You invest in your people and you expect all of them to raise their game the next year. As far as values go, it doesn’t really matter how much money you make. I’ve seen people that had low values that made a lot of money and I’ve had people that had a lot of money that had low values as well. A lot of money, low money, it doesn’t matter. A lot has to do with the character of the individual.”

David Long is the founder and CEO of a company called MyEmployees, the top 1% of employee engagement and recognition companies in America as well in Canada. They have approximately 10,000 active clients across the country, companies like Walmart, FedEx, Outback Steakhouse, Charterhouse Restaurants, Capital Grills, and a bunch of different things.

Watch the episode here:

 

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Making your Business and Employees Thrive With David Long

 

Brett:

Today’s guest is a wealth of knowledge. In fact, many, many companies, struggle with having employer recognition programs where they really can help their employees thrive and get the recognition they deserve. Our next guest is the founder of myemployees.com, and also a real estate investor himself, and brings a wealth of information to share with us. I want you to welcome David Long

David:

Thank you, Brett. Appreciate it.

Brett:

David, will you tell our listeners a little bit about your story, and your current focus right now?

David:

Okay. Well, my name is David Long, as you said, I am the founder and CEO of a company called MyEmployees, which you mentioned, and in myemployees.com. We are in the top 1% of employee engagement and recognition companies in America. We also are in Canada as well. And we have approximately 10,000 active clients across the country, companies like Walmart, FedEx, Outback Steakhouse, Charterhouse Restaurants, Capital Grills, a bunch of different things. Bunch of, I should say, retail chains, restaurant chains, retirement communities, like I said, and that is basically what the thrust of our business is, and I started it 30 years ago in my mom and dad’s garage.

Brett:

And tell me about it. What was the inspiration behind it? What said, “You know what? I want to focus on this particular niche,” because I imagined 30 years ago, there probably weren’t a lot of people doing what you were doing?

David:

I tell people I started my business out of desperation, not inspiration. And a lot of people, I guess could probably say that, but I lost my job, and I went through seven jobs in three and a half years, not trying to set a world record or anything, it just worked out that way. And I ended up starting my own company, which was the smart thing to do. And I knew how to engrave and things like that when I was in high school and college and kind of worked my way through school doing that. So I had that information in the back of my mind. And when I lost my job, I just, you can go back to what you know, and I had the opportunity to start the company, like I said, in mom and dad’s garage. I had nothing else to lose. I actually went out to a real estate company, went in and signed them up, delivered the product, and then I started snowballing one after another. So I focused on the three Rs: restaurants, retail, and real estate. And those were the things that are foundational to my business. And as you said, I also invest in property. Single-family homes mostly, I have some commercial property, I have some farmland, and some more commercial property hasn’t developed yet. So the various things, I’m all into capital gains, so I think it’s smartest, strategic, any business owner that keeps all of their business in the business, all of the money, the gains, as far as the income that they produce, and the profits is not very intelligent. You need to diversify today, so it’s smart to be able to do that.

Brett:

Absolutely. That’s a great way to make sure you’re preserving your wealth, and also creating it along the way. So David, before your success of this amazing company that serves some of the biggest companies in the world, who was David growing up? I think we’re all given a gift or different gifts, or even maybe a superpower you could say, I believe God gives each of us unique gifts that we can help more people. But I want to know who was David when he was growing up? What was that superpower maybe when you were young, and how has that helped shape how you help others today?

David:

That’s a good question. My father was a Baptist pastor for 55 years, and he passed away about six years ago. And when I was younger, being the oldest of five sons and I looked up to my Dad obviously, and that is what I thought I was going to go into. And then after three years of Bible college, I kind of dreaded it, going home and talking to my Dad and said, “Dad, I need to talk to you,” and he said, “What is this son?” I said, “Dad, I don’t really think I’m meant to be a preacher.” He said, “Well, do you have a burning desire to preach the gospel?” And I said, “No.” And he said, “Well, don’t be a preacher.” And I was expecting this long dissertation about how I destroyed my life, but I said, “That’s it, that’s all you’re going to say? I’d built this thing six months up in my mind, and this is all you got?” And he goes, “Yes.” And he said, “I want you to be happy. I don’t want you to do what I want you to do.” And that told me a lot about my Dad. And I just said, “Well, I appreciate that Dad,” but I didn’t know what I wanted to do after that. So, I went into retail and various things I worked at AT&T. They used to say back in the day, and I’m older than you are, but they used to say, “AT&T, the right choice.” And I used to say “…Except for David Long. I hated that place.” I couldn’t stand it. “Oh, corporate world. You can have it.” But yeah, that’s basically it. And really I was in a bit of a tailspin there for a couple of years after not knowing I wasn’t going into ministry, I didn’t know what I was going to have to do because that’s what I planned to do since I was nine years old. Does that answer your question?

Brett:

They just answer my question. So, following your father’s footsteps, yeah, thinking you might be a Baptist pastor, going to Bible college, having it all planned out, knowing that, “Hey, I don’t think this is for me,” going your dad expecting a different answer. He pleasantly said, “Hey son, I want you to be happy, follow where you think God’s leading you. And if it’s not being a pastor, that’s okay.” Do you know? I can relate; I went to Bible college too, and I actually have a double degree in a minor. And one of the degrees in Business and Theology. When I tell people that they said, “Oh, you’re going to be a pastor?” I’m like, “Well, I wasn’t planning on it, but I’m in business, and I’m a Christian and I love studying it.” But there’s always this assumption just because you went to, let’s say Bible college, or you studied something in the ministry, that it automatically means that your ministry must be just this segment of being a church pastor or church leader. But in reality, you look at the disciples and they were fishermen, they were contractors, they were tax collectors, they were people doing the trades in the world, and this is, I guess, another topic for a different podcast, but essentially that is the ministry; it’s not just the one segment of what may be the traditional folks would think.

Making your Business and Employees Thrive With David LongDavid: 

Yeah. And honestly, the very fact that my father was a pastor, and I have a heart for pastors because of that. And you hear people always talk about, “Oh yeah, a preacher only works on Sunday,” which is kind of a joke, because they work harder than most people out there. I mean, they’re busy, they’re going all the time. My dad was, especially. But I would say basically what I learned from my father was, keep going, don’t give up, and whatever you’re doing, do it with all your heart. And I really believe in that, and I convey that with my people. In my book, Built to Lead, which I’ve mentioned in the Wall Street Journal bestseller back in 2015, and in there I talk about book clubs, which is one of the number one things. I’ve been on about 250 podcasts, and that’s the number one thing people want to talk about is book clubs. I pay all of our approximately 55 employees now, every Wednesday morning at 10 o’clock, I actually just moved it to 9:30, which is okay. But we meet every Wednesday at 9:30 and we speak, we talk together for an hour. And I’m paying everybody to be in there, they’re not, “Doing their job,” but we buy books, for example, Brett, like Dale Carnegie’s, How to Win Friends and Influence People. And I remember years ago we only had 36 employees, and we read that book. After we’d completed the book, I had four, better than 10% of my employees come to me and say, “Dave, that book saved my marriage.” And I’m happy to say that today, three of the four of them are still going strong. And that was probably eight years ago, maybe.

Brett: Making your Business and Employees Thrive With David Long

So, your employees, not only getting something that tracks others, helps others track performance in direct recognition, but the importance of building into the leadership in the development and spending that time where you say, “I’m going to pay them for that.” All your people. Your family, your employees, your team members, everybody, and making that an intentional time. Dale Carnegie has a great book by the way, How to Win Friends and Influence People. One of the most well-known books. And then yeah, when you can use that to inspire them and then it saves marriages, that’s incredible. So I imagine that’s part of the rewarding part of what you do. What else is rewarding as far as what you do? Maybe shifting from, to the actual in people you serve, the customers you serve, what’s the most rewarding part about what you guys do?

David:

Well, we help them have better relationships with their people. First and foremost, they need to acknowledge the contribution their employees are giving toward them and their success. Zig Ziglar‘s quote, “To get what you want in life, you must first help other people get what they want.” Is an extremely valid and truthful statement, because ultimately by helping people get what they want, you get what you want, but you get so much more and not just what you want, but the rewards of helping people have a phenomenal life. Probably I don’t go more than a couple of weeks without any of my people telling me, and I just got one from the last week, I got one from Mike who’s our Walmart rep deals with all the Walmarts, sells them, signs them up and Beth, another one of our salespeople. Both of them have told me in the last week that I changed their lives. And I’m quick to tell my people, “No, I didn’t. I put you on the playing field. You played. You were the one who changed your life. I just gave you the opportunity.” So I want them to take credit for the things that they do. I’ve put other people on the playing field. They haven’t played as well. They didn’t win, but these guys did. And they thank me because, for example, Mike was a Walmart manager for seven or eight years and he loved the company, but he had a seven-year-old son. And as we got to be friends, I just met him at the gym and we started talking about everything and he said, “Yeah.” He said, “I’m working 60 hours a week working my butt off.” He said, “I hardly see my son.” He said, “I don’t want to lose that time.” And he asked me, could he come to work with us? I tried to talk him out of it, Brett. But we went down the old Ben Franklin clause where you draw a line down the middle of the page, pros, and cons. Pros for my employees, pros for Walmart. And ultimately you said the defining decision was I want to be able to have a life and spend it with my son.

Brett:

Yeah. Versus trading time for dollars and you got to realize that your kids are only here for a short time where you’re actually their parent full-time and they’re off on their own. Those are priceless moments. I can certainly relate with five kids all under the age of nine and under, and these are precious moments, right?

David:

Congratulations.

Brett:

Yeah. We have five kids.

David:

I’ve got three children. Oh, go ahead. I’m sorry.

Brett:

I got four girls, you go.

David:

I’ve got three, three children and five grandchildren.

Brett:

Congratulations. I’ve heard the best part is having grandchildren. All the play and fun and less of the work.

David:

And give them back. Yeah, that’s right.

Brett:

Shifting a little bit now, we’re going to maybe shift to some of your real estates investing and perhaps maybe get a little bit tactical on some taxes here because you don’t grow wealth, I think just by being an entrepreneur and a business owner, you’ve got to figure out ways to be creative and use the legal loopholes that are available to offset income. So talk about how you’ve kind of forged those two, the business venture and all the success with owning real estate as a way to maximize your tax situation.

David:

Yeah. Let me say first and foremost, there are so many people out there that when it comes to a CPA, they look at that as an expense. Let me be clear, and I’m not anything to do with a CPA, but a great CPA will pay for themselves many times over. And if you try to do things cheaply by getting cheap advice, you get cheap results and you get results that ultimately cost you a ton of money. As it pertains to real estate, I have as well as my business, have a very professional team. I have the CPAs, I have my CFO, I have my brother who’s actually my family office manager of the company. We use Randy Long and these guys get together along with my COO, and we get together twice a year and we figure out what it is we need to do in the next six months to get us ready for tax time. What’s the most prolific, the best move that we can possibly do to be able to protect the wealth, not only of me but of our different entities and their properties, as well as my employees. My real employees.

Brett:

The CPA, CFO. Brother’s in the family, family office managers, CEO, twice a year, you’re doing planning and prep and looking at the best ways to incentivize your tax situation, but also, for your employees to make sure that they can get everything they want. Which everyone wants to save in taxes, right?

David:

Correct. So it’s smart to plan. It’s better to be proactive. All successful people think long-term, I don’t know of anybody who is a successful person who’s a flippant short-term thinker who’s changing horses, midstream all the time. It’s got to go for the long game. So if you really want to be successful in life, you have to plan to be. It’s not an accident. You might win a lottery, but if you’re not smart, you will lose it all. And I think they say 95% of people have spent all the money in five years because they didn’t earn it. And they make too many mistakes and blow it all.

Brett:

Absolutely. So shifting to the real estate portion of it. So you own some investment real estate. What point do you say, “Yeah, I want to own some real estate and I want to build some wealth in that avenue?” Have done any tax strategies such as maybe accelerated depreciation or any 1031 exchanges or walk us through how you’ve been able to defer capital gains tax.

David:

  1. For example, since you mentioned that. I had a beach house in Curie Beach, North Carolina, and I 1031’d that into my beach house up at Surf City, North Carolina. I have the building that I’m in now, I 1031’d to the sale of the building before we had for our company, I 1031’d that into the building, the 20,000 square foot office building we’re in today on 16 acres of commercial property. Oh yeah, you got to be smart with your strategy as far as that goes. Also, as far as capital gains that everything’s, I think I have seven or eight entities. My company leases the building from one of my other entities, my wife and I, and we charge ourselves $40,000 a month. Now the building is paid for, and we did it with a triple net lease in essence where all of the expenses are paid by the company for repair of the building and everything therein. So, that’s half a million a year, 40 times 12, obviously, 480 to be precise.

Brett:

That’s a substantial amount to be able to save. It’s offset and write-off versus your other income.

David:

Let me give you a good example of why I did that Brett. Years ago, I think it was the year or two after I started my company back in 1989. I read I think it was in Entrepreneur Magazine or Inc Magazine One. They had a guy who had a company and he had $44 million in annual sales. And the story was Brett, at that he actually lost one of his bigger clients and he didn’t do the right things. He tried to keep all of the people that he had on his payroll, ended up losing one or two of his best people, and lost another big client. Gradually went down, all the way down, where he had to go get a job. And I thought to myself, “What an idiot. He kept all of his wealth in the company and he ran it down into the ground.” He didn’t make the hard decisions. He kept, “Things are going to turn around. Things are going to get better.” I love being an optimist, Brett, but you got to be a realist. So, that was a major mistake on his part. And I said to myself, “I will never ever put all my eggs in one basket.” That’s just good financial planning. So the very first thing I did after I got my company going after not taking a vacation for seven years, by the way, you got to pay your dues. So I’ve worked my butt off and only a few employees and I worked 60 hours a week myself. After that seven years, I started taking vacations. Now I take off 24 weeks a year, every year. I’ve probably, gosh, since I guess about 2005, probably. But you take the money and you get other entities, you buy other properties and things like that. So in essence, the goal is if I wanted to retire, I don’t need a dime from my company. I have income from my properties that pay me. And tax advantages are out the wazoo, we could spend all day talking about those.

Brett:

How did it feel the moment you either replaced or at least took a substantial amount of your income that you were earning per year, and it was coming from real estate versus just coming from your business? Walk us through that, because for the first seven years, you were so focused on building the business, and then you started to diversify and get other real estate assets. And then eventually those starts producing income. Walk us through that feeling of, “Oh my goodness. I’ve just replaced, or equaled, or exceeded, in real estate, which is a bit more passive, than my day-to-day.” How did that all feel?

Making your Business and Employees Thrive With David Long

Making your Business and Employees Thrive: “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”
– Pablo Picasso

 

David:

That hasn’t happened for me, buddy? My day-to-day is still spanking. I’m probably a million a year. So I’m going to go a while before I replace that with passive income if you will. I mean, it’s great, between salaries and the rents and everything. Actually, the half-million is in that number. So the rest of it is salaries and profits. So much so, and it’s again, on the planning end. I told you we have three children. So each of my three children is now put as 10% shareholders in the company. We did that, of course, so they would not have to face all the taxes upon our death. 

Brett:

Walk us through that, for those that don’t know that about the estate tax, David. Walk us through that strategy there, that maybe you’ve done some family limited partnerships and some small gifting along with the way. Walk us through how that works. Just some folks don’t realize that you don’t get the stepped-up basis… I mean, you get a stepped-up basis in your assets, but that has nothing to do with the estate tax, which is a separate amount. So walk us through how that works and your strategy behind that.

David:

Well, if I recall, now, granted I pay for experts. I don’t have to know everything myself. But I will say this, I know that it was 55%, the estate tax. And my brother helped my guys and my financial team. So, “Okay. We need to get some of this company out of your name so that your kids don’t have to pay all this.” Then another thing we did was put a whole life policy, if you will, in place. It was a $3 million policy, paid off in seven years so that it will take care of part of the taxes my kids would have had to pay. I like to use an analogy of driving a car, as far as building your company. When you’re driving the car, 95, 97% of the time, your eyes are directly ahead, paying attention to what’s in front of you. But the other time, the other five or three percent, you’re checking the mirrors to see what’s coming up behind you, or from beside you, that could harm you in any way. So that’s how you have to think about it. Focus on growing your business, focus on acquiring the properties, whatever it is you need to do, but then you want to make sure that you are strategically planning and making the right moves to protect yourself along the way, and that’s critical.

Brett:

I think that’s such a great analogy. And how you can imagine those mirrors are sort of your trusted advisors. You might have CPAs, that is the rearview mirror. You want to make sure you file your taxes properly and the IRS isn’t going to come after you. You side mirror, which could be, “Well, what happens if something unforeseen happens?” Well, maybe that’s your insurance professional. And you have your other mirror, just typical finances. You add all those up together collectively, as the team, the real estate professionals, the estate tax attorney, the CPAs, and now you can drive and move your wealth safely throughout your journey. And then hopefully that car, your kids can jump right in and just keep driving it. Right? Rather than not doing the estate tax planning and tax planning.

David:

That’s right.

Brett:

And I imagine for our listeners right now, the current numbers are if you’re worth more than $22-million and you’re married, or $11-million and you’re single, anything inside of the taxable estate is going to be hit with a 40% estate tax. Let’s walk through a quick scenario. Imagine you’re worth $52-million and you’re married. That first 22 is exempt, no problem. But that next 30 that’s inside is going to be hit with a 40% estate tax, which is a $12-million tax. Now that is again, the capital gains tax and the stepped-up basis are completely separate from that. So that means the estate will need to, within six months of the estate passing, pay that $12-million tax bill. But if you can do some planning before your estate passes, meaning before you die, and you can give some of those mounts out or move them completely out of your taxable estate, you’re going to save that $12-million tax for your kids. And what can you do with that? I mean, you can give that to charity, right? You can just set it up for your grandkids. I mean, that’s the generational wealth that most people just don’t take the time or don’t have the professionals in place to help them avoid that. Any thoughts on that, David?

David:

Well, I think you covered that pretty well, for sure. I think again, it’s planning. Don’t wing it. Like I said in the beginning, a good CPA will pay for themselves many times over. If you don’t have a CPA that gives ideas on how to save on taxes, you got the wrong CPA. Don’t go cheap. I had a conversation recently with a relative of mine and he was talking about his bookkeeper. And the bookkeeper, you got a multimillion-dollar business, a bookkeeper? So I was ragging on him about it because you’re not doing tax planning at all. And he was complaining about them not giving him advice. I’m going, “They don’t know enough to give you advice. Get a CPA.” It’s the old British saying, “Pennywise and pounds foolish.” Their dollar pound. Good grief.

Brett:

Absolutely. Hire the right people and pay them well. I’m curious, was your journey, did you start out doing that? Or when you were in the beginning, did something turn and say, “Okay, for now on I’m never jumping over dollars to pick up dimes?” What was your journey with hiring the right people at the right time?

David:

Yeah. As far as hiring, let me say this. As far as hiring the right people at the right time, that’s strategic. You’re only as good as your foundation. And your people are your foundation. They’re your front line. But as far as the point that I said, “Good grief, I got to have a phenomenal financial team in place,” was when I had to write the federal government a million dollar check in one year on taxes. And I had to write the state of North Carolina a $300,000 check that same year. And I’m like, “Are you kidding me? Good grief.” So I went all-in on paying good money to find ways to not have to bend over most of the year, basically. I just said, “I’m done with it,” so I’m all about hiring the right people.

Brett:

That is so well said, right? So you can pay that tax, or you can hire the right people, but you can’t do both. Make sure you’re finding the right advice to help you reach your goals and minimize that tax. So I consider you, David, not only an entrepreneur, a wealth advisor, a business professional. Besides hiring the right people, and paying them the right amount, what are other either business owners like yourself, entrepreneurs like yourself, what are they missing that you would say, ” Hey, do this one thing and this one thing will help you succeed, grow, give your employees more recognition?” It can be anything that you want to share with business owners right now, that you would say, “This is one thing I would implement today.”

David:

Unquestionably, businesses rise or fall on leadership. And in essence, that means your people aren’t going to rise any higher than you are. I spend, and my wife actually says it’s double this and she’s probably closer to the truth, I spend three to four hours a day reading and learning. My job as a CEO is to get the heck out of the way and let people do the job. I put them on the playing field. I have a 30,000-foot view on seeing exactly what’s going on in my company. And I swoop down and say, “What’s going on here?” And then we fix that. I sweep back up to the 30,000-foot view and I look at that. It’s like Ben Franklin said, “The greatest investment you can make in yourself is your education. It pays the best dividends.” So again, you cannot expect your people to get good, to get better, to constantly improve if you are not, Brett. So number one, without question, advice that I would give any business owner who wants to be a successful one and make lots of money and that’s how you say you’ve gotten successful, is building a business that you don’t have to be there every day. Even when I’m in town, Brett and like I said, I take off 24 weeks of vacation a year. But even when I’m in town, I’m not in the office for three hours. I go in for a book club and an occasional meeting every other week or something. That’s about it. So I mean, that’s all I do. But I focus on learning. It’s good, I actually watched on YouTube, Charlie Munger doing a commencement address. I think it was at Stanford or one of those colleges in California. And I remember him saying, talking about himself, he said, “I read eight hours a day.” He said, “Warren Buffet, my partner, reads nine.” Now, these guys don’t have to work another day in their life. They are two of the most successful investors in the history of the world. But that’s what they do all day. They study all year long to basically make one financial investment in one company. That’s what they do. So they read, they study, and that’s exactly what you need to do as a business owner or a business professional.

Brett:

Knowledge truly is power, and the more we can consume and spend time gathering that, and building trusted advisors around us, I think the more we see. I took two things out of that. Not only reading more, A, but we all also need to read more. But B, getting out of the way, right? As entrepreneurs, as business owners, we tend to want to be in control, right? But instead of just giving, I’ve heard it put this way. Set a vision, give a goal, and then fill that role and then get out of the way. Get completely out of the way and trust your employees, your team members, to go out and perform what you hired them to do. Of course, you need to check in on them, of course, hold them accountable, of course, you need to encourage them, but it’s more of a drop in to see and get out of the way and let them keep going because otherwise, you are the ceiling to the success of your business, your leadership, your development, and your ability to actually delegate and get out of the way. Any other thoughts to add to those thoughts there, David?

David:

Honestly, you want to be the dumbest guy in the room, to be honest about it. Hire the best people, pay them well. Another thing, and what I do is I make sure they have some skin in the game. By that I basically pay them two-thirds of their income is fixed, a third is at risk. By that I mean, they get a salary, but if they want a bonus, that’s earned. Just showing up gets them their salary but if they really want, they have stretch goals, and we hit the stretch goals, I pay them handsomely and have very, very, very low turnover. We took 42 people to Mexico. We do the annual championship we’ve done for, I think, 15 years now, 14 or 15 years. We take all the managers, this tells you how well our company’s run, it’s a perfect example of that. We take all of the managers in the company and their spouses. The top third of all of each team, we have four teams. Take the top third from each of those, all the managers and their spouses, the top third and their spouses if they’re married, we take them and go on a trip. While we’re gone, all the leaders, all the top people out of the company, but the company goes on. Why? Because again, two-thirds of their pay is fixed. If they goof off while we’re in Mexico or wherever we go, they shoot themselves in the foot and they hurt themselves financially. So they get the job done. That’s not an issue. That’s a little kicker, a little icing on top if you will, the Champions Trip. My wife and I pay for all that. I think we spent $130,000 last year on that trip. It’s not cheap, but my people are very, very loyal to me because I invest in them and I spoil them. We just got back from Myrtle Beach. We had a record month in October. We got back from Myrtle Beach, we took everybody down there. We went to a launch, I passed out $200 to each employee, two $100 bills. We went shopping. We went to play. Some of us went to watch a movie. We went to see, what was that? Midway. Then we met at Rio’s Brazilian Steakhouse for dinner. We take very good care of our people. It’s more a part of a team, a community, if you will, within the company. We celebrate big time. Of course, we’re employee recognition, you got to do that, right? We do a big, big deal on that every month and we all go to one of the nicest restaurants in town to eat. My people know I value them. If you really want to grow a successful company, you’d better too.

Brett:

I love that and that’s inspirational for all of us to really dig into valuing your employees, celebrating their successes, and really putting your money where your mouth is, saying, “Okay, I want you as an employee to put your money where your mouth is,” meaning two-thirds fixed, the third commission or earned for bonuses and that in itself, a pretty nice system and that incentive is going to propel forward so that people in a sense, hold themselves accountable, not so much having to rely on someone else to push them. I think that is worth all the wisdom, all the weight in gold there for that wisdom. Wrapping up, we’re coming to the end of our time here. I am curious about the really just last question here. How do you, David, stay centered on your values? You have all the success, you’re doing great, you’re thriving, you’re growing, having record months. How do you stay centered on your values along this journey? Then second, how do you stay encouraged to reach the next goal? Because I imagine you’ve set a lot of goals over the years and you’ve hit a lot of them. What keeps you driving forward? How do you stay centered in your values and how do you keep driving forward?

David:

Well, I love the game of business. I love the game. I love to beat last year’s numbers. For 17 years straight we had an average of 20% growth we had over the prior year. You don’t get that by accident and you work hard, like I said, you invest in your people and you expect all of them to raise their game the next year. As far as values go, it doesn’t really matter how much money you make. I’ve seen people that had low values that made a lot of money and I’ve had people that had a lot of money that had low values as well. A lot of money, low money, it doesn’t matter. A lot has to do with the character of the individual. I would say this and you being Christians without unequivocally, this is important as far as keeping you grounded. I think it’s important that you give back. My wife and I, good grief, we give far more as we earn more and more money, we give far more away. We tithe of course, that’s important, that’s biblical, but as far as helping others, we do more and more of that. You can’t take it with you, you know that, but you invest in the lives of people that can’t pay you back, can’t give you back. I like that the best. I pay very well to my employees, but I’m talking about people outside of the company who would have no way to repay us. That’s the difference in me and then in some people that want to give others and they don’t do any pre-qualifying if you will. I think it’s that our money, my wife and I, money goes to helping people who are doing all they can, Brett, but are falling short. People that just come up to me and ask me for money, I rarely give it to them, but if they are showing me that they’re really trying and they’re really busting their butt, giving it their all, they’re not wasting money, I have no qualms about helping those people. They’re the ones I want to help.

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Brett:

Absolutely. That makes a whole lot of sense because if it’s the other way around, then it can be just enabling them to continue to do the things that they shouldn’t be doing.

David:

Yeah, you want to have good behavior and reward things that are going to help you meet and be more successful, and then of course, just giving in general. We can’t keep it all with us.

Brett:

I want to thank you, David, for being on the show and sharing your wisdom with us. It means a whole lot to these entrepreneurs and high net worth individuals who own businesses in real estate, who listen to our show to hear from someone with your wisdom and your experience, and really the focus on encouraging employers to build into their teams and lead from the front. Another saying is you can’t push a rope. You gotta get out in front and lead and pull and when you do that, I think your team can thrive. I want to thank our listeners, again, for being on the show but before we go, David, remind us where we can find you again and connect with you in case perhaps you are a company looking for employee recognition or any other things that you venture in for your book as well.

David:

Right. Well, my company is My Employees at myemployees.com is the company’s website. You can reach me at davidlong@myemployees.com. The company phone number is 1-800-489-0230. Check out what we do on the web as far as that goes. You can reach me on LinkedIn and all that kind of stuff too, so that’s not a problem. I’m not on Facebook anymore, too much of a distraction. But you can reach me on LinkedIn if you want. We’re all about helping people tie their employee recognition to the goals of the company. That’s one of the things that’s different about us. We assign a coach to you to keep you accountable for doing the things you need to do that will make you successful otherwise we won’t work with you.

Brett:

That makes perfect sense. Thank you for sharing that and check out David and his team. I want to thank our listeners for listening to another episode of the Capital Gains Tax Solutions podcast. As always, we believe the highest net worth individuals and those who help them, including entrepreneurs including business owners, struggle with clarifying their capital gains tax deferral options, and take a look at diversifying your income, learn from what David said. He may have a business that’s thriving, but perhaps you want to diversify into commercial real estate, investment real estate, and bring on the trusted advisors to help you get a game plan and execute that so you can defer capital gains tax and/or just a business income that’s coming in. As always, not having a clear plan is the enemy, but using a proven tax referral strategy is the best way to grow your wealth. Until next time.

 

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About David Long

Making your Business and Employees Thrive With David LongFor over 32 years I have shown managers how to use “Employee Engagement and Recognition” effectively within their businesses (and can prove it), by greatly maximizing their success and enhancing the business’ sales and profits through employee engagement. As a result… it greatly-reduced employee turnover in the process.

About our company, MyEmployees: We specialize in helping business managers (from all types of industries) reach their career goals by developing their relationships with their employees.

Our company has been honored to be included/profiled in three other books on leadership after the authors read my book and came to visit our company to see “if what I said in the book was true”.

We use our industry-first “STAR Culture Development” assessment and training to actively measure a business’ employee engagement for our client managers, and take action to improve their scores. We also tie our employee recognition programs to the resulting sales and profits of the company. “What gets Recognized… gets Repeated!”

* Author of The Wall Street Journal Bestseller & Reader’s Legacy Platinum Award-winning book, “Built to Lead – 7 Management R.E.W.A.R.D.S. Principles for Becoming a Top 10% Manager”. #1 on Amazon’s “Best Seller’s List” 5 Separate Times!

* Results-Driven Speaker: As a speaker, I’m not into “fluff’ and sharing old, rehashed “rah-rah” sessions that don’t last one day after the speaker leaves. No way! Under my direction, our company has continued to experience an average annual growth rate of 20% or more for over 15 years. I KNOW how to do it, and I LIVE it every day! I will share how to make that happen with your team. My Guarantee to you: If you don’t feel what I shared with your team was worth my speaking fee, then you owe me nothing.

I’d love to connect with you here on LinkedIn, and am always just a phone call away if there’s anything I can help with. Call 910-392-9663 or my Email addresses: DavidLong@MyEmployees.com or DavidLong@Top10Manager.com.

 

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