794 - Lifetime memories in the making: Tom interviews Dustin Perkins - Screw The Commute

794 – Lifetime memories in the making: Tom interviews Dustin Perkins

I'm here with Dustin Perkins and he is kicking off Vetpreneur Month. I got to tell you, I look forward every September to highlighting the great people that are doing great things in the entrepreneurial world and they were keeping us safe.

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Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 794

How To Automate Your Businesshttps://screwthecommute.com/automatefree/

entrepreneurship distance learning school, home based business, lifestyle business

Internet Marketing Training Centerhttps://imtcva.org/

Higher Education Webinarhttps://screwthecommute.com/webinars

See Tom's Stuffhttps://linktr.ee/antionandassociates

[01:14] Tom's introduction to Dustin Perkins

[03:53] From cybersecurity geek to the vacation world

[07:41] Three principles of selling travel

[11:49] Liberal or Conservative

[18:04] Origin of the name “Jinni” and a typical day for Dustin

Entrepreneurial Resources Mentioned in This Podcast

Higher Education Webinarhttps://screwthecommute.com/webinars

Screw The Commutehttps://screwthecommute.com/

entrepreneurship distance learning school, home based business, lifestyle business

Screw The Commute Podcast Apphttps://screwthecommute.com/app/

College Ripoff Quizhttps://imtcva.org/quiz

Know a young person for our Youth Episode Series? Send an email to Tom! – orders@antion.com

Have a Roku box? Find Tom's Public Speaking Channel there!https://channelstore.roku.com/details/267358/the-public-speaking-channel

How To Automate Your Businesshttps://screwthecommute.com/automatefree/

Internet Marketing Retreat and Joint Venture Programhttps://greatinternetmarketingtraining.com/


online shopping cart, ecommerce system



Become a Great Podcast Guesthttps://screwthecommute.com/greatpodcastguest


Disabilities Pagehttps://imtcva.org/disabilities/

Tom's Patreon Pagehttps://screwthecommute.com/patreon/

Tom on TikTokhttps://tiktok.com/@digitalmultimillionaire/

Jinni Vacationshttps://jinnivacations.com


Email Tom: Tom@ScrewTheCommute.com

Internet Marketing Training Centerhttps://imtcva.org/

Related Episodes

Saving Money – https://screwthecommute.com/793/

More Entrepreneurial Resources for Home Based Business, Lifestyle Business, Passive Income, Professional Speaking and Online Business

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entrepreneurship distance learning school, home based business, lifestyle business

entrepreneurship distance learning school, home based business, lifestyle business

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Episode 794 – Dustin Perkins
[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 794 of Screw the Commute podcast. I'm here with Dustin Perkins and he is kicking off Vetpreneur Month. I got to tell you, I look forward every September to highlighting the great people that are doing great things in the entrepreneurial world and they were keeping us safe. And he's a US Coast Guard veteran, so we'll bring him on in a minute. All right. Make sure you check out my mentor program at GreatInternetMarketingTraining.com and pick up a copy of my automation book at screwthecommute.com/automatefree. You will thank me for it because it'll save you hundreds or even thousands of hours into the future. Instead of fighting with your computer, you can be doing the things you need to do to make money. How about that?

[00:01:16] All right. Let's bring on the main event. Dustin Perkins is a disabled US Coast Guard veteran and the CEO of Jinni Vacations. And he's got a little story about that name and the spelling of it. It's a full service travel company that specializes in serving the military veteran and special needs communities. And when not serving clients vacation needs. Dustin also volunteers with the US Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Civil Air Patrol. Dustin, are you ready to screw? The commute?

[00:01:47] Absolutely. Thank you for having me back on Tom.

[00:01:50] I appreciate it. My pleasure. A lot probably went on this year we want to hear about. But I'll tell you what, the first thing I want to say, Dustin, is I have it on. A pretty reliable source that there's that you wouldn't even last a day in the military. Is that true?

[00:02:11] Um, I suppose, yes. Um, I guess I'm a a too clean cut of an individual, but that's all right.

[00:02:19] But somehow you eked out eight years. Somehow, right?

[00:02:22] Yeah, I had eight years in the Coast Guard and, uh, was part of a deployable unit. Um, our, uh, base of operations was out of was out of the Middle East. Uh, we also did some deployments in the US for some hurricane relief. Uh, had a lot of great memories, a lot of fun, great experiences.

[00:02:42] See, last time we talked, you told me you did some stuff in Ohio. And I'm thinking, man, what ocean fronts in Ohio? I'm not sure about that. Now you tell me you're in the Middle East, right in the desert. Well.

[00:02:57] When they, uh, when they told us that we were, uh, ramping up to go overseas, I wondered, you know, what's the Coast Guard doing in the Middle East? And I was told exactly this. It's not always our coasts that we guard.

[00:03:10] Oh, okay. Well, that kind of worries me a little bit lately. Not concentrating on us, but it's good. We're doing good things around the world now. You're in the vacation business. And you know, another thing that irks me is you got all these free government funded vacations all around the world.

[00:03:30] True. But they're a little bit different caliber. Yeah.

[00:03:33] No, no fancy rides.

[00:03:35] You got to go. Well, you probably got the bump around in a Humvee or something.

[00:03:39] That's true. I did. I did spend plenty of time in a Humvee, but I would, given the choice, I would rather, uh, vacation at Disney than the Middle East. But that's me.

[00:03:49] Yeah, we're going to talk about Disney in a while, but how do you go from it seems to me you were one of these cyber security geeks and now you're in the vacation world. What? How did that happen?

[00:04:03] Well, I still am a cybersecurity geek. That's what my my degree is in my certifications. And how do you keep.

[00:04:10] Up with it? I mean, you're busy running this big vacation company and, you know, every day some hacker thinks is some new way to exploit us. How do you keep up with this stuff?

[00:04:20] Well, first of all, sleep is for the weak. Yeah, that's right.

[00:04:24] Sleep is overrated.

[00:04:25] Sleep is overrated. No, I, uh. It's a very delicate balancing act that I, uh. I keep up on the cybersecurity trends. Uh, I still have a great passion for cybersecurity. Uh, but I also have a deep seated desire to bring accommodated vacations to a demographic that has been really ignored or underserved.

[00:04:52] Right.

[00:04:53] Underserved. Underserved.

[00:04:55] Well, I had a until we get. We'll get off this cybersecurity thing. But I had an idea for a movie. I was going to be like a Batman type of super rich guy, made it online, but kind of a Batman thing on the underworld side. And I was going to throw this million dollar contest for virus writers and hackers and get them all in one place and then kill them all.

[00:05:24] Well, believe it or not, it is a common practice in cyber security to take those who have hacked and violated law and employ them.

[00:05:36] Yeah, and I know one I know a woman that she had either 17 years in federal prison or worked for the government.

[00:05:45] Well, one of the one of the greatest actors of all time, Kevin Mitnick, just recently passed away. But he was the the poster child of bad hacker turned good. He served his time. He was caught, served his time. He was then employed by the US government after time served and went on to become a very lucrative cybersecurity consultant. Yeah, it kind of reminds.

[00:06:12] Me of that. Catch Me if you Can guy that was, you know, fraud and everybody and then turned straight or was forced to turn straight. Now, here's another thing. I'm wondering how come I am interviewing you when this wasn't even your idea?

[00:06:29] Well, it was not my idea. It was.

[00:06:32] Your wife. Your wife did.

[00:06:34] Ideal. And yeah, I love to share that story because it brings a unique spin on the creation of a travel agency. You know, the idea that my wife came to me and said, Hey, I want to be a travel agent. And, you know, keep in mind, I've got a background in cybersecurity, so I know nothing about travel. And, you know, let's, let's do it. Let's just make it happen. And, you know, for the first four months of that, uh, the creation of this company back in 2019, I was running this company on pure spite just because I did not like the way other travel agencies were run. And I was hell bent and determined on running one better than everybody else. It wasn't until Covid hit that I really realized that I can't run a company on spite. I have to have core principles. And it really took a team that I had at the time. It was four individuals, one by being my wife and myself to really identify why are we doing what we're doing. And those core principles have led us to incredible success today.

[00:07:42] And I think I remember you talking about no pay to play, no fee to users and take care of underserved markets. Is that. Absolutely today.

[00:07:54] They still hold true today. You know, the idea that.

[00:07:57] Explain what those are what those are.

[00:07:59] Absolutely the first principle. There is no pay to play. I found the hard way that many travel agencies charge a fee to prospective travel agents for the privilege of being on their team for the privilege of selling travel. And that never sat well with me. I never liked the idea that somebody had to pay money to join a team and or pay money to to be, you know, employed as an independent contractor. It didn't sit well. So I decided to provide all of my marketing resources, all of the tools necessary, all the training and mentorship for absolutely free. And all I ask from my agents are what I call sweat equity. Basically do the job and enjoy it, because if you're not enjoying it, you're doing it wrong.

[00:08:47] So.

[00:08:48] Yeah, but you also pay him with with free rides at Disney. Right. Well.

[00:08:54] They they certainly do get travel. Travel agent perks. There are perks to the job.

[00:09:00] Actually, it's more.

[00:09:00] Than a perk in your place, right? They have to know what the the rides are because part of your underserved market is. Are people on the autism spectrum, right?

[00:09:12] Absolutely. And you really can't market either a good or a service without actually experiencing that good or service. In this case, you know, experiencing Disney or Universal or Sandals resorts out of the Caribbean. If I have an opportunity for my vendors to send my agent somewhere, I certainly will take them up on that. I have in the past.

[00:09:35] Yeah. And you yourself, I mean, I remember a story about some people wanted to go on a certain ride and you said, You know what, God help you if you do because it is not. Yeah, Tell him about that.

[00:09:51] Well, that I do remember that. That was the Avatar flight of passage ride in, uh, in Animal Kingdom, in Walt Disney World. And I had experienced this ride personally, and I'm not exactly the smallest of individuals. And I found that this ride was very confining, very limiting for someone who has mobility issues and could possibly be troubling for those who have sensory issues. So I took that experience, brought that back to my team, and it may not be a ride that we would recommend for families that have physical or psychological emotional disabilities, but there are plenty of accommodations on other experiences at the park that we would much recommend in its place.

[00:10:43] Yeah, that always.

[00:10:44] Made me wonder because some of these lights trigger people, right? Some of the crazy strobes and, and, and just the sheer volume of people is what you know, can can really flip people in the autism spectrum spectrum out.

[00:11:00] Right I'll tell you what Tom it it is no lie to say that on any given day there is at least 100,000 people in Magic Kingdom alone.

[00:11:12] Any given day.

[00:11:13] I got to ask you about that still to this day, because.

[00:11:16] Just this.

[00:11:16] Day, just yesterday, Motley Fool reported that famous Stockx site said that Disney's stock is at a nine year low.

[00:11:27] It is. It is. And I'm sure there are many factors that go into that. But when it comes to Disney's ability to provide these magical experiences, they have not shirked or shied away from that. And there has been no significant decline in the demand to experience these parks.

[00:11:50] All right. Now now, I.

[00:11:51] Got to ask you some tough questions, although I know you got to keep everybody happy.

[00:11:55] Absolutely.

[00:11:56] You know, the markets you're serving in, the military, I would say, leans towards the conservative quite a bit, right?

[00:12:03] Not a bit. Yes.

[00:12:04] And some of the things that Disney is doing leans like way to the liberal. So is that you're running into any problems with that.

[00:12:14] I'm not. And that's because, you know, regardless of whatever my particular affiliation or leanings are, it doesn't remove the fact that whether you're liberal or conservative, Democrat, Republican or any number of other labels, a vacation is a vacation. And experiences are you know, they're they're they're to be treasured. They're they're to be to be captured and treasured. And when one experiences these through through new eyes, if you've never been to one of these parks or through the eyes of one of their children, seeing them light up, seeing their favorite, favorite experiences or their favorite characters come to life, that goes beyond, uh, affiliation or ideology.

[00:13:05] Certainly for the children.

[00:13:06] Absolutely. Absolutely.

[00:13:08] Are are you going to get those who try to eclipse the magic of these destinations by political ideology? Of course. But I believe that they are on the significant minority and that the vast majority of people who would utilize our services are doing so from a very affiliation, agnostic point of view that they're just looking to have a wonderful experience.

[00:13:40] Beautiful.

[00:13:41] Now, the Disney's not the only place you go, of course.

[00:13:44] No, no, no.

[00:13:45] Tell them the, the the range of kind of things you do.

[00:13:50] Certainly. And I'll precursor to that with we have taken a hard stance on not working with any vendors that do not accommodate our core demographic. Now keep in mind we'll book anybody, but if they don't have accommodations for military veterans and families of special needs, we don't work with them. And every every one of our vendors, including Disney, Universal Sandals and beaches, resorts, SeaWorld, now many different cruise lines. They all have accommodations to take care of the underserved and not take away from any of the experiences for everyone as a whole.

[00:14:30] All right. Now, what kind of things, you know, let's say take special needs off the table. What kind of things do they do for military and veterans?

[00:14:40] There are do they.

[00:14:41] Have Veterans Month in September every year like me?

[00:14:44] They do, actually. Disney offered.

[00:14:47] Yeah, Disney and Universal both work very closely.

[00:14:50] They must have copied me. Yeah.

[00:14:52] Yeah.

[00:14:55] Um, but they work very closely with base or morale, wellness and recreation, uh, groups within the base to sell discounted tickets. And even though we may not get the commission on the sales that go to our, we're more than happy as a company to help plan that vacation because we as a company.

[00:15:20] Yeah.

[00:15:21] We, we go beyond just, you know, checking a box or punching a ticket. We create these experiences because we know that those who come to us trust us and trust our experience to make it memorable. So when it comes to military and veterans, military in particular, we have those who have permanent change of station where they're moving across the country or they're they have very. Yeah. Unpredictable leaves where they could take a leave of absence and go on a vacation. I have had clients in the past. Military, active duty, military, uh, put in for a vacation, only to have it well taken away or trumped by something else for the greater good or for the for the good of the service at the last minute. And the good thing is with our agency, because we work so closely with the military, we have experiences working with our vendors to accommodate that. Whether we push it, we get a refund or or we we make it right no matter what it takes.

[00:16:34] Yeah, that's that's that's beautiful. I'm wondering with many of the the special needs communities do. Do your personnel go with them to help them? Or does do the vendors have people to. To kind of usher them through the system?

[00:16:57] Tom. I wish I had enough agents to be able to assign an agent to each vacation. I really would. But unfortunately we can't do that. But what we can do. Well, what.

[00:17:09] If I volunteered? I think you'd.

[00:17:14] I'd be the first on that list. I'd love an opportunity to volunteer to go to Disney. You may have to twist my arm a little, but, um. But what we do is we make these, uh, travel advisors or Jinni advisors, as we call them, uh, available, whether it be through text or phone call or some other means, because we're with them every step of the way. We're a full service concierge rather than just buying a ticket and sending them on their way. We're there in the event that something may go awry. We have the context to the vendors, whether it be universal or wherever, uh, to make it right and make it right quickly so it doesn't interfere with their overall vacation.

[00:17:57] So they can.

[00:17:57] Get to somebody in your organization if they're on site and something goes wrong.

[00:18:03] Absolutely. That's beautiful.

[00:18:05] Now, you mentioned Jeannie again, but it's spelled j. I n n i. Right. So tell us about that.

[00:18:13] Well, back in 2019, when I first started, the I had the idea to start a travel agency. We originally were called Pixie Dust Travel and Disney being the largest vendor.

[00:18:28] Had, uh. An issue with the term pixie dust because pixie dust, you know, with the with Tinker Bell and the fairies was an intellectual property. So I'm like, all right, fine, we'll change it to fairy dust travel. Well, we can't have fairy dust either because that's intellectual property. I'm like, You got to be kidding, Kidding me. So have I had one particular individual at Disney I was working with going back and forth, and I went to her and said, You know what? I like Genie from Aladdin, Let's do genie vacations.

[00:19:04] And she came back and said, I'm sorry. Genie is a character from Aladdin. That's intellectual property. So I'm like, All right. Rootword of Genie. How about Jinni Vacations? And she came back and she told me you got in by the skin of your teeth, and it was approved by Disney, and the rest is history.

[00:19:31] Well, I'm glad you didn't do screw the commute vacations, because I'd have had to come after you.

[00:19:36] You know what?

[00:19:37] If this. If this has an opportunity to expand, I may have a screw the commute branch.

[00:19:43] There you go.

[00:19:44] Visit me up here in Virginia Beach.

[00:19:47] There you go.

[00:19:48] Well, so tell us what a typical day looks like for you.

[00:19:54] Well, my day starts pretty early, I would say. You know, 430, 5:00 in the morning, I'm usually an early riser. Thank I thank the military for that cause.

[00:20:04] Sleep is overrated, right?

[00:20:05] Sleep is overrated. And after I have time with, you know, preparing my day and and watching my children, you know, wake up and come and interact and and spend some quality time with me.

[00:20:19] Now, did you add to the to the flock since the six kids last year?

[00:20:23] Nope.

[00:20:24] It is it is six and staying at six.

[00:20:26] Oh, come on, man.

[00:20:27] You're slowing down.

[00:20:28] Well, okay, I lie. It's not going to stay at six. Um, we are entertaining the idea. We're really turned on to the idea of fostering.

[00:20:40] Um.

[00:20:41] And, you know, my youngest is eight now, and I can't imagine a household without small children. Yeah. And, you know, if we're going to be focusing on vacay locations and these experiences, I want to be that parent that is able to provide that to their children. Because honestly, I didn't have my first vacation until after I was married. Wow. My my family just did not go on vacation. It was a traditional blue collar family. And, you know, the idea of, you know, going out of state was unheard of, let alone across the country to go to a theme park. But now, you know, I. I focus on giving those experiences not only to my clients, but also to my family. And they have created such unique opportunities to see my family just thrive and acquire these experiences because, you know, money can come and go. You can always earn more money. You can't earn more time.

[00:21:49] Well, how are you going to foster kid? Not fall in love with them?

[00:21:53] Well, yes. I'm not be able to give them back. I don't know.

[00:21:57] Fostered a dog. I couldn't give it back. Yeah. Yeah. I suspect next year, if I talk to you, the numbers go up. And speaking of next year, so what? What's different? Uh, since the last time we talked in the. In your world.

[00:22:20] Well, we have grown exponentially. Uh, we. Last time I was on the show, we had ten agents. I now have 23.

[00:22:31] Wow.

[00:22:32] And you know that's a crock out of your house, right?

[00:22:37] Absolutely.

[00:22:38] I have many, many spare bedrooms. No, no. This is all across the country from from New Hampshire to Washington state.

[00:22:46] How do you vet them?

[00:22:47] How do you vet them? Speaking of vets, Well.

[00:22:49] I. I personally interview every single one of them veterans. Some of them are veterans and some of them are spouses of active duty. There are those who live on base that are experienced with working with NWR. And I have some on my staff that have a cognitive or psychological disabilities and we work with that. We use that as a as a resource rather than a.

[00:23:24] Hindrance.

[00:23:25] Because I myself am 100% disabled and I have taken that disability as a resource that I can then turn around and offer to my company's clients that if I can take six children in my wife to Disney or Universal or across the country and experience something new, then anybody can. Now, you may not be crazy enough like I am to start a travel agency to learn this stuff the hard way. That's why we're here. You know, learn from my mistakes, learn from my experiences. Because at the end of the day, the one thing that's that's useful to know is regardless of your present condition, whether it be financial or disability oriented or association with the military, these experiences and these vacations are within reach and we do everything we can short of short of moving the earth, moon and sun to make it happen.

[00:24:32] Well, you do a great job at it. I know there's a lot of people that love what you're doing, and that's it's quite a mission. I guess you learned how to do missions in the Coast Guard and now you turned it into something really great. So, so good to hear from you, Dustin, and thrilled that you're. You're growing like crazy. That means you're helping more people to me.

[00:24:55] Absolutely.

[00:24:56] Absolutely. The more agents I have, the more people we come in contact with.

[00:24:59] So tell people how they get Ahold of you.

[00:25:02] Well, the easiest way is to visit our website. Jinnivacations.com or find us on Facebook at facebook.com/jinnivacations. We have individuals on our staff capable of answering any questions, any time of the day.

[00:25:21] They don't have to be in the military.

[00:25:23] Right you don't have to they we we book everyone. We just make sure on top of that that we take care of our core demographic.

[00:25:31] Got it. Got it. Well, thanks so much, man. And next time, next year, you better have your wife on here a little bit.

[00:25:38] I will.

[00:25:39] I will.

[00:25:39] And some of those kids, too.

[00:25:43] May need a bigger office.

[00:25:44] Yeah, it.

[00:25:45] Might be exponential growth in the kids next year, folks. For for Dustin. Yes.

[00:25:52] Well, thank you.

[00:25:52] Very much for Tom for having me on.

[00:25:54] All right. Thanks for your service, man. All right, everybody, we'll catch you on the next episode during Vetpreneur Month.