blaming my mother for me being an overeater.
[00:07:43] I don't think you can. I don't know how it's going to help you. You certainly can.
[00:07:46] But so. Wow. Yeah. So so I understand that. I mean, something was over, you know, looking over you some kind of force or power because you were like like one year away from having a felony conviction. Was that that true?
[00:08:04] Yeah, there is. You know, when you go through these type of events and you're trying to figure out where your place is in the world and you end up getting angry and blaming either yourself or the people around you, trying to figure out your way in this world and, you know, made some poor decisions. Fortunately for me, my conviction for my bad behavior when I was younger was about four months before it can really, really hurt me, which was very thankful for the timing on that. And then based on the good I've done in service, I provided this nation, I've gone back to court to get that removed from my record. But just so fortunate that the timing worked out to where it didn't hurt me for life. Now, the same type of offence committed by other people, this is going to be a lifetime requirement, regardless of what degree of terribleness that you committed. This thing is going to stick around with you for the rest of time. So fortunate to have this happen in my life, in my world before it became a lifetime requirement.
[00:09:03] Exactly. And so how coming from that kind of background, how what mechanism? It's just hard to imagine what mechanism could help turn it around so starkly. In your case where you decided to help out organizations that there were so many that helped you as you were bounced around all over the place?
[00:09:24] Oh, yeah, absolutely. When I got to the end of my high school career trying to figure out what my life was going to be looking like. And for me, it was my faith, the opportunity the Navy provided me and my girlfriend at the time, which is now my wife, who you get to meet during the little pre interview, warm up phase. You know, all three of those, they didn't care who I was or what happened. They just cared about what I was and who I become moving forward. So, you know, not having the best grades in high school, obviously, with a lot going on, it's really hard to focus on school. I didn't have the best grades. And because of the behavior of the family mother having bipolar disorder, every time that we moved around or got bounced around is because she needed treatment. It's also that the reason that she tried to kill me growing up. So you don't have the best grades, you don't have the best family name. And then coming from trailer parks and foster homes, you don't have any money. So it's incumbent upon the person to try to find a way to have some kind of advantages in this world or or get into an organization that's going to give you some kind of opportunities. And I know the military had these opportunities. My dad came to me, he was like trying to offer me a job at the local community college to be a a maintenance guy. And at the time, I was working. Burger King is a service supervisor, had graduated high school.
[00:10:46] I would go work the lunch counter across town. This is in northern Minnesota where the food's actually good at the bowling alley. And then I go to Wal-Mart every day and I would unload truck and stock the shelves from 5:00 p.m. at 2:00 in the morning. And I did this five days a week. And I was like, dad or another job. I've already got three jobs. And he's like, well, get rid of those three crappy jobs and get one good job. And at the time, I wasn't making more than nine bucks an hour any of these jobs. And the offer at the community college was like 18 bucks an hour to start, which is a fantastic place to start. But I took the advice, but not the job. And I joined the Navy to give me some opportunities a chance. You have some structure and growth and get around some people that didn't know all of basically my dirty laundry and be able to grow within their structure, their organisation, their core values. And that allowed me to really create who I wanted to be as a person and with the support of my wife. Fortunately for me, every time something for my career came up, she would say I was like, what should we do? And she would always answer whatever's best for your career. That's what we're going to do. And you know, her love and support and guidance, all of that, along with her strong faith, really helped propel me into the person that I've become.
[00:12:02] Amazing. You still have any relationship with your mother?
[00:12:06] I do, you know, the fun the funny thing is that when someone has a mental illness and they actually are working on themselves, taking their medication as they should, doing the things they need to be mentally. Well, most days it's kind of easy to have a relationship with those kind of people. It's the other side like my sister, who is not taking responsibility for her mental health and taking the steps she needs to be a decent human being. Well, I don't have a relationship with her.
[00:12:33] Well, then in that case, we're not having her on the podcast. I appreciate that. Ok, so so now with all that that background, somehow you channeled this into. Working to help nonprofits raise money and you know, lots about the operations of nonprofits in this isn't really a nonprofit show, but but tell us a little bit about if somebody did want to have a nonprofit. What's the ins and outs of it? I know when I took the grant writing course and I found out that 90 percent of the money out there is going to go to nonprofits. But then when I started looking in the nonprofits, I think I've heard you talk about this before. I thought, you know what? That's too much hassle for me. You know, maybe I could team up with some other nonprofit, but for me to run one, I said no. So what are some of the pros and cons of that? And then a little later, we're going to talk about how you promote all this stuff with your podcast.
[00:13:33] Sure, absolutely, Tom. The thing about startups and where people are coming from is they're really coming from a place of wanting to help and create impact. And when I got started in the nonprofit world, I finally got kind of past that scarcity mode, that survival mode, and was able to start making an impact in my community. And I didn't know what to do. It was like I knew that I could show up and have a good attitude and want to help. But I didn't really know what it meant to be part of a community because I had bounced all over the bank place. So I started asking people in church and like what a people in the community do. How do you become part of the community? Like, I didn't know. I didn't understand because I had only been able to focus on where's my next meal coming from, where's my paycheck coming from, what do I need to do to take care of my family? It was the very, very, very basics for so many years until I got to the place like, you know what, I'm not I'm not fighting for these things anymore. I have these things. So what is what does it look like next? And got introduced to some fantastic people and got invited to be on the board of books by events in the Shein Foundation and and raise a bunch of money and got stationed in the kingdom of Bahrain of all places, and wanted to do something productive.
[00:14:42] I just enjoyed all of the time I got to spend with the nonprofits in person. You know, looking back at my history, all of the people that helped keep me sheltered, clothe and fed all of these years, you know, how can I provide a give back and a way to really show my appreciation? I started by volunteering and giving some money and different things. And when I got stationed in Bahrain, I was like, how am I supposed to keep doing all this cool nonprofit work while being deployed? So I actually started my podcast, the nonprofit architect podcast, while deployed to the Middle East and knew that I knew some stuff, but not a lot of stuff. And I looked at the top shows out there in the nonprofit world and kind of looking for a gap. That's what we do in the entrepreneurial world, right? We look for gaps and ways to make this impact. And no one seemed to be doing a nonprofit show that really taught the how to the behind the scenes. And that's how we kind of came up with the idea for the nonprofit architect podcast. And I know listeners to your show have been going through the entrepreneurial journey and learning how to do that and just how tough it is while the nonprofit world is just as tough.
[00:15:49] I thought the money just rains in.
[00:15:51] Oh, yeah, yeah. You serve up and you just hit a button and the money just started pouring out. Yeah, super easy. Right? But not not at all. And I know we're I know we're joking here. You've got all the difficulty of being an entrepreneur, but you've got all these extra requirements levied to you by the state and the IRS. So you start your own business, you own your business, you start your own non-profit after the first day you were listed as the founder, but you don't own this thing. You will actually have a board that you report to a board of directors, and they're responsible to the community for the execution of the mission. So just right off the bat, right after starting, these things are pretty stark differences between the business, the for profit business world and the nonprofit.
[00:16:37] Yeah, when I found that out, I said, wait a minute. You mean they could kick me out, I guess? Yes, they could.
[00:16:42] There there is a lot of people out there that have been removed as a founder of an organization that's not their baby. And they decided the board is like, you know what, we're going to go in a different direction. Unless you're on board, it's not going to include you. Oh, man. And that is so heartbreaking for a lot of people. And there's a lot of founders that try to put a language into the bylaws to prevent that from happening. I'm actually kind of a fan of that behavior, that the ability to be fired, because if you're no longer in alignment with the mission, then what are you doing?
[00:17:14] I get that, but, you know, you put a lot of sweat and blood in there and maybe maybe the mission has should change, but I guess that doesn't count with the IRS.
[00:17:25] Well, you can't you can file paperwork to update your mission statement, and that's fine. But you need to agree upon it between the the founder and the board of directors. Right.
[00:17:34] I think I'm too much of a control freak for that situation.
[00:17:38] So many of us are. There's a reason that I don't currently have my own nonprofit organization. Right. But when you're looking at this, what I find a lot is that people just really want to help. And they currently believe that the best way to help is to start your own nonprofit. And that might be true. But we would like to do is we work to make sure we're starting off on the right foot. So just like starting a business, you do your research, you figure out what's out there and what can be provided. I did an interview with Candidly OSU from Foster 360, and she was in the business world, really wanted to help out kids aging out of the foster care system, which, of course, I am a huge fan of helping those people. And I was like, well, how did you do this? She's like, well, I looked around. She's in the Phoenix Tempe Mesa megalopolis down there in Arizona. And she looked around and she found out that there were tons of organizations helping foster kids age out of the program. She was so excited. There was hope that this group of people was being helped. But she was trying to find the gaps. And what she found was, is that kids in the foster care system that get bounced around from house to house to house being treated the same way as adults and getting bounced around from program to program to programs or what they created is they created kind of a navigation system. They would pick you up with a mentor. And when they would help you walk through all these programs that are needed and help you navigate the system in the real world.
[00:19:04] So you're paired up with a mentor that'll help you to do that so you're not getting passed around anymore. So she found that although there was a lot of services being provided for the foster care kiddos that are aging out and becoming adults, she found the gap and that they were not being handled the way that she would expect. So they created an organization underneath the United Way in that area as a program and really, you know, leveraging the United Way and being able to help these kids so you can find the gaps that are exist in your community for the people that you want to help, or you can find people that are already doing the thing that you want to do. You can help them. Or if they're serving the people that you want to serve, maybe you can be a program director and help that specific type of person in the specific way. And you can do most of those things without starting your own organization. So really understanding what the need of the community is and how your desire to help is going to make the greatest impact. That could mean starting your own nonprofit. But understand that it might take you three, five to 10 years to make the impact you want or if someone else is already doing it. You can become a board member, a volunteer, a donor or a program director and start making an impact today.
[00:20:21] Well, what's the what's the actual mechanism like? For instance, with my thing, like I said, I'm not a nonprofit. I'm actually not taking any money out of the school. I'm still using Go Fund Me and, you know, crowd funding to fund the program so far. But when I want to roll it out really big, what's the mechanism like? You say, hey, United Way, look, I got this great program. I proved that it works. Give me some money or does it work?
[00:20:48] Well, there's there's a way to create that partnership or that program under an organization like United Way. And this is a conversation you would have to have with them and their board and what their vision is based on what they're working on to see if that's a good fit, if you're going to do this on your own. The super basics of this thing is you incorporate you get your text in and you create a board of directors, you get it usually three nonrelated individuals, and then you file something called a ten, twenty three easy form with the IRS, with Covid. Right now, it's taken about seven weeks to get your paperwork back to see if you do or do not have 501 C three status. But there are also many types of different statuses, not just 523, it's five on one C6 and a whole host of others based on what type of organization that you're trying to create. So there's a few different ways to do this.
[00:21:39] Now, what I meant was, is if you are clearly not a 501 3C that wants to partner with one, that is as a program director. But you bring the program to them, say, hey, I got this program and this is what we've proven to work and we want to roll it out bigger and want to partner with you. Isn't that a possibility?
[00:22:00] It's exactly like you're describing. But just like you would make any other type of pitch or trying to create a partnership in the same way you would approach an organization doing this. So you really
[00:22:11] Want to you don't have to do the 1023-EZ or anything. You you're clearly already a corporation. You're already in business running this program, and you're just a separate business entity trying to go under their umbrella.
[00:22:25] Well, you don't even have to create a business entity. Oh, OK. Yeah, if you if you know what you want to do and how you want to do it and you can in an organization that that would fall under their mission umbrella, it's just as simple as standing that thing up, creating whatever agreement between you and the host organization and what that might look like. For some people, that works great for other people. They find out that they don't have as much control as they would like or they're not able to do it exactly the way they want to, where they don't you're not seeing eye to eye with the founder or their board. So they might decide to go off on their own or they find an organization in another state that's doing the exact thing and they create a branch in the state that they're in. So you are not starting from it's almost like franchising. It's not like it's not the same thing. But you've got. The organizational structure, you've got the rules, you've got the name, you've got the branding, a recognition, and you would probably be raising the money to file in your state on your own under them, you would do the paperwork with them in your state, and you would be running a chapter of their organization, your state. Yeah.
[00:23:33] Yeah. So there's lots of potential methods rather than starting your own 501(c)(3), right?
[00:23:41] Yeah, that's right. There's there's so many different ways to get involved in to make the impact. And when you look at what it takes to really be a founder and create essentially a movement on this thing, and if you're obviously talking to a lot of entrepreneurs here that are trying to do their own thing, you know, they're working and trying to create a side hustle to turn that into their main hustle. You're putting that much work into it only when you're starting this organization, just like the entrepreneurial world. You're the janitor, the CEO and everything in between now
[00:24:11] And every month.
[00:24:13] Absolutely. And then you have this fundraising cycle where depending on how you do it and we teach you how to create monthly recurring donations. So you're not trying to play 12 one month games a year, is that you're trying to lower your fundraising bar each and every month because you're having recurring donations come in, but you're trying to do all of these things and raise money and do your mission and get your board to get their butt in gear to train them how to do it. So you have to learn how to organize and run a 501 C3. Then you've got the IRS requirements. Then you have to every dollar that you spend or bring in has to meet your mission. If it doesn't, you get taxed on this thing. So there is an astronomical amount of rules, regulations and things that you have to follow on top of really being an entrepreneur.
[00:25:01] Yeah, it's it sounds daunting. I'm definitely going to go the other way. Sure. Partner up with somebody or just keep on my own. But but you've been very successful in helping folks raise more money in. And tell us how podcasting has worked into this. I heard somebody on there recently. I can't remember a name, but like the queen of fundraising or something. But she was quite dynamic about all the ways she raised these funds.
[00:25:26] Podcasting, as you know, and hopefully some of our guests understand, is such an amazing tool. We had blogs that are taking out and destroying newspapers. We've got YouTube that's crushing TV and cable, and now we've got podcasting that's really taking over radio and as essentially a free tool to get your message out there. If you do something like I'm doing when you do an interview show like Tom's doing, I don't have to do a lot of the work on my show. I bring on the guest. I ask questions of that, put all the onus, all the work on my guest to come up with the answers like Tom's doing to me right now. But every every single person you interview you you gain knowledge is like hosting your own private masterclass with them for free. You get to learn all the things that you want to learn based on who you bring on as a guest. Like I have had Steve Sims on the show and Bob Berg and Asha Curran, who's been a nonprofit world. She runs a hashtag Giving Tuesday, and they brought in two point four, seven billion dollars on a single day last year, which is just astronomical. But every person I interview, my credibility goes up, my knowledge goes up, my reach goes up, my audience goes up, and I'm able to leverage and build these relationships with people. And all of a sudden, I'm someone they know. I'm offering my platform as a way for them to spread their message, to get good, solid questions answered and to build this thing.
[00:26:44] If you're in the nonprofit world, you can now interview your local city, state and federal politicians, bring them on your show, ask them about the type of things you're doing and what they're doing behind the scenes of the legislation to support what you're doing. And on the flip side of it, now, when this comes up in their session, they bring in you as the expert to leverage your knowledge and expertise about what this is. When you put your podcast on your Web site and you end up using it to create content, you don't have to figure out what the heck you're going to post. Each and every day. You pull audio grams, a little audio snippet out of the episode. And if you ask Ileus five questions, you now have five questions and answers to use as content on your website, on your social media and everywhere else. The beautiful thing about posting your podcast on your website is it lets you know that Google is like, hey, I see this guy's updating their podcast each and every week with new material, sometimes twice a week, sometimes more with a podcast blogger vlog. Your rankings are going to go up right now. If you put down your phones and you Google nonprofit architect podcast, you can see that all of my stuff is the first four and a half pages of Google.
[00:27:55] Yeah, I did. And I got the same kind of stories. Well, you're on here and vetra vet proner month exist because I interviewed one guy and it got me invited to the White House. I spoke at the Military Influencers Conference, you know, and then. You know, you see, I'm on episode 486 with you. It's cover a lot of people that have made a lot of breaks, and I learned a lot, a lot, a lot of people refer in my products and services for commission. You know, so just all kinds of great things come from it.
[00:28:28] It's such a beautiful tool. And the nonprofit world, instead of you having to go to organization after organization after organization to spread your message with each person that you interview when they share the episode and they help promote it on their behalf as well as your behalf. Now, all of a sudden you have donors, or if you're in the entrepreneurial world, you have buyers or clients coming to you instead of you going to them. Can you imagine not being able to take any new. Meetings with donors this week, because of all meetings of the day, have set with you
[00:29:00] To give you money. Well, sorry, there's too many people in front of you. Just hold off.
[00:29:04] Yeah. Can you imagine saying no to those things because you have so many people coming to you want to help you with your mission. It is just a fantastic way to really and I hate to say flip the script, but it really changes the flow of information and the flow of people into your sphere of influence.
[00:29:21] All right. So you have some training on this, right?
[00:29:24] Oh, absolutely. You know, we started doing the nonprofit gig and helping out non-profits, and from starting this thing, it hasn't even been two years Tom I'm not sure what day in September this is coming out, but September twenty third this year will be two years of operation of the podcast. And within three months of starting, we shot up to number four in the U.S. And now we're top five and five countries right now, including the U.S. and Canada. And I started getting more questions about podcasting specifically than anything else. And it led me to writing an ultimate podcast guide, which is a couple of bucks online. But there's if you're interested in this all, there's a freebie and grab at non-profit architect Gorgan Resources. It's the 15 reasons I think every nonprofit entrepreneur consultant needs their own podcast. It's a free to you. It says like a dollar run there. There's a code in there says free 99. If you mess up, put in the code, you're out of luck. So not that big of a deal. But, you know, pick that up. It's actually turned into one of the biggest revenue generating streams of the business that are run here. And the demand was so high for this thing that the people immediately started asking, like, hey, where's the course? Where's the course along this wall right now? Just like our friend Stephen Khune and Joel Stewart, I'm creating a how to podcast course for Forbes Business School. Beautiful.
[00:30:48] Beautiful. Now. I don't want to brag, not drivers, but I just got word yesterday that we're number 42 entrepreneurial podcast in Kazakstan. But the only bad part about it was last last week we were number forty, so we dropped to two slots. And Jake is there where the heck that is. So we got to take a brief sponsor break. And when we come back, we'll ask Travis, what's a typical day look like for him and how he stays motivated? So folks are about 23 years ago, I kind of turned the Internet marketing guru world on its head. And the guys like me were charging 50 or 100 grand upfront to help you. And I knew a lot of these guys are rip offs that you give them 50 grand upfront, they'd be hiding out and because is standard and the. And so I said, you know, that's not that's too risky for small business and not fair. So what I did is I charged an entry fee and then I charged a percentage of their profits. That's capped at fifty thousand. So for me to make my 50000, they had to net 200000. Well, people kind of love this. And 23 years later and seventeen hundred students, it's still going strong. We have a very unique program. It's the longest running, most successful and most unique ever in the field of Internet and digital marketing mentor program. You know, we have a retreat center.
[00:32:18] It's a big mansion. You you actually live in the house for an immersion weekend. We have a TV studio here where we shoot marketing videos for you. And again, we're oh, you know, I'm not going to disappear on you because I want my 50000. So so that's the nature of our program. And it allows me to do things like I'm doing with the school we have. You also get a scholarship to the school. It's a nineteen thousand one hundred dollar tuition to my school. And that's included in the mentor program that you can either use yourself or gift to somebody. So very unique, very powerful, long running. I'm not disappearing on anybody because guess what? I want my 50000. So so, you know, I'll be here. So that's the story. So please check that out. GreatInternetmarketingtraining.com. And then don't forget our legacy program for these folks with disabilities. And check that out at my school. IMTCVA.org/disabilities.
[00:33:18] Now, let's get back to the main event. We've got Travis Johnson here with us, and he's quite an inspirational guy, the way he's was able to turn around his life from a beginning that most people couldn't even imagine. So we're really proud of him for that. So what's a typical day look like for you now, Travis, and your work in the business and the military and everything? And how do you stay motivated?
[00:33:42] I tell you what, that was one of the hardest things to figure out when I was over in Bahrain, I'd have my watch cycle where I had to be at work and everything else was my free time. My my wife and kids stayed back here in Oklahoma City. Still, I was out there by myself, really needed the podcast to keep myself out of trouble, make sure I was doing something positive, productive, because it's it's easy to get distracted when you don't have oversight of like, I don't know, your wife and kids. So I was really scheduling as much as I possibly could when I was trying to meet people and learn the industry and figure out podcasting and and really how to find my voice. You know, it takes a couple, 10, 15, 20 episodes to figure out even who the heck you are as a host if you're not used to hosting things. But, you know, a typical day. I finally got to kind of figure it out. I'm working roughly every other week for the Navy, full time shift, 40 hours, and I have my daytime's block down on a couple of days. I've got Mondays and Wednesday mornings. I dedicate to pre interviews, podcast interviews, whether I'm the host or the guest. Tuesdays, I have a dedicated day off to used for extraneous things like ketchup or to dedicate a day to golfing and making sure I'm doing something that I'm passionate about having fun with so I can make sure to keep my motivation up. Thursdays, I really dedicate to my personal learning and training. I'm part of a couple of mastermind groups and part of a couple of clubhouse calls that I get on a Thursday and really kind of film myself back up. And then Friday is a free day. And I don't I never schedule anything on the weekends, kind of take it as it comes, kind of guys really dedicating time for the podcast business things to only Monday and Wednesday mornings.
[00:35:27] But do you have any kind of morning routine or do you get up early to exercise? What do you eat? I mean, you really want to know what the life is of an entrepreneur.
[00:35:38] It really depends on the week. The weeks that I work full time for the Navy. I roll out of bed, you know, scratch and hop on the laptop usually. And I am doing showering and eating and different things in between calls and interviews. And on the weeks that I have off, I start my morning up the same way. Jump right into things I need to accomplish. And it's not till usually after lunch that I get time to go to the gym and things of that nature right away. When I wake up and I'm the most creative, I want to be talking to people and I keep that excitement and energy going because everyone that hops on my calendar fills me up, fills up my personal tank. So that really gets me going and running. I don't talk to anyone that's not excited about their passion and what they want to do and the things they want to talk about. So their passion helps fill me up.
[00:36:26] Well, that's that's great. Now, you were highlighted in a book called Walk with Warriors. Tell everybody about that.
[00:36:35] Yeah, that's my first author experience, I know you've got Joel Stewart running Ragen, he's author of what, like thirty five books since like March or something like that poor guy. This is this is just crazy, because when I went to figure out, like, how to connect with the community, I ended up joining the local chamber of Commerce. And at this time, I didn't have a business. I just wanted to be to connect with people. I just, again, show up with a great attitude, willing to help. And they put on a bowling event. Well, I had been to Bowling National's three different times and I brought my bowling equipment and I was like, you know what, I'll bring my stuff in. If someone needs a fourth or whatever, I'll just hop in with these guys. And sure enough, I showed up and my friend Jamie Crowe was like, hey, actually, these people over at such and such bank, they need a fourth if you want to definitely plug you in and make the introductions and hang out with them. Well, I did. And I got to meet people at a local bank and and talk about some different things and, you know, hung out afterwards, even though I didn't know what the heck I was doing. And Jamie, at the end of, she was like, hey, you're in the military, right? I said, yeah, absolutely. She's like, I've got a friend. Shannon Whitington, she's putting together an anthology. She's getting veteran authors to write their story. Do you want me to connect you? I said, absolutely. And I sent Shannon a message. I was like, hey, are you still looking for authors? She's like, we are in I need 3000 words and you have till Friday.
[00:38:00] And me, I love rising to the challenge. You want to you want to get me fired up. Tell me I can't do something or that it's nearly impossible and just watch me go. And I woke up the next morning, two straight hours. I put 3000 words on paper, stood out after she came back with two small edits and got me added to the book. I love what she was doing so much that she was actually running an organization called Books by Vets. And I said, well, what can I help with? Do you need board members? Do you need donors? Do you need volunteers? Tell me what you need. And she said, yes, I need all of those things. So I was the first person she brought in for her nonprofit to be on our board. And we created the final one, C3, and we helped 50 authors get published and share their stories, which is just a phenomenal thing to do. But Walk with Warriors is 22 different veteran authors sharing their stories. So you can hear some of the behind the scenes and things that I've talked about in this interview laid out. You can find work with warriors on Amazon. The author, the primary author is going to be Shannon Whitington, because that's just how anthologies work. Pick that up if you want to. I don't get anything from it other than the fact that, you know, knowing that you get to see 22 vets share their incredible stories and what they've been through and different aspects of their lives.
[00:39:14] It's a great opportunity for those those authors for sure. So tell everybody again how many get hold of you. And then I want to end with a quotation from one of our favorite generals. So so go ahead and tell me how to get a hold here.
[00:39:28] Sounds fantastic. Thanks, Tom. If you go to Linktr.ee/nonprofitarchitect, you've got all of my links to all my social my website, everything they have link tree, non-profit architect or just punch in nonprofit architect into Google and connect with me on any of the first four pages you'll find on our website, Facebook, LinkedIn or nonprofitarchitect@Gmail.com.
[00:40:04] I think you like Mad Dog Mattis. I've heard you quote him, right? That's right. Well, my favorite quote yours was on communication. Maybe we'll talk about that next time. But my favorite one. Be polite, be professional and be ready to kill everybody you meet.
[00:40:28] Be polite. Be professional. I have a plan to kill everyone. Yeah, I, I like to quote him as well. I'm generally a little bit tamer on the nonprofit side. He's got a he's got a phenomenal three step communication process. It's what do I know? Who needs to know? Have I told them?
[00:40:45] Yeah, because so many people who say get mad because somebody didn't do something and they never told them that they even wanted them to do it.
[00:40:53] It is so straightforward. It it goes to every organization, any type of entity. I had a guy I interviewed, I was doing like a prior interview with him, and he was like, Travis, I'm so frustrated. I you know, I don't feel like I have any support. I actually got up on stage in front of my supporters and I told them I was mad at them. I was like, mad, Adam, why were you mad at him? He's like he's like no one sharing my stuff. No one's, you know, given to me financially. No one's doing this, that and the other. I said, hey, brother, quick question. Did you tell them the best way to support you? And he said, What do you mean? I'm like, did you say, hey, thank you so much for being my neighbor? The best way to support me really, really, really want you to engage with me on social media. If that's commenting, if that's sharing a post, that to me will have the most direct impact for me. And that would make me feel whole and wonderful as an organization if you support us in that fashion. Did you tell your people that he's like, no. I was like, so you yelled at your group of people for not supporting you and you didn't tell them how you would like to be supported? And he's like, I didn't. And now I feel terrible.
[00:41:59] And you should.
[00:42:02] It is it is just that simple. I know, generally speaking, men are more direct than the ladies are women. If you are out there and you're like, yeah, I don't like being that direct. That's how men operate. If they if you say, hey, babe, go do the dishes before work, I can do that. I can absolutely do the dishes before work. If you say, hey, babe, the sinks kind of filling up, that just means to me that that sucks. There's a pile of dishes. You didn't tell me to do anything. So I don't know what you want me to do. And I know like. Well, that's not exactly how it works. Well, you know, guys like being direct. So do your folks tell them what you would like them to do? Please connect with me on social media. Linkedin is one of my favorites right now, but you're going get the most updates on Facebook. Connect with me, ask me questions, join my group. If you're in the nonprofit world, you got questions, ask the group. I'm not always available, but the group is there to help you answer your questions to get you moving down this road. Post your struggle's. Post your questions. Post your successes. Let us celebrate with you. Please, please, please. Because so many times do we forget to celebrate the little stuff.
[00:43:10] That's right, I think both of those quotes from MadDog will serve you well.
[00:43:15] Absolutely. Absolutely.
[00:43:16] So the non-profit architect, Travis Johnson. So thanks so much for coming on, Matt.
[00:43:22] Hey, thanks for having me, Tom I really appreciate it.
[00:43:24] Ok, everybody we'll meet you next issue as part of Vetrepreneur month on Screw the Commute podcast. Catch you later.
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