He also has some pretty extraordinary stories about almost being killed while working on a fishing boat in Alaska… So, there’s that. Enjoy the show!
Mindie: We are so excited today to have our dear friend, Kevin Thompson, with us on The Lucrative Society. This is a pure delight for us because Sean and I were talking this morning about just people we know and we brought up Kevin’s name and it just brings a smile to our face. We both adore this human, so we are delighted to have him here with us and we can’t wait to share him with you. Welcome, Kevin, to The Lucrative Society.
Kevin Thompson: Well thank you and it’s my pleasure to be here. Man, I feel totally the same way about both of you too. So we’re all in good company today.
Mindie: That’s my absolute favorite when it’s like we adore you. You adore us. It’s just good, good, good.
Sean: Kevin, I said this morning to Mindie that you are the most likable person on the planet and I think you have taken that skill of likability and created such beautiful wealth and value to the planet. And so when we dive in here, I want to just continue to go back to that likability, playful, charismatic side to you that has helped you to create wealth, hasn’t it?
Kevin Thompson: Sure. You bet it has. You bet it has. Yeah, cause I mean I’ve always felt that way that, you know the relationships that we have in our lives are the most valuable asset that we have. And you’ve experienced that being around Joe and Genius Network and stuff. I have just met so many amazing entrepreneurs through that group, we’ve had friendships longer than a decade and you’re right, you know, just being able to take an active interest in other people for no other reason than just to do that has just been so valuable to me. And like, yeah, has absolutely helped me grow my business over the years as well.
Mindie: So Kevin, you though, take that, I think, to a different level because I think a lot of people would say that. Everybody would agree with that. However, I’ve seen… You just recently posted on Facebook about how you traveled across the country to be with your brother at a time when he needed that. And Sean was just telling me this morning that, I would love for you guys to share this story where you flew to Santa Monica just to hang out with him for like a few hours. So you, the thing that I love about you, Kevin, is you do it, you don’t just say it, but it’s, it’s something that you consistently do. You make relationships a high priority and you act on that.
Kevin Thompson: Yeah. You know, it’s interesting. Well, in fact, Sean, I remember that cause was in March of 2010 and the reason I remember that so vividly was the conversation I had with my wife before I left and she was like, I better not have this baby while you’re gone, otherwise you’re never going to hear the end of this one. And fortunately, she didn’t. Eliana was not born until after I got home from meeting with you. But yeah, I mean, if we look at my brother, I mean quite honestly, I was not planning to take that trip last week. And, and honestly, you know, he had downplayed the situation so much. And even before I was getting my ticket he’s like, Kevin, you don’t need to come down here. It’s not that big a deal. But then his wife called me back and she’s like, Kevin, you do need to come down here.
It is a big deal. And here’s what your brother’s not telling you. And I’ll tell ya, when I found out from his wife what was really going on, I don’t know why… Well, you know what, my brother probably just didn’t want to worry. But once I found out what the real situation was and that he might not even make it through the surgery, I’m like, man, I’m going, you know? I teach this stuff to other people, but I always really caution people. Even like this active appreciation exercise, I teach that to other people as far as how to connect. But I always at the same time caution them, you know, don’t view this as a strategy or a tactic. Just let it be who you are and when we can be this way and not really have to concern ourselves with what other people think of me.
What are people gonna think if I do this? Just be that person for them as well. I’ve had so many people just open up and just share really personal stuff with me over the years because they know that they can, and I like being that person and I have found some background history on that. I don’t know how much time we got and how deep you want to go in on this. But I have had a gal that really helped me understand why the heck I am that way. But more and more people are just seeing this for what it is and just really taking their eyes off themselves and just connect with other people to just be that person and hold that role and hold that space for them.
Mindie: Well, I would love to hear a little more…
Sean: I was just going to say that.
Mindie: About you and why that is. Because you know, Sean and I talk a lot about this: there’s different ways of building business and building wealth. And for some like you and like Sean, it is people, it’s relationships, it’s all about that. In Roger Hamilton’s book, he calls it a Blaze type of person. It’s those that that’s how they build everything. For me, that’s not me at all. I’m an introvert and I love the idea part of it and the creative part of it and all of that. I would love to hear more about the background of why that is for you, Kevin.
Kevin Thompson: Well, so there’s this gal, I don’t know if you know her or not. Her name’s Michelle Lowbridge. And I met her through Giovanni and Archangel group was where I first met her. She’s just one of these gals, she can get into your head. And she starts asking me all these questions. What’s so interesting is even though this was my life, I’ve never even thought about any of this backstory until having this conversation with her. But when I was a little kid up through fourth grade, I grew up in this little small town here in Washington state where everybody in the town knew everybody. But when I would go to school, everybody was just friends with everybody and you just got along with everybody really well.
At the end of my fourth-grade year, we ended up moving to a different town and when I switched schools, it was a completely different experience that I went from that environment of just all my friends around and everything, where now it was just different. I felt like I didn’t fit in, kids would tease me. I wore glasses at the time when I was a little kid and apparently I had big ears because kids would call me big ears. Kids would call me four eyes and my last name was Thompson so they’d call me tombstone. From 4th grade all the way through 10th grade, I was in this space where I just felt like, yeah I had friends, but in so many ways I’d feel like I didn’t fit in.
I was wondering like what happened? What happened in that move from where I was to where I am now and why are things so different? And at the end of my 10th-grade year, my father passed away and when that happened, my mom, she was like I’m going to send you and your brother to private school next year. And I was like Oh mom. I said I don’t want to go to a private school. And you know I was playing basketball and I was like I want to play basketball. She goes, Kevin, I’ve already checked into it. They’ve got a basketball team there, you can still play basketball. You go there for one quarter and if you absolutely hate it then you can go back to public school. And so I went there and I’ll tell you what. Man, it was a game-changer.
I went from my public school, my graduating class would have been 1200 kids. At this private school, my graduating class was 16 kids, so the whole high school was like less than 80 kids. And all of a sudden… because my best friend had already been going there, I found my place again. And I loved it. I loved the smallness of the school. I loved that it was the way it was when I was previous to fourth grade. It was just everybody just got along. I had all these friends and so it was this whole amazing experience and I was like, now I fit in again. And you know, when I was sharing all this with Michelle, she was like Kevin, she goes, you know what? This whole thing has been around you.
You just want to be you. You just want to be in an environment where you can be you. Cause you’ve experienced that when you were younger. Then you had that period of a few years where you didn’t have it, then you had it again and you’ve now had it ever since and you just, everything you do is you just like being around people that you enjoy being around. It’s the same way for anybody who’s really good about this, that we don’t focus on the money. We don’t focus on like, Oh we could do this thing and make all this money together. We just do it because we love doing it. And the byproduct, especially if we’re entrepreneurs, if we get this right and we build relationships, the byproduct of that is we’re going to make money too.
Sean: So Kevin, I want to ask you now, there’s a component that we create every single interview and it’s called the HERB. And I just want you to think about these three concepts, four concepts, I’m going to ask them individually. H for HERB stands for habits. What are some of the habits that you have to create wealth and happiness?
Kevin Thompson: Okay. So I briefly mentioned this thing of active appreciation and that has definitely become a habit for me. Whereas on a daily basis, I am just reaching out to people in my life to let them know something. Typically, one thing that I genuinely appreciate about them and that can be, you know, via an email. It can be a text message, a Facebook message, or I’m just going to pick up the phone and call. And I heard Steve Sims do an interview about a year and a half ago where he was talking about, you know, Hey, pick up the phone and call people. It’s kind of a lost art. People don’t do that anymore. And I’ve been amazed when I started doing that cause I’m thinking like, Oh, they’re not gonna, they’re not gonna answer the phone. But a lot of times people do, you know? And like the first couple of times that happened, I was like a little bit surprised, but yet it led to these great conversations. And but you know, the one thing that people don’t get enough of is just genuine appreciation. Other people letting them know that they are genuinely appreciated. I’ll tell you what that goes so doggone far.
Sean: So from habit to environment. That’s the E in HERB. What are some of the environments you put yourself into or things that you make sure are not present in your personal environment? What environments do you create to create your wealth and happiness?
Kevin Thompson: So, we’ve talked a little bit about Genius Network. Being in places where I am going to stack the odds in my favor, where I’m gonna meet some great entrepreneurs. Genius Network is one of those places. Various seminars that we’ve attended. Sean, I’ve been to your seminar in the past, that’s a great event. Just intentionally putting ourselves in these spaces and, some of them they will require, I mean Genius Networks is a $25,000 annual investment. That’s a pretty substantial investment. But when you join a group that has an investment of that caliber well, it’s going to attract other people that are willing to make that same kind of investment in themselves. And as far as when I’m at home, what I’ve found for me, an environment that works well, Joe, we’ve talked about Joe, he likes to go to the library.
I can tell you that for me personally, that doesn’t work for me. It’s just too quiet there. I like going to a coffee shop. That’s what works for me. I mean, I don’t know what it is about just being there in that space, the aroma of the coffee and all that, the people coming and going that it just works for me. And two days a week I head to the coffee shop. Usually, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I head the coffee shop for a few hours and that is some of my most productive time. I just love being in that space and creating that environment for myself.
Sean: I get that. So that takes us to the R which are the resources. What are some books that have shaped your life and your career or courses, video courses or live trainings? What are some of the resources that other people take a look into to develop their wealth and happiness?
Kevin Thompson: Okay. I mean, definitely a lot of books over the years. One of the big ones that really, and it’s a quick read, is a book called The Go-Giver by Bob Burg. And actually I’ve had a few people give me that, but the first person that gave me that was Bedros Keuilian gave me that book several years ago. And I read that on the plane ride home from Arizona. And that book was a game-changer for me, just talking about how to treat other people. And then one that I’m reading right now, which we got a couple of them here. One of them is No BS Trust Based Marketing which is Dan Kennedy’s book. And then I’ve got Cameron’s Vivid Vision book that I’ve been going through. And you know, those two books I’ve kept on my desk because I keep referring back to them and I already went through and created my own vision. Before we started recording we were talking about, you know, being able to have clarity around where we are wanting to go and cause when we lack clarity, we’re just kind of in this funky space where we’re like, okay, what next?
Where do we go from here? But when we have clarity and we know where we want to go, why we want to do it, who we want to help, whatever that looks like, it just makes the path a whole lot easier when we got clarity and Vivid Vision is a great resource for helping give clarity.
Sean: That’s awesome. And then that rounds us out with beliefs. That’s the B in HERB. And beliefs, specifically, what are beliefs that you have about yourself that have helped to create your wealth, influence, impact, happiness.
Kevin Thompson: You know, I’ll tell you what. Jesse Elder has been really instrumental in this for me. And you know, some of the things that he has said to me over the years, which I find myself repeating over and over. So one of the things that he says is, the most challenging thing is realizing how easy it can really be. And, I know for me personally, you know, for a lot of my life, I tended to make things a lot more difficult and it was my own doing. And you know, the other thing that you know, comes into my mind all the time that this kind of comes out of conversations Jesse and I have had, which is this whole thing of “nothing to hide and nothing to prove.” And that we are enough, all of us, we are enough right here, right now.
And we don’t have to put on a front and act like everything’s, you know, that we’ve got it all figured out. And we know all, we don’t have to have all that stuff, but what we do, we just take our own God-given, unique gifts or what Dan [Sullivan] would call “unique ability” and just use that. Once again, Dan always talks about how, you know, when you’re working in your unique ability so many people think like, Oh, well, you know, that comes so easy. Anybody can do that. Like, no, not anybody can do that. You can do that. That’s your thing. And when you figure out how to use that unique ability to be able to help and to serve others, that’s when you start getting some serious traction going.
Sean: So around beliefs… I just have one more question regarding beliefs. What is your belief on money? What are your beliefs about money?
Kevin Thompson: So my belief… Like what it used to be, or what it is now?
Sean: Maybe both. Show us the contrast.
Kevin Thompson: So I was raised by my father who always told me, Kevin, the harder you work, the more successful you will be. And you know what, that was the best advice he had because that was his experience. I mean, gosh, she used to work as a commercial fisherman in Alaska and then, and he did well for himself, but that was his experience. And so that was the advice that he passed on to me. Of course, that’s probably a part of the reason that I got into being a commercial fisherman for seven years. That was after my dad passed away, but I remember even doing that job. I was like, man, if my dad can see me now, he would be proud because man, this is so damn hard work right here. And but after almost losing my life in ’95, I’m like you know what, at what cost? Now I’ve come to realize that it’s not about hard work, at least for me personally. Do I work?
Heck yeah, I work. But it’s got a whole different feel around it and this belief that you have to work hard to make money or to be successful, I don’t buy into that anymore and I will work, no doubt about it. But my work now, just like I know your work is Sean, and your work is Mindie, we work, but it’s also, it’s very enjoyable. In fact, you were talking with me before we got started this morning about the enjoyable aspects of what you do and how much and when you’re in that spot you just get so much out of it too. But yet, people are compensating you for that role that you hold in their life, that you get so much satisfaction from. And of course, when we are that way, we are at our best for our clients. They’re getting the very best of us, which makes it even more valuable for them. And my belief now is, is that I would say, it’s more about working smart and working with those who are best for us to work with that feed us as much as we feed them.
Mindie: Kevin, I totally resonate with that. That was a huge realization to me a few years ago that I was in that same mindset that you were, that it has to be hard work and you know, if we want more money we need to work harder, which there’s only so much that you can do there, you know? Then you get to a point where it’s not even viable to work harder. It doesn’t make sense to do that. So as you were saying that, I’m like, yep, I get that. I want to go back to that fishing story. Part of what we talk about on this podcast is the journey or the path that brought us to where we are now. And it’s crazy to me that you spent years on a fishing boat in Alaska. And I wonder if you could just kind of bring us through some of those experiences or talk about maybe what got you out of that. You know, a near-death experience is probably a huge piece of that. But if you could share a little bit of the path that got you to where you are today.
Kevin Thompson: Sure. You know, once my dad passed away and my mom became the sole income earner for our family at the end of my 10th-grade year, I was planning to go to college because I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I wanted to, I was in FBLA in high school, Future Business Leaders of America. And I just, I love this idea of being a business owner, being an entrepreneur. And I was planning to study that in college, but that didn’t happen. Once dad passed away. I ended up joining the army for four years just to kind of figure out what the heck I’m going to do. But after getting out of the army, I came back to Seattle and I’m to figure out, okay, how do I get money together to start a business? Because I thought at the time, well, if I’m going to start a business, I’m going to need some money to do that. And my best friend Scott, he’s like, well Kev, all you gotta do is go down to Seattle, the fishermen’s terminal. Get yourself on one of those boats and go to Alaska. Those fishing guys, they make tons of money. And I’m like, that sounds like a good plan to me. And that’s what I did. I found out really quick from those captains that they don’t hire that way because they’re like, Kevin, you have no idea what you’re getting yourself into. The way we typically hire is we hire from friends of guys who have already worked on the boat because they can paint the picture and tell their friends what it’s like and that’s how we hire. But this one guy was in a pinch and he’s like, I might be a crewman short.
And if so, I might give you a call. And he ended up calling me two days later and he’s like, how fast can you be down there and down to the boat? And I was like, I can be there with my stuff ready to go in less than two hours. And he’s like, all right, come on down. And when I got there, he called me into the wheelhouse and he just let me know. He’s like, Kevin, I’m really going out on a limb here. I’ve never done it this way before. He’s like, but I’m in a pinch. I need a guy. And he’s like, I’m just hoping that you don’t let me down. And that was like a challenge for me. I’m like, by God, I am not letting this guy down. And so I worked my tail off and I ended up staying up there for that season. When the season got over, he was asking me, well, all the other guys are getting ready to go home. They just made all this money. Now for them, it’s party time.
And he’s like, what do you want to do? I was like I’d like to stay up here and keep working somehow if there was a way I could keep earning more money. And he made a couple of calls and some buddy of his and some different fishing industries. And he’s like, I’ve got a guy who’s a bust ass worker. He’s like, if you want a good guy on your crew, I can give you a guy. And so I ended up staying up there for 10 months straight that year from January through October of that would’ve been 1988. And so I was 23 years old when I came home from that 10 months, I had a little over a hundred thousand dollars cash in my pocket. And I’ll tell you what, for a 23-year-old, that was a whole lot of damn money.
Mindie: Yeah, definitely.
Sean: In 1988!
Kevin Thompson: Yes. And it was definitely hard work. You earned it, and God forbid if I figured out my hourly rate, I don’t even want to look at that cause we worked so many hours. We would work anywhere from 24 to 36 hours straight. Then we’d sleep for six hours. We’d get up and do it again. The weather most of the time was just nasty weather, wet, freezing, cold, miserable weather you’re dealing with anywhere from 20 to 30, 40-foot waves and half your job is just learning to stay on your feet as this boat is rocking and rolling underneath you, you know? And so it was definitely insane working conditions. But I also was just like, you know what, I’m doing what I wanted to do, which was save up money to start my own business.
And in ’95, after eight years of doing that, one night we were in one hell of a storm. If you’ve ever seen that show? The Deadliest Catch, that was a very realistic show of what it’s like to be an Alaskan fishermen. And we got hit broadside with a huge wall of water and I’m just working on deck, doing my job, getting a catch on the boat and the skipper, all of a sudden he yells, “Kevin, duck!” And before I could even react, we got hit broadside. I was buried under a wall of water that just hurled me all the way across the boat. Smacked me into the railing on the other side. This scar on my chin is from that accident and my front teeth got knocked out. One of them was at a sharp angle that made my teeth really pointed and it started cutting my tongue. And so I went down to the engine room. We got a file to just at least file the tooth flat so it would stop cutting my tongue and the nerve was exposed in that cold weather. You know, that that hurt like hell.
Sean: Are you saying that networking with entrepreneurs and asking for the sale is a little easier?
Kevin Thompson: You know, what is a whole lot easier than that. That’s for doggone sure.
Mindie: That sounds terrible! Just thinking about that tooth. It’s giving me chills over here.
Sean: So as we wrap this up, Kevin, you didn’t go through all that on accident. You got great gifts out of that. If you could boil it down in one line, what would you say the greatest gift from those years on that boat and that experience, what did it give you for being a business person in this world?
Kevin Thompson: Well, I’ll tell you exactly what we were talking about before Sean and Mindie, was this whole idea that, you know, it has to be a painful and hard process, that it does not. I mean that was a painful hard process going through those times of years fishing in Alaska and I wouldn’t trade it for nothing because it gave me perspective. And what we have now is a whole different experience and sometimes the biggest challenge is discovering how easy it really can be when you start using your unique gifts, your unique abilities to make an impact in this world.
Sean: Excellent. Well, Kevin, we love you. We appreciate you. How can somebody start playing with you, learn from you? What’s the entrance, the gateway into Kevin Thompson?
Kevin Thompson: The easiest thing is… I got two options cause I’m really choosy about who I work with and stuff too. But you can connect with me on Facebook. Kevin Thompson is @KevinTheConnector on Facebook or you can shoot me an email, [email protected] In fact, what I’ll do is I’ve got this thing. I mentioned Dan Sullivan, a tool that he helped me create called the Relationship Capital Scorecard and I’d be honored to offer that tool to anybody. It’s just a quick self-diagnosis where you can find out exactly where you stand on relationships in your life and it’ll just give you a score that you score yourself in about three minutes. And it’ll also, because it lets you know, right where you are at in all these eight different areas, it lets you see exactly where you can start making improvements right now to increase your relationship capital score with people as well.
Mindie: That’s awesome, Kevin. How can they get that?
Mindie: That is awesome. Thank you for that. I’m sure they’ll be very, very interested in that and thank you for spending this time with us. We, as we mentioned at the beginning, we all adore each other. We can’t wait to spend time with you in real life when you’re back in Arizona and we just so appreciate you and everything that you put out into the world.
Kevin Thompson: Same, same. I appreciate you two as well. Great doing this conversation with you.
Sean: Thanks, Kevin.
Kevin Thompson: You’re welcome.