Duke of Digital

010 - Lessons my Mother Taught me about Business with Laura Meert

November 26, 2019 Brian Meert
Duke of Digital
010 - Lessons my Mother Taught me about Business with Laura Meert
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Duke of Digital
010 - Lessons my Mother Taught me about Business with Laura Meert
Nov 26, 2019
Brian Meert
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, the Duke sits interviews his mother about some of the most valuable business lessons that were taught to him as a child.

Brian Meert
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Duke of Digital
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Speaker 1:

All the best business advice I've gotten has come from my mother. Today, I'm going to introduce you to her and we're going to go through everything that she taught me back when I was a kid. Stay tuned for the Duke of digital [inaudible]

Speaker 2:

Presented by AdvertiseMint The Duke of Digital will guide you through the rapidly changing landscape of digital marketing social media and how to grow your business online. Ro submit a question for the show text 3 2 3 8 2 1 2 0 4 4 or visit dukeofdigital.com . If you need an expert to fix your adds the friendly team at AdvertiseMint is ready to help visit AdvertiseMint. That's mint .com or call 8 4 4 2 3 6 4 6 8 6. to

Speaker 1:

grow your business. Here's your host Brian Meert. I've got my, one of my favorite people on the planet, my mother here today to be able to interview on this show to give her wonderful. It was crazy. I was talking to you last night and I was like, we were talking about this show and what we would talk about on it. And I was like, mom, you know, you did all these things. You know, when I was little that led to success, I was like, was there someone that taught you all those things or were you just making it up? And what did you say to me?

Speaker 1:

I'm not sure. What did I say? You don't remember now. Oh, you said you were making it up as you went. Well, I did. Every day was a different day. You made me laugh so much last night cause I wasn't expecting. I was expecting like, well, no, you know, you're a great, great granddad, you know, set us all on the right path, but you're like, no, we made it up as we went. Um, well, thank you so much for being on this show. Uh, is, it's fantastic to have you here. And I want to walk through a couple of stories, um, and, and maybe first, you know, introduce you, uh, to the listeners. You know, this is my mother. Uh, Laura [inaudible], uh, I guess you've been around my whole life, so thanks for having me. Um, and I just, you know, it's, you're, you're, you were a nurse, a mother, a business owner.

Speaker 1:

Did I miss anything else along the way? They're like, tell us, tell us about yourself. Well, I like to do different things. I've met a lot of people and I've been a part of women's ministry at church and I've helped put together programs and um, I've done a little selling along the way and um, did a lot of time at the school where you kids went to school and helped out there and now I heard a rumor from, uh, from dad that you have been to 96 countries. Is that correct? 94. It's pretty close on planet earth. And how many countries are there total? Do I need to Google that? I'm a little over a hundred, I believe. I'm going to Google that right now.

Speaker 3:

Crunchies on earth. And the answer to that is 195.

Speaker 1:

Oh, so you're over 50 that you're halfway there. Hey, you're doing all right. Hey, look at that. Okay, well nice job on that. That's, that's a wonderful accomplishment to be able to do that. Which countries, if you had to pick the top three, they're most beautiful when you went there you're like, Oh this is amazing. What would you say? What would be your picks?

Speaker 3:

Um, I love Germany cause that was my heritage. I'm German by my father and um, the people just were so nice. It was just really a fun place. They welcomed you home. They did lots of colorful flowers around and happy people and I, I enjoyed that. The other one I enjoyed was Switzerland. It was a beautiful country and um, I love the mountains. I love the beauty. I love the goats and just walking around it was just very nice. And then I like Turkey because it was an interesting place to go. A lot of history there. Went to seven churches and um, got to see some of the places that I heard about in the Bible

Speaker 1:

is a place called a cap Kappa dosha. Kappa kosha. Where you Kappa dosha dosha. Where did you fly in the hot air balloons over?

Speaker 3:

No, we just went there and saw their big tall mountains and went into some of them and it was very interesting.

Speaker 1:

Someone was telling me about that and I was like, I've never heard of that place. And they're like, pull up a photo on Google and it looks beautiful and you fly in little hot air balloons every day. They have a whole bunch. They go over, uh, the area. It just looked like fun. I'd never, I've never been to that. That's on my bucket list. Oh good. You got Olin Jaya. I've got to go there. The only time I've seen Turkey is Thanksgiving. Ah, a little different. All right, well what I wanted to do is run through a couple of questions. Um, and basically the premise of this show is this, that, you know, a lot of the greatest reasons I was successful or I have been successful if I stop and look back, have because have been because of you, things that you taught me or you know, did with me that at the time maybe I didn't realize.

Speaker 1:

Um, but like, I don't know. I, I w that's what I want to run through is some of these little stories that I've got and I want to hear what led you to, you know, do those things or those we'll walk through them. So, um, I think there's a lot of nontraditional business lessons that happen in life. You know, a lot of times people are like, Oh my teacher's Cheryl's and now to make money and this and this. And you taught me how to be kind to people, how to put people first, how to be friendly, how to always do your best. There's a bunch of different, you know, lessons that you gave me the head, nothing to do with business. I mean they do have something to do with business but they have to do with being a good person first. And those lessons have taken me so far and opened so many doors where other people are like, how did you make something happen in that scenario? And a lot of them, if I fall, follow the tracks back have led me back to something that you've taught me. So you are the star of this show. Are you ready? I'm ready. Okay, so question number one, and this is a difficult one, but when did you know that I was your favorite child?

Speaker 1:

The moment you were born? Yeah. Did you, did you tell him? I said, did you tell my sisters? Then you're like, Hey, that's it. Ryan's a Ryan's. No, you were just so cute. We all love to, you are the star. Uh, I love it. I love it. Um, well I, I do remember seeing a photo at the house when I was a little baby that you guys, I guess took me on a trip to Alaska and you put me, I was in like a little, a little onesy like a little bear looking onesy and you putting me out in the snow like by myself and went back. I mean in the photo it's probably like 10 feet and took a photo. But to me it looks like I was left for the wolves. We did that. That was a good photo shoot. It was a good photo cause I saw, I was like, did you find me in the wilderness?

Speaker 1:

Like what did I really come from? Actually you rode to Alaska in a bassinet in the middle of our orange van all the way. It took us almost a week to get there. And so when we hit Alaska and got to see some snow, say had to get the photo shoot as we thought we'd have to turn around and go home. Maybe he's going out in the snow by himself. Anyway, it's a great photo. Um, okay, so let's, let's get onto the business questions. Your number one piece of advice. If I had to rank all the advice you've given to me over my life, there's one thing that you have said that has resonated or that it will always come out at multiple times. Do you know what it is? Yes I do. Oh, what is it? It's always do your best. That is it.

Speaker 1:

So walk me through this. Where did that come from? Because in my life there has been multiple times that I have tried something and completely failed, which a lot of times can destroy someone. And I always felt like I had the support from my parents that were like, go try. But it doesn't matter. Like just do your best, like don't do it and you have to win. You have to win. You have to be number one. I remember when I tried to be a magician, I went to a school, a play or they had a school talent show and I was trying to put a needle through a balloon without popping it. And I was so nervous, I didn't blow the balloon up enough and I, I, I couldn't get it to go through cause I was part of how the trick worked. And the people were like, yeah, you're cut.

Speaker 1:

Like there was three teachers from the school and they're like, yeah, you're not getting this show. You're horrible. And I remember that really, like I practiced for months before that, but I was so nervous and they're like, yeah, you're cut from the show. And I was like, Aw man. And that was the end of my magician career right there. Those three judges. It was like America. Uh, America's got talent, only the Sacramento only version. And I got cut. I got laughed off. Um, I remember when I tried to be a mountain bike racer, you remember that I had a little mountain bike with front shocks. I thought I was the coolest thing ever. And I was like, mom, I'm pretty sure I'm going to be the world champion mountain bike racer. Will you take me to a race up in, uh, up in Tahoe somewhere?

Speaker 1:

And we go there dead last place. Like I got my butt whooped by everyone else there with these incredible like thousand dollar bikes that were just like, they'd been doing it all the time and they lived up there a complete stormy. I came home, I was like, all right, well that's, that dreams died. But I was proud of you because you did your best that you could and that you tried and you gave it a good shot. But where does that come? So to walk me through where that comes from, like, did you make that up? Did you get that taught to you from someone else? Where did that come from and what's your, your mindset behind that, that piece of advice? I never heard those words from my parents. Um, but I had four kids and they were very busy and they had a lot of activities.

Speaker 1:

You were into sports and clubs and school. And I just always want you to do your best to give it a good shot for your test. It is your responsibility to study and whatever you did is what came out. So do your best. So I would, Oh, I'd hope that you would study and prepare and um, get a good grade out of that. Yeah, I know. You know, it's funny because it's a good middle ground for what's realistic in life. You know, people that are like you have to go to when, you know, the honest truth is you won't win all the time in life. And while that's, you know, a good driving force, it, it can leave people devastated when they don't win. You know, when they give it their all and they walk away with second place or with, with, you know, not even that to be like, what is my worth now if I'm not winning?

Speaker 1:

Um, and on the flip side, there's people that, you know, will be like, you're a failure. You're doing nothing or everything you do, where they're going the other way, but you were always like, just go try, do your best and just keep going. Like if you win, great job. If you lose, great job, keep going, keep moving forward. Always do your best. And there's lessons failure too, that you may not always be the top dog. You may not always come out ahead, but you learn what you did wrong and you know, one way that didn't work. So you just keep going and try something else until you either reach your goal or you just, um, change your direction and make it sound so easy. Oh, it is. Just keep going. I mean, I just, I know with running a business that there's just crazy moments.

Speaker 1:

There's stress and up and down and a million little things that you've gotta get right. Um, and any one of them, you know, if you fall off one cliff can be the end of your business. Um, and it can, that can crush it or end it in that one very moment. Um, and I think just having that in the back of my mind, which is always do your best. Like, you know, I may not be Mark Zuckerberg, but I'm going to do my best at what I'm doing right here today. Um, and I think that leads kind of to do, you know, another piece of advice that I've heard is do the best with what you have. Meaning you may not have as much money as your competitor, but it doesn't matter. Like all things will never be equal in this life. You have to, and you had that first part of it, which is what got me started.

Speaker 1:

And I would, there's moments where I would get myself down like, ah, my business isn't growing as fast as someone else's, but I don't know what else is there. If he's got his uncle is Warren buffet, it's like, yeah, I'll give you some money that, you know, he may not need to be as good, like, or maybe he's doing something, he's even better, you know, you just don't know. But I think if you always do your best, you're on a good path. You are, um, any teachable moments along the day and that helps direct you to either make a change or to find out what else you could do or to ask some buddy for help. Ask for directions and don't be afraid. Yeah, go for it. Alright, second story. This is one that I wrote is burned in my memory cause I, I hated it when it was happening, but it was one of probably the best lessons is I remember you would give us chores or give us task and you would come and be like, I'm going to watch and make sure you do it right.

Speaker 1:

And I remember one of them was you wanted me to clean a shower with a toothbrush and you're like, or with not a toothbrush. It was just a brush, like a scrubby brush and you'd be like, go do it. And I was like, cool. I'd walk in there and be like, like one wipe across it and then walk out. And you're like, no, there's still dirt in these little crevices. I was like, ah, I hate doing this. I don't like doing, I don't want to. And you were like, if you're doing a job, you do it right. Let me do your best and do your best. But you, I remember you being like, you finished the job and you do it. You finish what the task is, you know, where does that come from?

Speaker 3:

Well, that comes from parenting. That's what parents do. Moms, we want to teach our kids to have you be home and get through life, to not know how to take care of yourself, not to know how to make your bed, feed yourself clean up. Um, those are things that I would feel really bad if I didn't teach you how to do those things in life. So that was my main goal, to make sure that you could eat and get a job and take care of yourself.

Speaker 1:

Now I had an interview earlier with dad and we talked about his, his number one piece of advice, which was choose your own battles or choose your battles, right? Um, there was a time in sixth grade where they split the class. We went to a smaller school in Sacramento, but they split it into two and there was one teacher that was known throughout the school as being the best teacher to get, and I remember as a kid you went in and said, we would like to get Brian in that class and they told you no, the class is full. At which point you're like, like a pit bull. No, that is not the right answer. That's what we're going to switch that around. I want him in this class. Things have got to change and I remember you going and arguing like, no, it doesn't work for me.

Speaker 1:

We need to switch this around and and fighting to be like, I want my son with this teacher. Do you remember that? I certainly do. That year of school was my favorite teacher of all time. I would have done anything for that teacher and I was a rambunctious little guy, always getting into trouble. If she came up to him, he was like, Brian, I'm not feeling well today, so I need you to be on extra special behavior. I would sit in that chair and I would not have talked the entire day because I would have done anything for that teacher and how amazing she was. When, what is it that, when do you know when to fight? Because someone told you no, and you were like, no, this is important for me and my family, or you know, what's going on in my life. And you went back to people that have given you a hard no.

Speaker 1:

And you're like, that's not gonna work for me. And when I call that is in my world, I call it kicking down the door, which is, if a door is closed, boom, window, chimney, basement, any way I can find a way in. If it doesn't happen, I've got to make this. I need to get an outcome that I have to make happen and I'll keep going and going and being relentless until I'm able to find that way through. Where does that come from? I mean, obviously I got some of it from you. Um, but those moments, you know, you and dad are, is always so happy and peaceful, but there are times you're like, no, it is time to fight.

Speaker 3:

Let's go. Well, you were headed down the path of self destruction. You were quite a character. You were always getting in trouble when she says that it mostly involves fireworks and explosions. Yes, yes. Things like that. Bombs. But I just saw that if you would have been in that one class, um, the teacher just made a difference to you and you weren't listening. And so the other teacher just was very vivacious, very energetic and Oh my gosh, what a difference it made. And I just felt it was so important because your life was at a teetering point, whether you were going to be a little rebel or whether you are going to comply. I think it's still at that point, I know, I never know which way is it going to go. Oh. But it was a really good choice. And like you said, she loved you into just always doing your best. Yeah. Yeah. Fantastic teacher. Mrs. Johnson. Yup. Oh, shout out to you. Um, okay, next story. This is one that when it happened,

Speaker 1:

my mind was blown. I am an MBA school. Uh, I have Edina bins, like try to start your business. We get up and we're, we're doing our, our small little business. It wasn't anything massive. And at graduation, they invite the vice president of Walmart, one of the largest copper, uh, companies on the planet, a level down from, um, Sam Walton, uh, and they're like, come speak at this school. Do you remember this? You know where I'm going? Sorry. Okay, good. So me and my two other business partners that were, we did it right? We were friends that were like, Hey, let's start a business. Um, they eventually folded and didn't do much, but we were like, this guy's going to be there. This is our shot of how we are going to become billionaires by getting our little product that we've created into all Walmarts. He's going to sell it everywhere.

Speaker 1:

We're going to make a ton of money. We'll all have Lambos by the end of the year. That was literally the conversations that we're having. What color Lamber Lamborghini you're going to have. And you know, things like that. So we get there and I remember there was a dinner where we were set to meet him and the Dean was like, Hey, I want you guys to come meet him. And you guys were in town. So I invited you. And Dan said, Hey, come hang out. There's a, they're doing an event. We came out and I remember him being there and waiting our turn. We dressed in our nicest suits. We're ready to go up to, to talk to this guy, uh, and we get ready to go and we're talking with you is we're getting ready. And he kind of walks over and we're like, Oh Hey. And we get ready to pitch him.

Speaker 1:

And we were literally to go into the conversation like, Hey, we'd like to tell you about like doing our shark tank pitch, right? Oh, Hey, here's what we need to do. And he walks up and you were like, hi, how are you? What's your name? And he starts to explain your name, where are you from? And he's like, Oh, you're from Arkansas. And he's like, what? Tell me do you have kids? What's it like out there and you all three of us, they're in our suits. We're like, Oh shoot. What was going through our mind was that my mom had just jumped in and taken over the conversation and our business deal was dead and we're like, and the other two guys like Brian, your mom is ruining it. What happened was that within five minutes he's like, Oh you got you, you guys are joking, you're talking about different things.

Speaker 1:

And he's like, next time you guys are in Arkansas, come out to my house. I will show you guys around. And he's literally inviting you and your family to be like, come hang out. And I remember we then talked to them a little bit and we went away and you know, that was kind of it. But I remember being blown away because I was ready to say, you need to give me something. And you looked at him as, this is my friend. This is a new person that doesn't know they're my friend yet and I am going to win them over. I'm going to talk to them about themselves and let them know I care about them and my goodness, if I go to networking meetings all the time, if 97 to 98% of people in those areas do it my way, which is the wrong way, and you did it 100% a right way where you made a friend that was then like calling you, he was like coming out of my house. Yeah we got tons of land and I'll show you around the Walmart headquarters and you are getting a personal invite. Does he, do you remember that? So what? Where does that come from? Like what is, you know, what are you thinking when you go up and talk to someone that is worth hundreds of millions of dollars and I've seen you talk to someone on the street with peer scenes and crazy hair and you talk to them the exact same way. Every person is the same in your eyes. But tell me how does that work?

Speaker 3:

Well, everybody's a worthy person and we all have good points and we all have bad points. But I choose to look for the good in people and that was one of the things I felt very strongly about was that no matter who you met, they all were just regular people just like you. They may have worked hard and made a lot of money and yet still they were approachable. We would have some woman ministry speakers and I would have you kids come and help me and help set up and talk to them and I wanted you to feel comfortable around people of fame and that were very popular and that we paid a lot of money to have them come because I wanted you to feel that you could come up and say, well hi, how are you doing today? How's your day going? And that's what you kids did. You just opened up and you accepted them as just people that you had met. And so it's wonderful

Speaker 1:

it that one tip alone has opened so many doors for me where I will be like, I'm not trying to get anything from other people. Let's, let's have some fun and let's just tell jokes and, and be friends. And like if like basically I treat people like they're my friend that they don't know yet and we're going to be good friends by the end of tonight. Like that's it. That's right. And I just, it's crazy because I have that trait because of you and, and how I would see it done again and again and again. So good job. Thank you. Good job. Okay. Um, next, next story. There is something that you would always do. Um, and I, this is again, I didn't realize how critical it was. A lot of times I just thought it was annoying, but later in life I'm like, man, this is fantastic.

Speaker 1:

And this is what I call the airport story. Yeah. I don't, Oh, I'm getting a look, which is for my entire life. If someone was going to the airport, was flying in or flying out, you would go and be like, I will take you to the airport back before TSA. I will walk you to the gate. I will stand at the gate to make sure you get on the plane. And I will wait there until that plane takes off. Because if it were to not take off, you would be stranded and I wouldn't be there. And you would wait until it was done and then boom, we'd be gone. And if something was coming in, we'd be there ahead of time. We'd wait for it to land and we'd greet him at the gate. Um, and that was something you've always done. Even today when I fly in, uh, to come see you, you'll be like, I am, I'll be there to pick you up.

Speaker 1:

And I'm like, mom, nah, I'll grab an Uber. And you're like, no, I will be there now. I feel bad sometimes because even still today, you guys flew in a to lax. I sent an Uber, Uber black, which is the nice ones. Did you like that? Yeah. Um, but I, I still feel guilty sometimes because I need to be there. My mom would have been there for me. I run a pretty busy day, so I'm like, man, that's the next best thing. And you walk out and there's a car and you're on the way here. But where did that come from? That element of you are the number one priority. People are the number one part. If you are important in my life, there is nothing else that matters besides making sure you're safe making you're taken care of. I mean, part of that is a mother.

Speaker 1:

But part of that is I like seeing that happening and seeing you do it again and again and again where you had things to do and you're like, yeah, no. That other meeting I had, it's not as important as making sure you are safe and you're on your way. But I have done that in other elements. I mean, I didn't do it today, so a party foul on me, but I did see the car drive off and it was a nice car. Um, but I still, I, I've done that in many scenarios and have been surprised at the dividends that has paid in my life of someone being like, wow, you did that for me. That's where it's called love. And when you love people, you love your kids and you want the best for them, you want to make sure that they're safe. Beginning to end of coming and going and just being a part of their life and letting them know that they are most important to you.

Speaker 1:

Nah. [inaudible] I'll look at that. I mean, I, I it's, it's just fantastic. I mean, I think it does come from, you know, mother's love, um, but that, that trade or that principle rings true so much in, in business because it really does. The things that people care about will get their time. We'll get their attention and we'll get their money. Um, that is what are their priorities in their life. And you can tell when you're not a priority for someone else. Um, and I just think if you're going to do something, you do it all the way and you focus on that, that person or that element and be like, you are the priority. I know. Yes, you are. Oh, well thank you. I just think it's great, great advice and I've seen it happen multiple times. All right. Um, last, uh, last question, and this is something that I've seen you do very well, is the importance of having a clan or a tribe, your close friends.

Speaker 1:

And this is something I've seen you do very well and it doesn't happen. You don't realize how much you need close friends until you have none and you have always done very good about investing in people. So walk me through that. Where, where does that come or is that just natural? Like you just like being around people or do you make a conscious effort to be like, people are important and I want to spend time for them and this isn't just your kids, this is other people that I see you do it where tell me about your day, the things that take time out of your day of you to understand what's going on in their life. But these are traits that I've seen and have worked miracles for me in the business world. What does it, where does it come from? Just from caring about people. I'm finding out a little bit about them finding out how their day is going. So it's just a matter of checking in and your

Speaker 3:

time in somebody else because you never know what an amazing person that guy or gal could be and that you would miss them. So I don't want to do that and miss getting to know them. So I tried to just introduce myself and see what they're up to.

Speaker 1:

What's your best opening line? So if we, you know, we're in Hollywood right now, or if you were walking down the street and a celebrity talking to her, you don't even know they're a celebrity, what would you say to them when you walk up to them?

Speaker 3:

Hi, how's your day going? What, what have you done today? Have you had a good day? And, um, gee, this is a great place. Do you live here? So that works so much better than my approach, which is,

Speaker 2:

Oh my God.

Speaker 3:

And what is your name? Oh, Tom cruise. Oh, hi. Nice to meet you.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. Usually doesn't end well. Um, yeah, it's crazy. Well, let's do this. Any final words of wisdom, um, from you for other business owners, whether it's, you know, a CEO of a fortune 500 company or you know, a, a single mom that starting a business because she wants to, to have a better life for herself. Any advice that you would give to them, um, as they move forward?

Speaker 3:

Sure. Um, make your plan work hard, implement it, see what works, what doesn't, make the changes and then keep moving on till you get what you want and um, be kind to people along the way because you never know the person that you just walk by. Maybe they could help you down the road. So if you always say hello and know their name, then you could come back and say, Hey, yeah, you told me about this. Could you tell me more? How do I get there and what do I need to do? So then you have a friend that you could go and open up.

Speaker 1:

I love it. And then any last thing and then we would finish with always do your best. Uh, I love it. Thank you so much for being on this show. Um, thank you guys for tuning in. I hope you enjoyed it. I'll make sure to always do your best. That's it. Wonderful advice.

Speaker 2:

Thank you for listening to the Duke of digital podcast with Brian Mitt. Want to network with other business owners. Join our exclusive group at facebook.com/groups/duke of digital fancy the Duke. Leave a five star review on your favorite podcast app and you can be mentioned on the show. The Duke of digital was produced by advertisement and recorded in Hollywood, California. All rights reserved.