Today, we’re continuing our chat about the importance of starting and running a debt-free business. It’s like setting sail without the anchor – you get to cruise smoothly towards your dreams.
I’m excited to dive deeper into this crucial aspect of entrepreneurship.
Picture this: a debt-free business is your trusty ship relying on its savings and capital to fuel its journey.
Sometimes you may have to forego opportunities that require significant capital and you have to battle the temptation to grow quickly, but I’ve seen so many businesses implode because of debt, and that “great growth opportunity” turns into a curse.
Remember, a debt-free business isn’t just about finances; it’s about achieving the freedom to pursue your passions and dreams while building a fulfilling entrepreneurial experience.
I’d love to continue this conversation and provide more insights tailored to your business. Feel free to send any questions or specific challenges you’re facing in your journey about this relevant topic to email@example.com to become debt-free.
Grace and peace,
Chris LoCurto 0:00
On today's episode, this is coming from the heart of a teacher who has counseled many people through this process. So I just wanted to throw that out there, if many of you are already like, I'm not, I don't want to listen to this. I'm not getting anything from it. I promise you, you will. So with that being said, the mental and emotional benefits of running a debt-free business that is coming up next.
Welcome to the Chris LoCurto show where we discuss leadership and life and discover that business is what you do, not who you are. Welcome to the show, folks. I hope you're having a fabulous day, wherever you are. We're having a great day here. Joining me in the studio is great. I got to come up with new ways of describing the great
Joel Fortner 1:03
and you need a larger set of adjectives. Yeah, more adjectives.
Chris LoCurto 1:07
Fluffy, No, that wouldn't work out funnier, that works out. loving and caring Joel Fortner.
Joel Fortner 1:14
I am so I'm softer these days. Like, I feel like I've inherited the DadBod like in my 30s and 40s. Like I'm really good at it. Like, I'm very good dad bod. So I am Fluffy, fluffy is accurate. Yeah.
Chris LoCurto 1:30
Well, joining me is Joel Fortner, because we are on part two of our episode of discussing what is it like the emotional and mental benefits of running a debt free business? So welcome back to the show. Man. Good to have you back.
Joel Fortner 1:47
Yeah, thank you so much. So if you first if you did not listen to part one, make sure that after you listen to today's go back and listen to that, because we got into an hour's worth of what I felt like was really good information that will set a lot of the stage in the backgrounds for to even today's continued conversation. So again, if you haven't listened to part one, go back and listen to it. We got into the mental and emotional benefits of running a debt free business that also includes just being a leader or a team member within a business is it's very applicable to you. And then how much we got into just really it's the the unintended consequences of debt. We got into got into depth into all of that. So we're going to continue our conversation. So if you're good, Chris, why don't we just dive right in? Because I've got a question that I wanted to ask you last time, but we just didn't have time for it. So here's the thing. So years ago, you put out this video, you we put out this video called go after your passions. And we left the conversation in part one, talking about these kinds of things. And you were giving advice on Well, what if I'm living in this crappy situation in my work life, and I want to go start my own thing. And I'm not passionate about what I do now. And I'm passionate about this thing. And I want to go do that. And when I have to go into debt, it was like, shouldn't I go after my passions? I mean, isn't life short? I mean, should not should not do that. And doesn't that align with what you said years ago? And that in that video you put out?
Chris LoCurto 3:23
No, correct me if I'm wrong. But in that video, we talked about how going after your passion should never override smart decision-making, taking care of your your four walls, putting a roof over your head, and food on the table. Don't cut off your nose to spite your face by running out and going after your passions. I'm all about you going after your passions but one of the things that I greatly learned from Daniel Lapin is, is that if you are doing the thing that God's called you to do, you will eventually become passionate about it. Now, I'm not saying if you are you know, if you have passions that you can go make money doing and they're legal. They're wholesome. Morally okay. Great, do it, bust it. But the thing that I think that you're alluding I don't think what you are alluding to is that people use this as an excuse to go into debt. You know, you said it again, because it's the way we've heard people say it forever. Never. I have to go into debt. You never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever ever have to go into debt. You don't have to do this. That is a choice. You don't have to go into debt. Right? Well, what if I was in the world's worst situation? I didn't have anything well, no one's gonna give you debt anyway. So there isn't a justifying for I have to do this. You don't have to go into debt to do your passions. The crazy thing is I have been in many businesses throughout my life many different types. Have industries and coaching and teachings. And what we do today is my passion. This is a bit was a big part of my passions, I have many passions.
So all those things that I did beforehand to put food on the table and stay out of debt and you know, recover from stupid and all that kind of stuff, lead to because I was following what God was telling me to do. There are so many times I heard him say, you know, turn left turn, right, don't go anywhere. You know, I stayed in one industry for five. I mean, it seemed like I was in there forever. And I hated it. And, you know, I knew that God is so funny. I knew that God wasn't calling me away yet. And then all of a sudden, you know, I had a bunch of the folks that were friends of mine, people I was in ministry with that are going, you just need to leave that job, man, you just need to get out of there. And I'm like, God still hasn't called me away. And then all of a sudden, I felt this, I should go do a resume. This is years into the process. And I hadn't done a resume in years. And so I went to a friend's house. This is back in the days of dot matrix printers. And I didn't own a computer. And she did. She did up all my resumes on her computer pressed print on the keyboard and went out to this dot matrix printer at the moment, she pressed the button. Everything inside of me said you're not sending that out. And I was like, Oh, my goodness. I said, Hey, I am so sorry. But I feel like God just told me. I'm not supposed to send this out. And she's like, Oh, okay. Well, I mean, if that's what God's telling you. And I just knew I was not supposed to send this out. Two weeks later, I had this conversation with a gal in our office who hated God turned her back on God didn't believe in God, because her son-in-law killed her grandchild. And this conversation came up about that. And I said, Hey, can we go in the office and just talk about this? And after a couple of hours of talking about it, she's in tears, I'm in tears, and she's receiving God again. And putting her focus on God changing her life towards God. Well, I walked out and went back to my desk. As I sat down at my desk, the phone rang, and I picked it up, and it was the guy who used to work for me. And that same place goes, Hey, there's a company that knows about you and wants to hire you. Do you have a resume? Not kidding. Those are his words. Well, I just happened to have one he goes, what can you fax it on over? So I faxed it on over? And I got the job. Now obviously went through the hiring process. What is my point of sharing all of that? You know, in that if what you're hearing is Chris, you're stupid for staying a in a place that you know you hate? Because I was somewhat in tune with God. I knew I wasn't supposed to leave. Yes, I hated it. Couldn't stand it didn't like it at all. I was really good at it but didn't like it. That one I stuck around following God's will not Chris's had one conversation, which turned at least that woman back to God. Who knows who else maybe your daughter, maybe other family members? Maybe your husband, I don't know. Had that one conversation. And literally seconds afterward, God was moving me from that place to a different place. So what is my point? If you're leaving just because you don't like it? You're not following the right process? Are you on your knees? You know, worshipping God in prayer? You know, are you lowering yourself before the king of the universe in prayer, finding out what he wants? What if he doesn't want you to leave yet? That goes against everything that seems, you know, just logical and intellectual inside of us? Why would God want me to stay in a crappy situation, he may have one conversation that he wants you to have.
So first aspect of you know, while I want to go follow my passions, follow God and He will give you things that you will become passionate about. Well, I really love this thing over here. Okay, can you immediately go and make money at it right now? No, I have to go into debt, then don't do it? Is God calling you know, then stay right where you are until he tells you where to go. You know, if you don't feel anything at all, you know, maybe you're in a position where you're not in tune with God. You're not hearing him say anything one way or another. Make a decision. Go do what you think you should do. Go do what you think God would be happy with you doing. But that's always going to be my first area. Focus. I own this business. We're 10 years strong, successful, fantastic, changing lives doing amazing things. And I'm always constantly asking God, are we doing what you want? Is this what you want? Do you want us to change anything, or do anything different? You know, whatever. Why? Because the law Last thing I want is that he's saying to me, turn right. And I'm still setting. No, I gotta keep doing the same thing. I gotta keep doing what I'm doing. And I missed out on him saying Turn right.
Joel Fortner 10:11
So Chris, what do you say to the person that believes? You know, like in the business world is competitive, there's tons of people doing business? And how am I really going to ever get ahead or compete if I can't do debt? Because it's like the, you know, like listening to part one of this episode, you talked about, you know, the story you often tell about the taco stand. And I'm like, Yeah, but that's too slow. I can't get ahead, I can't compete. It's just, and I just, I want to, I want to go, I'm passionate about this. It's like, I don't want to look up in 10 years, and I've still got a two-wheeled taco stand on the sidewalk. Yeah.
Chris LoCurto 10:53
If I can be allowed to punch you in the throat. And I really, really, really, really want you to listen to me right now. And I really want you to do your best to understand what I'm saying. I want this to be something that's painful for you. You should never ever, ever go into business to compete. That should never be your focus. There are way too many of our followers, our clients, the people listening to the show people that we know, people out in the world, who are spending their time comparing themselves to other people, to other businesses, and God never wanted them to. We have close close friends that have been in business for a long time and it took us a while to help them to stop comparing themselves to you know, somebody else who was in business in their area, who was what appeared to be wildly more successful than they are. Your success is not based on what somebody else is doing. You know, it's interesting, in the Hebrew, there's no word for hero. Because you're not supposed to be an example of somebody else. You're supposed to be the example of Yeshua. You're supposed to be you know, his Hebrew name. Jesus is the name that most people call him, but his actual name is Yeshua. You're not supposed to be like anybody but him. You are an individual that God has made, you're supposed to be the best version of yourself. So, you know, people asked us early on, you know, who's your competition? And I always, I always said, we don't have any competition. First off, nobody really does what we do the way that we do it.
So that's one aspect. Are there tons of people in the leadership world that are Christian-based? Absolutely. But we're not in competition with a single one of them. We believe and we have an abundance mindset. Again, you know, I referenced Daniel Lapin on the last show, again, his concept of says that people think that money is like a piece of cake or a whole cake. And if I get a bigger piece of that cake, there's less for you. And he says that's not God's economy. God's economy is like the light on the candles on top of the cake. I can always light your candle with my light. It doesn't matter how much I get. That's not the focus, right? There's, there's too many aspects around that. So when we look at this concept of, well, I have to be in competition, I have to do better than my competition. Oh my gosh, my neighbor is doing better than I do. His BMW is better than my BMW, their house is bigger than mine, you know, this concept of Keeping Up with the Joneses. You know, comparing myself to we have clients that are massively bigger than us. Right? We have, you know, one of our biggest clients 100 $50 million, right? But when they came to us, they were 50 million in 30 years or 25 years. And after doing what we helped them to do, they went 200 million in three years. Should I look at them and go, well, crud, we should be 100 100 and $50 million business? No, not at all. That's not That's not our goal. I'm not in competition. They are a power company. They don't do the same stuff we do. There's no competition there. Right. So whenever somebody gets this concept of competition, comparing themselves to others, all that that is screaming, is that your worth is absolutely tied up in your belief system. And your belief system is that you've got to be as good as somebody else. When I left Dave's, it was because I was called to. God called me to start this business. And the interesting thing is I knew I knew that I that was where my heart was. My heart was that I love being on the stage in front of, you know, 1000s of people. Sure, absolutely. But only because I was hopefully teaching people to change their lives. coming in this direction. We're making a Huge impact working on one with individuals or businesses and stuff like this, right? But even when I started this business every now and then there'd be this thought, in my mind, oh, I've got to build a platform really fast. And I would go, No, that is not why you're here. That is not what you're doing. It's not about a stinking platform, nobody cares about I don't care about that. God doesn't care about that you do what God's leading you to do. So that's my throat punch. If competition is your goal, you are going to find you're going to be severely let down.
Joel Fortner 15:32
So in part one of this discussion, you talked a lot about risk and about mitigating risk and how much you add risk to your life when you do debt. But isn't it, that if you are just a cash basis, debt-free company, aren't you just assuming a lot of risk there too? And like and then so that's one, but then it's like, how do you if you encounter difficult circumstances, like you're going to encounter in business anyway, how do you dig yourself out? If all you have is your own cash and your own money? And maybe what you do for a living isn't really crazy profitable. So it's not a ton of money go into the bottom line. So maybe there's not a lot that I can pull from to solve a problem that I'm going to run into? Like, how do business owners and business leaders navigate that? Yeah.
Chris LoCurto 16:22
So to the first part of that, yes, there's risk in any business. There's risk and waking up this morning, there's risk in walking outside, there's risk and getting in your car, there's risk in anything, right? The concept of running a debt-free business compared to a leveraged business is that the risk is mitigated. You have considerably less risk. Why? Because you own everything. And so if things go wrong, and if you've done a good job of covering yourself with insurance, and you've done a good job of, you know, making sure you're doing the best thing you possibly can, then when things go wrong, if they do go wrong. And you let's say you lose everything, you go to zero, you don't go to Well, I still owe $3 million. Right? That's the that's the ridiculous part about this is people think, Oh, well, if things go bad, I'll be good to go. No, you'll still owe the money. And if you're out is well, I can file bankruptcy man, I would say you need a deeper walk with God. Right? So is there a risk, of course, there's a risk. There's risk in any adventure, there's risk in any business. But for me, I take calculated risks. I calculate what we're going to do you tax the collective intelligence of our leaders in our team and pull stuff together. And we sit down and we ask the question, how could this fail? What would it look like? If it did? Is this something we're passionate about? We feel like it's going to change people's lives. You know, all of that stuff you're tasked with, you make sure that stuff happens while you make sure that the team is operating in the right decision-making. Is there a risk? Of course, there is. But when things go bad, once again, as we talked about in the last episode, COVID. We didn't lay a single person off, wouldn't you know, and I listen, this is not a judgment of people who had to, it was a really ridiculous difficult time. My point is, that nobody got laid off. Nobody lost their pay. We didn't decrease anybody's pay. We rocked on all the way through the year. And then because we did, and we kept serving our clients like crazy. Everything came back for us. And we did phenomenally well.
So is there a risk of absence? Thinking loosely? It's just terrible. What is a straw man statement? Is that what you would consider a straw man statement? Sure. There's risk in everything? Yes. But that's that is cutting out the concept of mitigating your risk by not having the debt in the first place. I've got if I've got cash, I've paid for everything. Right now. If we sold everything out of the business and chain, we're doing pretty good. You know, the last thing I want to do is do that. But if things go south in our business, geez, we've got assets we've got, you know, there's all kinds of stuff that we still have. That is a terrible end to something we'd love to do. But by gosh, we would make it through. The second thing is, you know, what about the profit aspect? What if I don't have a lot of profit, okay? I'm gonna hit you with the god aspect again, if God has called you to something, it's not going to fail. Now, does that mean that God's gonna bless you with millions of dollars of net profit? Not at all. But I do want you to understand if God's called you to it, he's going to find a way for it to be successful. If it's not successful, there are two questions I would ask. Did go Call me to this. And am I sending or doing something that's keeping us from being successful? Am I the one who's holding this thing back? Right? So if God wants it to happen, he's got he's got, he can make it happen. If you are running into low-profit situations, and you're saying to yourself this thing just isn't that profitable, then are you reaching out to people who actually know how to run a business? Are you putting people around, you know, one of the great things about our Mastermind program and didn't mean this to turn into a sales pitch? It's really not. But the thing that's so phenomenal is that we have people running businesses and leaders of businesses who are spending time with other people who do what they do, even if it's in a completely different industry. You know, we just had a retreat not too long ago, and everybody's sitting out at nighttime and after dinner and fireplace, you know, firepit going in people playing cornhole and all that, the discussions? How many times do we hear people say, I need this, I always need this time, I get to hang out with people who are experiencing the things I'm experiencing. Because how many people when you run a business, or you're a leader in a business, how many people do you know intimately, you know, that you're close enough with that are actually going through the same stuff you're going through or who've been through it? Or somebody you can help you can lift them up? Right? So this concept of well, this thing just isn't that profitable? Are you surrounding yourself with people who know what the heck they're talking about? Or is your cousin Eddie telling you how to run your business and giving you all the suggestions that he has, and he's never done it owned a business, or been a leader a day in his life? Right? So I would really question Is God called me to this. Am I doing stupid that's holding me back from God's blessing? Do I have the proper influence in my life that's helping me to make the right decisions? Those are the ways that I would think through that.
Joel Fortner 21:54
Okay, so let's say I'm sold, you've sold me. All right. You've you've handled all my objections to debt. Chris, on way too in debt? How do I get out of this? How do I get myself out of this? Because this seems like this is going to take a long time. Where do I start?
Chris LoCurto 22:13
So the first thing that you have to do, my suggestion is that you make sure that you are operating your accounting, well, if you don't understand what you're making and where it's going, and what your actual profit is, then it's going to be insanely difficult for you to get out of debt. So, you know, in for me, we teach a lot of the same stuff. You know, if you ever follow Financial Peace University, Dave Ramsey stuff, we apply a lot of that to the business as a person's getting out of debt, do you have an emergency fund? Do you have cash in case things go wrong? If you don't, and you start paying off debt, then guess what? If something goes wrong, you're screwed, and you're gonna have to continue to go further into debt to solve that thing. If you've got, you know, I personally prefer six months of operating expenses. If you had like, in case you have no business, what does that mean? So for some people, I remember I was talking to two gals cash probably about 12 years ago. And they're like six months, we operate a concrete plant. Do you know what the expenses are? I'm like, No, ladies, six months as if you have no concrete business whatsoever, like, oh, well, that's not much at all. It's like, yes. Okay. So we're not talking about the expenses that you're going to need as if you were still running the business. We're saying, let's say sales just completely stopped went kaput, you got no sales coming in, which means you don't have to put expense into materials and things like that. You just need to keep the doors open. What is the bare minimum to keep the doors open? Have that for six months. So in case your business just tanked? You can keep the doors open for six months. If you've got that in place, then I would do you know the same kind of concept as Dave would teach on the debt snowball. I would list my debts from smallest to largest. And I would pound I would do minimums on everything and pay, you know, the largest amount on that smallest debt. And I would go ballistic, I would go crazy. Now a lot of folks tend to ask us, do I start on my personal debt or my business debt? Do I start on my house? Or do I start on the brick-and-mortar of my office? And I'm gonna tell you a great way of asking your answering that question is if you were to lose something which would you rather lose? Would you rather lose your personal home, but you still got a you know, a business to go to? Or would you rather lose that business and you've got a home that is yours that you own?
So for me, as a business owner, I'm going to try and pay off my, if what we're talking about as you own both the business debt and the personal debt beat, let's say you're, you know, individual owner, then I'm going to try and well, even if you were partners, I'd still have this discussion which partnerships suck, don't do them, you know, I'm going to try and pay off my personal debt as fast as I possibly can and get myself in a position to pay off the business debt as fast as I possibly can. So that's my way of doing it, I would list those debts from smallest to largest, and I would pound the smallest debts, with everything that I have available that is not needed to go towards more business. So does that mean that you know, I'm not don't shut down your marketing, that's the thing that's bringing you in new business and loot new leads and new money so that you can pay off the debt, because what you're gonna find out is you're gonna have no more profit, right? So continue operating the business in the way that's working. But if you've got any spending, that's going to places that is unnecessary, and it's just luxury, and it's, it's so not needed, cut it off, get rid of it, and focus it on this debt as fast as you possibly can. As you pay those down, then just roll over the payment from you know, the, the big bulk on that small one on to the next smallest payment, or smallest debt. And just keep working your way up, and what you'll find is, you'll be out of debt, a heck of a lot faster than you thought you would. So that's how I would logically start focusing on getting out of debt. The big piece missing here is, again, you've heard me hit it 14 times in these two shows is the god piece. Go to God and talk through this. Talk to God about what he wants to talk to God about what it should look like. If you will do that, if you will spend time talking with God and asking Him He will guide and direct you, if you will find out and I will preach this from now until he returns. You know, if you are focusing on being obedient to Him in the ways that he desires, then you will find he will offer you many more blessings. Every time God shares his revelation with people. It's because he knows that he can trust that they're going to follow His ways. And they're going to teach other people to do it as well. So is there things that you're missing out on in your relationship, your walk with God, if you will, if you will really check that or talk to somebody like us, and we can help you to get that right, to get to that truth.
So those are aspects of what I would do to get out of debt. Please don't try to continue going after debt opportunities because you think it's going to make you all the money to pay off the debt that you're trying to pay off. Right, make smart decisions. The sooner you get out of debt, if you think if you just calculate, how much money are we servicing on debt every single month, think of what that looks like, you know, for people, there's a lot of folks out there, it's 10s of 1000s of dollars for some folks that maybe hundreds of 1000s of dollars, right? Think about how much money you're servicing on debt. When you get done with a debt, that money is yours. It's yours. Think of how much money as a business owner, you're taking home to take care of the debt that you have at home, when you pay that off, that money is yours, right? So when I started this business, I didn't have to take money out of this business, I had plenty of money. So I just kept folding the money back into the business for many, many years of just, I don't need this money, I can just leave it right here. Well, if you don't have debt at home, you don't have to take home as much money. What you'll find is is like if you cleared up all your debt at home, you'd be surprised at how much money you don't have to take out of your business. I'm not saying live on a shoestring budget, what I'm saying is, is that it would help your your business let's say you were able to take $20,000 less a year home, because you didn't you got rid of all your debt at home, you can then use that to service your business debt. And then when it's gone, you can take more money out, right? There's all kinds of things you can do to make smart decisions.
Joel Fortner 29:20
So several times in this two part series, you've referenced to go to God, pray, go to God, talk to God. There's a lot of people who say, I don't ever hear from God, Chris. I have prayed. I've been on my knees. I've just haven't heard from God. Like what do you say to that person? That's like, I don't know if that's going to help me in this situation. The
Chris LoCurto 29:44
difficulty in hearing God is that we always think that he's just going to respond to us and the way that we want to hear him. We assume that hearing God means I need to have this audible voice that tells me exactly What to do? I will say do I feel like I have heard from God many times in my life, Absa stinkin. Lately, I do. I remember the very first time I felt like I heard I wasn't expecting to, and I just heard his voice. And it sounded a heck of a lot like my voice inside of my head. You know, but it was clear, and it was focused on his stuff. I always say, you know, if you can argue with the voice inside your head, it's probably not you, it's probably God. Because you can't argue with you, you can reason with you, but you can't argue with you. The second thing to understand is, is that if that voice inside of your head is ever going against God's ways, it sure as heck is not God. God's not going to tell you to go into debt. God is not going to tell you to go into debt. God doesn't tell you to go into debt, just understand that, right? So when people say, Oh, God's telling me to go do this big business, and I had to go $3 million in debt that didn't come from God, that goes against His Word, God doesn't contradict himself. So understand, that you may not be hearing him in a way that you recognize. And it's very possible if you don't have a great relationship with him and walk with him and put him first and, and being obedient to Him, you may not be hearing him, it's very possible. The second thing is, is that you have to understand that God speaks through His word immensely.
So much, you know, people who don't believe in God, you know, or say, Well, I don't believe in the Bible, I don't believe God made the Bible happen. Well, if God's not big enough to make scripture happen, he's not big enough to be the king of the universe. He's not big enough to be the God who made 3.2 billion bits of code in your DNA. If he can't make a single book workout, you know, then he's not a big enough God. So for me, I'm always looking for what is God telling us through Scripture. What is he speaking to me, you know, in a five follow his biblical aspects of running a business, oh, my gosh, the Bible is full of how I should run a business, how I should treat people, how I should act, how I should care for my customers, how I should care for my vendors, there is a ton in there about how to run your business. So much of what we speak is biblically based right on how you should do things and handle people and treat people and what you should do with your finances, all that kind of stuff. So if you don't feel like you're hearing from God, I would go back to prayer, I would go to his word and spend quality time in there. And then I would find people who have been way further down the road. Now, please, I'm gonna make a caveat here, I used to be somebody who used to teach a lot of the stuff in the Western Christian church. That's just not accurate. It's just not godly. It comes from a whole bunch of paganism that entered the belief system 1700 years ago, if you've not read the book, Pagan Christianity, let me first say, you may not be ready for it. Number two, let me say you need it. Don't do audible. This is the one book I tell people physically read this thing. It's going to rock your world and talk to people who've been through it, who understand it, who are finding more and more of God's truth, who are operating more and more God's truth, right? Reach out to us, we would be glad to help. There's no ifs, ands or buts about it. But if you want to hear from God, you've got to make God more important than everything else in your entire life. If he's not more important than everything, then that may be a big reason why you're not hearing a lot from him.
Joel Fortner 33:38
So, Chris, a lot of people are in partnerships. You said a little while ago, I think to quote you partnerships suck, don't do don't do. And I know it's like we've talked about this a lot over the years. And for anyone who's new to us, it's, it's because they often just don't go well. And it's like getting married again. And it's like, it's, it's like having a second one, they often just don't go well. And they fall apart for many, many reasons. Hence, the point that I think we're about to make when I asked this question is what do you say to the person that's in a partnership? Their souls, man, we've got to get out of debt. The way we're running our business isn't smart. You're right. We're too leveraged. But my business partner doesn't agree with this. Like that that person is not on the same page as me. What do I do in that situation?
Chris LoCurto 34:25
I wish there was an easy answer for this. The problem is you're dealing with another owner. Right? If I decide to move the business in a direction, I have to sell you on it. But I don't 100% have to have your approval. If I own the business right now. I'm not gonna go in a direction that you don't agree with. But the point that I'm making is, is that the end of the day, I get to make the final decision. So if we were heavily in debt, and you were like, No, I don't see a problem with it. I think we should keep it well, too bad. We're getting out of debt. because I own this thing, and I'm the one who owns the debt, and I want it done, I want a gun. When it's a partnership, you're dealing with somebody else who owns most likely the equivalent amount of the business as you do. Right. And that's where it meant, you know, if you have the deciding factor, the deciding vote, the deciding percentage, great, Buster, but solid, understand, you may have that person go, Well, I want you to buy me out. You know, if we're gonna go this route, that I want you to buy me out, hopefully you've got a great buyout plan. Hopefully, you've got a great partnership agreement. Hopefully, you're just not in a partnership in the first place. Right? So if that happens, there's no easy answer. There is the hey, I want to discuss this and do everything we can to get to this place of agreeing on what we should do. But at the end of the day, if the other partner says, No, I don't want to get out of debt, well, it's not like you can pay off your half of the debt in the business doesn't have debt. If you pay down debt, you still are paying down the debt that you both owe, right? Now, if you could work some deal where you say, Well, I'm gonna split it up and pay down mine, and I'm gonna start taking more money home, I guess, maybe it's just not gonna work. That way, I can almost promise you, it's not gonna work that way. So the thing you may have to consider is, what does it take for you to get bought out? What does it look like for you to get out of this? Now, keep in mind, if you're in debt, there's a really good chance you guys don't have the money to buy out one of the partners. So it's, there's no great answer. My thing is prayer, prayer prayer, you know, do the best you can to help show the other partner how we can leverage cash, how getting out of debt is going to benefit us, you know, do the best you possibly can. But this is where a lot of partnerships end, you know, this is where a lot of partnerships go south.
Joel Fortner 36:54
So let's say business leaders down the path of paying off debt. And it's they're like slogging it out like it's hard stuff. They're used to running and gunning more, they're used to doing more, it's not this isn't fun to dig themselves out of this hole. How do they stay the course? What's your advice to just stay really resilient, so they can actually see this thing through? One
Chris LoCurto 37:22
of the the things that I love about the Debt Snowball is the quick wins. You know, people try to be savvy, I'm going to pay off the highest interest rate, I hear, yeah, mathematically it works. But at the highest interest rate doesn't get paid off for three years, where's your win? You know, where's the excitement? Where's the experience of Oh, my gosh, we're doing something incredibly well. Right? I'm not saying you can't do it that way. What I'm saying is, is that for some people, they need those quick wins. Now, I'm a little bit different. Where for me, you and I are both very utilitarian. If we've got to go do something, it doesn't matter, we're gonna do it, we're gonna pit bull it until it's done. Right, we're just gonna keep going. So, you know, the thing is, is I don't want people to try and prove that they can do the same thing. If you need some quick wins, get some stinking quick wins, go up to the smallest stuff, pay it off, feel really good about it, roll that money over. So yes, it's gonna be you didn't get into debt overnight, it's gonna take you a long time to get out of debt, right? If it took you a long time to get into debt, or accumulated or whatever, it's gonna take you a while to get out of it, right. So I would say go for the quick wins. You know, get that stuff rolling, get it out, get it done. And then roll it onto the next one. You'll be amazed at how getting rid of a small debt energizes you to keep going. So that's my suggestion. If you are somebody man, I would want you to really you, you have to know that you are highly utilitarian. You know, that you can just keep going. You know, you and I are two people who absolutely love food. We love quality, great tasting food, amazing food. But if it's a you know, average one's day, and we got a crappy salad that came through the door from some, you know, restaurant around, and we just needed food in our bodies, we're just gonna eat it, we're fine. We can move on, we can do that kind of thing. We're not going to eat crap food, though. You know, we stay away from junk food, but you get the concept. So if you can slog it out, and it doesn't affect you emotionally, then great, but I highly suggest go up to the winds. I don't even if you're highly utilitarian, knock off some quick wins and get that great feeling that you know get some dopamine pumping through you and you know, feeling good about yourself. All
Joel Fortner 39:47
right, last question. Let's say I'm debt free. I get there we get there. How do I resist the temptation of falling back into debt in the future when I'm looking at some thene some opportunity, something that excites me, how do I change my thinking enough to where I don't ever do this again? It,
Chris LoCurto 40:09
you would think that that would not be an issue, you would think that people who got out of debt would be like, I've never gone back. And unfortunately, opportunities can push somebody right back into debt, even if they've been out of it for many, many years, right. And people have asked me that question. Well, Chris, are you serious? Like, if you if a phenomenal opportunity came up, you wouldn't jump out at debt? No, I've been debt free for two decades. Why would I want to do that? The key is, I think there's a couple of of ways to keep yourself from making that decision. The first is, if it was ever painful for you to be in debt, you need to go back I mean, journal like crazy, while you're getting out of debt journal, like crazy, the things that you experienced journal, like crazy how it affected your marriage, your kids, your whatever, right? Your stress levels, whatever. And then go back and read those things. If you didn't experience that, find people who have. And let me say to anybody who's listening right now, and some of you know, I'm speaking directly to you, who's experienced the negative side of this become a big encouragement for other people not to make the same mistake. become somebody who helps other people, you know, don't worry, don't fear judgment, help people make the decision not to be here. So folks, if you're, if you're thinking, oh, you know, maybe I'll just get back in debt for a little bit on this opportunity. Talk to people who have been there and had the pain. Another thing is, is you're missing the point. If the opportunity is that great, and it requires debt, how can it be that great, it'll come along again, or different opportunity will come along, something else will happen. If it requires you to go into debt, than I'm telling you, it's probably not that great of an opportunity. Now, this is an area that people will just flat out disagree, Oh, you don't understand, Chris, I just got this contract from the government? Well, you should probably rip that thing up. You know, I just got this contract from another company. And this is going to be amazing, I just have to go into so much debt to service this company. You just got in bed with a company on your belief that they're going to run their business correctly, that they're not going to run through any problems, that they're not going to experience any crap. What if they do it, you're stuck with all the stuff had clients that experienced that too, you know, when did all of this inventory for this company in that company folded, and then they were stuck with all the inventory that they had, which was all debt and couldn't do anything with it. So I think there's a lot of things that you can do, to remind yourself, it's not the important thing. Ultimately, what I would say is your worth is not in how successful your business is, you know, continuing to take on opportunities with debt does not make you more worthy, it doesn't make you a better person. It doesn't make you smarter. In fact, I might say for some folks, it decreases the intellect some, it doesn't make you more appreciated by you know, intelligent people around you. Although people who don't know anything about running a business probably think you're incredibly smart. You know, it's not your worth, it's not your identity. Love what you're doing, run it the best, you can fill yourself with wisdom from people who teach you how to do it the right way. You know what it looks like, and then money won't be a problem. You know, one of the things we talked about was strap plan. We always tell people, that strap plan is not about finding money. Although on average, we find, I believe, $2.1 million above when we focus on revenue opportunities, we find $2.1 million on average above what people were expecting for the next 12 months. But the way we get there is that we solve all the things that are holding them back all of the issues that are keeping them from not only that 2.1 million, but what they're planning on anyways. Right? So we have helped people to just pound the numbers out of their brain and say, Listen, don't focus on that focus on the things that are keeping you from being there, and the money will show up. Finding money is actually not that difficult. It's solving all the problems inside of your business. That's way more difficult. So
Joel Fortner 44:36
speaking of solving problems, we have this big leadership event coming up this spring. And do you want to tell the folks all about it?
Chris LoCurto 44:44
I would love to I would love to tell people about how many leaders are frustrated because they don't have the time and tools to lead. Well. I know it's frustrating we all know especially that's why we do what we do right your day gets filled up with fires with people Rama with meetings that are simply a waste of time, and you never seem to get to what's important. And what actually moves the business forward. Reading books and listening to podcasts, except for this one aren't helping, and not much about your work life is changing for the better. Now again, the thing is, is that most leaders don't know how to implement what they've learned. And that's assuming that it was good information to start with. And this is why we created the Next-Level Leadership Live Event. If you feel frustrated or stuck about work these days, go to ChrisLoCurto.com/events. That's ChrisLoCurto.com/events. registration opens December 1 with $500 off every ticket you buy. But that's only for a short time, here's the great thing, you're going to learn the lessons that we practice daily inside of our own business, that are only taught at this event, the next level leadership live event or inside of one of our coaching programs. On top of that, you're going to have hours of workshop time, this has been one of the most beneficial things that we've discovered at these events is that you get to work on the things that we're teaching, literally right there. On top of that, you're gonna have access to our coaches during that time, they will help you to process this. So this is only a limited time offer. So go to ChrisLoCurto.com/events, before this offer slips away, and get yourself the tools you need to lead incredibly well. So
Joel Fortner 46:25
the more I've been thinking about this event, because we're in that kind of season, you know, we've been doing this event since 2016, this specific event. And I've been thinking a lot about talking it through with the team that we've got about, think about that most businesses, how much money they spend on their people. And it's whose job is it to unlock the gifts, the talents and the potential of that enormous investment that they're making into people, it's us, it's the leaders, it's our job, if we're not going to learn to lead better, who's going to do it, who's going to leave these people that there's a lot of us have, you know, team members that come to work, and they're devoted, they're committed, but they need great leaders who understand them and their motivators and their personality style. And that creates the culture and shapes the decision making. That makes that team really seen. And that's the job of leaders. And that's why we do this event. It's a meant to pour into you to make you a better leader. So you can go home and make your team amazingly successful.
Chris LoCurto 47:31
Well, you know, it's like we talked about with killing the leadership Crazy Cycle. That's we have two lessons on that. One is how to kill the leadership Crazy Cycle. And then the other one is what to do when you do kill it. Because so many folks, so many leaders, you know, as we said on the front of that, so many leaders don't have the tools to lead well. So as you're saying it's the leaders job to unlock well. That's great, Joel, but I don't really know how to do that. Great. Exactly, exactly. That's, that's why we're teaching this that's why we do this is so that you have those tools, right? We want you to kill the leadership Crazy Cycle, we want you to get out of that junk. And we want you to lead people well, but I don't know how to lead in my worth and my identity as being a leader. Don't worry about that. Get with people who can teach you how to lead well. And that's the purpose of this event. So if you want to unlock the talent of your team, and by the way, I'm like your own talent. There's stuff inside of you that you just don't know how to how to do it yet. You haven't figured out what does it look like for me to lead really well. Great. That's why we're here.
Joel Fortner 48:34
So speaking of the killing of leadership Crazy Cycle lesson, it's like you know that and then the leading people to success lesson it actually inspired me like we should rename the leading people to success lesson. It's dead now do this. That's That's my pants for today. But so
Chris LoCurto 48:52
you've killed the leadership Crazy Cycle. Now what? Now?
Joel Fortner 48:55
What, now to these things? That's so great. Thank you so much for all of the wisdom for two hours worth of a two part series on running a debt free business and the mental health and emotional health and the god aspects to it. I feel like it's been a great, great two part discussion. So thank you, for all the wisdom hopefully, guys, you all are gaining a lot from this. There's no doubt this is probably challenged you unless you've been like whatever Chris it's like this is all stupid. Like Like if you really dug in and listened. This is probably challenged you in some way, spiritually, practically. Leadership wise. And you know, that's a good thing. We were having discussions with our own team just this morning, about things that are like just be willing to be challenged. Challenge your thinking challenge what you think, you know, stay open to learning. And you will continue to learn and grow and rather than throw up the defenses and just be Nope, I've got it but my fingers in the years. And so hopefully this is this has benefitted you guys a lot. So Chris, thank you.
Chris LoCurto 50:06
Oh my gosh. Absolutely. Absolutely. Thank you for joining me on this and making this. Ask questions. Well, folks, we have come to the end. We hope that this encourages you to explore the idea of running a debt free business. As Joel just pointed out, if you are decently in debt, and you're not worried about it after this, after listening to these two episodes, I would question that, why am I not right? What am I missing? Is there something that I'm missing? So we also want to hear from you, we would love to hear your stories. We would love to hear your insights. So please feel free to share them with us at podcast@chrisLoCurto.com. Well, that's all we got. Hope it's helped you. As always, take this information, change your leadership, change your business, change your life, and join us on the next episode.
Grace and peace,