John Ruhlin – Co-Founder & CEO of Giftology Group and Author of Giftology

Episode 199

How can radical generosity help us build not only our relationships, but our businesses as well? Today’s guest is here to show us how. John Ruhlin, co-founder and CEO of Giftology Group takes us through his journey and shares how his desire to make his clients feel appreciated and cared for helped build his business and grow his network to where it is today. Learn how to create strong and lasting relationships in your professional and personal life with this episode of #TheKaraGoldinShow

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Kara Goldin 0:00
I am unwilling to give up that I will start over from scratch as many times as it takes to get where I want to be, I want to just sort of make sure you will get knocked down but just make sure you don’t get knocked out knocked out. So your only choice should be go focus on what you can control control control. Hi, everyone, and welcome to the Kara golden show. So join me each week for inspiring conversations with some of the world’s greatest leaders. We’ll talk with founders, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and really some of the most interesting people of our time. Can’t wait to get started. Let’s go Let’s go. Hi, everyone, its Kara golden from the Kara golden show. And I’m here with john roulin. He is the co founder and CEO, author of one of my new favorite books gift ology that I’ve got here, which is so so good and has this amazing bookmark in it as well. That is a lot of fun. If in case you haven’t heard of john, he is I’ve heard him speak in multiple situations. Now we were actually connected through our mutual friends. Actually, two friends Scott McGregor and Michael bernoff. And his company gift ology helps companies find success for the art of gifting. And it sounds like a simple mission, but one that I think we all have to be reminded about and sort of what gets people to ultimately pay attention. And I think it goes back to kindness and gratitude and lots of things that I talked about and firmly believe as well. But before founding his company, john was selling knives, knives. That’s right. And in fact, he sent me an incredible set of knives, which was out of control. It was pretty awesome. So he worked with one of the top knife manufacturers in the US Cutco and he became the number one performer out of 1.5 million sales reps. I mean, amazing. And I want to understand what the secret was there for sure. We’ll get into that. But since then, he’s he’s just made all kinds of investments and gifting and start a company around it. And he’s also an angel investor, too. He’s one of the world’s leading authority in maximizing customer loyalty. We’ll get into that. And I’m so excited to have john on the show. So welcome.

John Ruhlin 2:34
Thank you for having me, Kara. This is this is gonna be a fun conversation. I love talking to people that that live what we teach, which is Yeah, which is here. So this should be fun.

Kara Goldin 2:46
It’s awesome. So my, the focus of my show is talking to founders and CEOs, I I not only like to talk about the company, but I really like to talk about the journey because I, I think there’s a there’s a lot of people who are trying to figure things out in their life, and what do they do and what are their skills and Should I go into a different industry? What should I major in in college? And so I always ask this question at the beginning. Let’s go back to the beginning. Who was john as a kid?

John Ruhlin 3:15
Yeah, well, sometimes when they hear you No, no number one out of 1.5 million or the Cubs as clients were speaking on Google stage, people assume that I grew up in like LA or New York or some cool city. I grew up milking goats on a 47 acre farm, one of six kids in the middle of nowheres. Ville, Ohio, so I grew up literally the town’s 315 people, Delroy so I grew up learning what I didn’t want to do for most of my life, which was no goats. We had a one acre garden all that kind of stuff. And I hated manual labor I hated smelling like goats when I went to school in the morning I was up at five 6am but I don’t work ethic and I learned you know persistence grit, all those sorts of things. And so I wanted to get out of dodge I want to get to the small community I was in I was gonna go make my mom proud because she was in the health and wellness which is really rare in you know country bumpkin Ville Ohio, Ohio Yeah, yeah, but she she was like shipping in vitamins and yeah, like our pancakes weren’t this quick. They were like, you know, buckwheat from like the Amish like, she was like super health oriented, which when you’re poor is unusual. So I was gonna go make my mom proud and become a do or a chiropractor. More alternative, but still like, and you know, my life kind of change. in undergrad I’m 20 years old, trying to pay for, you know, undergrad to go to med school. And out of desperation, I went to sell the knives. And the only reason I did it was because I was like, I my college was like $20,000 and if you weren’t a gap for at the time was $5 an hour. You’re not going to be able to pay for med school. So I go into the interview. I literally want Mike Last is the work smarter and we’re the one tie add on in the interview. And I’m sweating bullets. So I get hired. And I’m like, if I’ve asked for weeks, it’ll be a miracle. Because I didn’t have a sales background and have a sales experience.

Kara Goldin 5:13
And you do this when you were in college like you were. Yeah, you’re 20 years old, years

John Ruhlin 5:20
old, I’m desperate. I’m at a desperation. Man. The only reason I went into the interview is my buddy, who is a seminary student was selling the knives and he was the worst salesperson in the world. Like he couldn’t sell water to somebody in the desert. Like he was just the antithesis of a salesperson. And he’s selling these, like, the $500 to, you know, full set of cactus. 12 grant, like, expensive, and I’m like, who’s buying these like 12 grand might as well have been $12 million. And so I was like, if Steve can do it, I can at least try so I went and get hired my fourth appointment. I pitched my girlfriend’s dad, who’s this rainmaking attorney. And if you’ve never pitched your girlfriends that knives like that’s the weirdest, awkward. You I mean, like imagine like, and the reason I pitched him was that Paul was also really generous. He was always giving things away. like he’d find a deal on noodles. Everybody at church the next Sunday, like 200 people would walk away and I’m like, Paul, that was 40 grand. Like, why would you do that? And you could just smile and be like, this is how I like to show up for people. So I pitched them the knives, and I’m thinking maybe hope I have 100 or $200 pocket knives it you know, like for the clients. There’s a lot of the people in that area when hunting fishing. They’re a bunch of dudes. And, and Paul’s like changed my life forever. He’s like, I don’t order pocket. Nice. Got to work, the paradox. And these are like $100 parents. I’m like, Paul, why would you give a bunch of grown men CEOs like a kitchen? Well, they just seem You know, I’m like so green. I’m a country bumpkin like. And Paul Paul’s like the reason I have more referrals, the overflow access is I found out a simple truth. I started my firm 30 years ago, and I found out if you take care of the family, in business, everything else takes care of itself. So that was the aha moment for me. It wasn’t about the stupid knives. Paul understood relationships. He understood what I call the inner circle taking care of somebody, assistant or their kids or their their, their, their wife or their husband. And so I started to minute Paul, I was like, I want to be him when I’m 60. I’m 20 I have 40 years to get there. And so I started to figure some of these things out and I started understanding what it wasn’t about gifts. It was about relationships. It was about referrals. It was about people trusting you and liking you. So Cutco that that number 1.5 million is now 2 million. So we became the number one rep worldwide for Cutco. By the time I was a senior in college by figuring out that it wasn’t about the knives by basically what we now call gift ology which is just really a recipe. It’s a system for how to drive revenue, how to drive relationships, using generosity and gratitude as the delivery vehicle. So that’s Yeah, that was the beginning point. That’s 20 years ago. I’m 41. So I’m halfway to where Paul was that and he had $3 now for girls, so I guess I’m trying to maybe exceed where he was at trying to you know, overcompensate, but, but that’s where it all started.

Kara Goldin 8:19
That’s hysterical. So how long were you at Cutco then?

John Ruhlin 8:23
Well what’s interesting is you know the tech guys this internship program and I learned very quickly that these knives were a great gift. So I started to be gift ology was called ruling group for a long time. But I realized if you if I called somebody and said Hey, Mr. CEO of a $10 million company, I have this great idea I want to sell you knives, your company, they hang up. Yeah, but but if I say that, but if I had a another person send them knives with their name engraved on it and their logo or whatever else, they’d be like, this is amazing where to get this while they then take the meeting. And then I would show them like, hey, the reason I got the meeting was because I actually comp that gift for this person. I started to show people that I could help them 10 extra referrals or 100 extra royalty or they all wanted certain things to happen in their business retention, whatever else. And so I started the agency back then and I went to Cutco and partnered with them and said hey, I want to be able to buy X number of products whatever else and so we to this day we’ve had a 20 year relationship as like kind of a handshake their supplier of ours on the gifting side. And instead of you know, tech was a $300 million company, privately owned like world class, but they for seven years they were selling to homeowners one set at a time I would go to them and say I want to buy 1000 sets and oh by the way, I’m gonna take your product and put it into the hands of these pro sports teams or into Google executives like so we became like they’re almost like their poster child of like Ambassador partner, all of it, you know, we got them in the New York Times all of these different things, but it was really like understanding I needed to start a separate company and partner with them I couldn’t be a Cutco person necessarily I was going to be this you know agency owner and so that’s been basically since the start so to this day we still buy millions of dollars in the crazy knives and and use that as one of our tools in our toolkit to you know even to this day like we had a client that wanted to give a gift to Tony Robbins like what do you give Tony Robbins like he can buy 100 or 1000 anything and so I said Pete we’re gonna send them knives and he’s like come on, Tony Robbins I said well we’re gonna take this big knife sets of 70 $500 knife set and on all 42 pieces we’re gonna engrave from 40 years of him speaking all of his quotes and then we’re gonna put it in that same box that you got it’s a $3,000 wood box with video screen and then you’re gonna pour out your heart talking about like future Robbins grandkids will think about the legacy as they you know break bread and share your food and drink or whatever else. And pizza like we’re gonna send a $10,000 gift to Tony has to be diversely up we sent it Sage called four months later P and said we get a lot of gifts she was in tears she’s like it wasn’t about the knives It was about what was engraved in your video just made us sit down and is in like now that knife set now Tony has to attend homes but you know Mark client owns one of the most valuable pieces of real estate that the countertop of Tony Robbins house every time they anybody walks past the stupid dimes are there reminding them of the relationship and that’s really what it comes down to is, is you can never buy something for an affluent person that couldn’t buy for themselves but you can give them something that honors them their core values their legacy and now like there’s a you know, a story that’s attached to something that they love to share when you’re not around and we all but even billionaires love to have something that reminds them of something that’s core to them and so to this day, we still do a lot with it with the crazy Cutco knives.

Kara Goldin 12:02
That’s That’s amazing. So the ruling group so you founded an agency around this whole concept where you could continue to grow and then does that still exist or did you just end up switching it to gift ology or how does that all?

John Ruhlin 12:17
Yeah, well nobody no ruling group was when we wrote the book gift ology nobody cared like right, then people are like really gifting. And then we started to show like, well wasn’t you know, the gift was just a delivery vehicle for an emotion and here’s the newbie started to realize that, you know, when we started talking about return on relationship, eating ROI for breakfast, and we got really clear on what we were talking about. So early on, it was ruling group. And then when we wrote the book, we’re like, everybody’s starting to know about this book, if it was self published, but it started to go international. You know, we sold 100,000 copies, all of a sudden, people like taking notice. And so we changed the name from ruling groups to gift ology group. Because it really, it was more in alignment. But yeah, we still have the agency I mean, the done for you, like companies that are, you know, doing 510 million in revenue all the way out to the Chicago Cubs will hire us to do you know, it’s not hard to give one person a gift. But if you want to scale your thoughtfulness, and you want to send something to your top 100 investors or your top 500 employees, most people like that’s too hard. They start cutting corners, they don’t, they don’t do the handwritten note, they don’t do the video, they don’t do the engraving. And so our agencies still exist. But that platform has allowed us to start getting advisory shares and other companies that started to allow us to invest in other businesses. So I still have consulting in the speaking the gift agency, and then now we have a holding company, but the people that don’t really know us that well like Oh, you’re still doing the little gifting thing. And I’m like, kind of

Kara Goldin 13:45
Yeah, yeah. hinta still doing that little water thing? tear so it’s, yeah, no, I totally do like why why just start a water company, you know, okay. All right. It’s like it’s got a bigger purpose behind it. So I totally, I totally get it and as you know, I was at in the early 90s when Ted Turner was still gracing us running around the CNN offices This is like cable was in 40% of homes at that point and you know, he believed that there should be 24 hour news I mean, people I tell people all the time it’s like you know, until people understand then they will grab on to some small thought and and say that you’re in that gifting business right? I mean, you’re and they just don’t get it until they get it they don’t get it. So

John Ruhlin 14:37
we discount it. They discount like because they don’t understand and that yeah, it’s I love being the underdog, right? And I think you do too. Like it’s fun. It gives me feel it’s Um, but yeah, I mean the the people that even the nice thing, like, Oh, you still attached the knife thing. I’m like, I don’t think you understand a that it’s a $300 million company. That’s actually like Just a word like literally, the founder. Now whether you like the founder of Uber or not Trevor, it sure Travis, his first job is selling knives. We found the guy who wrote Miracle Morning how Oh, Rod 20 dear friend, this first job selling knives like it’s a personal development company that also happens to make world class cutlery. And it’s it’s fun to see people like discounting, undervalue something, and then come back around five years later. And they’re like, oh, that, that’s what you do. That’s pretty awesome. So I love it. Yeah. I love when people discount me.

Kara Goldin 15:35
I love it. So in your book, you talk about the difference between gifts and artifacts. And so how should people when they are gifting? I mean, what what do you think everybody wants to find that special gift? Maybe they don’t think knives are it? You know, even though you gave a great example of talking about making it more personalized in some way. explain that a little bit more from the book. Yeah.

John Ruhlin 16:00
Well, I think what most people when they think of gifts, they think of you know what, like the Chevy Chase jelly the Month Club, we think of Harry David baskets, cases of wine, Amazon gift cards, where the polo shirt with a logo, the size of a softball, like those are all like promotional product swag, but that’s not it. That’s not really a gift. In my opinion, I don’t even remember like the word gift. Because of the sandbox, it puts people in, we use the word artifact, because artifact signifies meaning and lasting and in story and all of these things that are D. And so I’d like to liken like an artifact that if your house was on fire, you grab a handful of things that had the most meaning, not necessarily the most expensive. It might be pictures, it might be like a plaque, it might be a flag that you’re you’re one of your family members, your grandfather served in the military, it’s things that have meaning story, those are artifacts, then so I hate the word gift because it everybody in business thinks they’re in the relationship business. But most people gifts, things out of transactional relationships. If you do a deal with somebody, here’s your gift, you’ve you’ve, you know, been an employee for 10 years, that’s $20,000. Here’s your token. Meanwhile, you’d never call any of those relationships, a token relationship that devalues that relationship. And so to me, like an artifact or a true gift, think about like your best friend’s wedding. You know, if you’re gonna do like a beautiful Tiffany’s vase or something, you know, like, I’m never going to engrave that with gift dollars. Like, that’d be the cheesiest thing in the world, you’re never going to give your best friend a, you know, Tiffany’s bonds with pins on it. Like that’s a gift for you. Right? It gifts by its very nature is recipient focus. So the reason that most people don’t care about gifts is because they’ve received swag, and trinkets and promotional products that are all about the person giving it and that doesn’t make anybody feel good. It’s basically like, hey, go be a billboard for my brand, which is really a manipulation. Like, hey, you served with our company for 20 years. Here’s a Rolex, you know, with Ernst and Young on, and I’m like, I think people like what’s the rollback? So I’m like, but you just made it a business gift versus a relationship builder a personal thing. And I’m like, you just do defaced and devalue that relationship, because you’re trying to turn that person into an advertisement. That’s not how you deeping affluent relationships, you should put their name, if they’re a person of faith, put a Bible verse, if they’re an author put their quote, like make it about them. And if you do a world class thing like that, like an artifact, subconsciously, they’ll never forget, like, if I give you a Rolex, I wouldn’t have to put gift ology on it. Like, if you notice the knife set that Scott and I sent you there’s no logos if it’s all about you. Yeah. Because I hear about like, that’s your blood, sweat and tears. So I think so many people like giant gift ology, my company doesn’t work? And I’m like, No, you didn’t get the algae dish. And they’re like, What do you mean, I’m like you. It’s like baking bread. If you bake bread 100,000 times, but you don’t put yeast and guess what you don’t get? You don’t get bread? Yeah, the little finer things in relationships that either communicate, I see you, I know you, I value you. Or here’s a gift card Goodbye, your own gifts, you don’t matter. And people don’t understand that when they don’t show up for people the right way. Whether it’s with a gift or with a handwritten note, or how you present yourself, like, subconsciously, we’re always evaluating people and saying, does this person really care about me? Are they really in my corner? Or is this really just a transactional relationship? And most people don’t understand what they’re communicating with the things that they’re giving.

Kara Goldin 19:30
How is your business changed? I’m curious through the pandemic, you know, as people start to think about, like connections they haven’t seen people face to face. I am so curious how, what kind of changes you’ve seen in your business?

John Ruhlin 19:45
Yeah, well, I think that most people default in business in all industries to the same relationship building, you know, tactics or strategies. It’s like, Hey, take somebody out to dinner. take somebody out to golf conference. You know, ballgame tickets, all that. And all of that kind of like went away for at least 12 months, a lot of it did. So our phone, I gave more virtual keynotes and set more gifts, we call them love bombs, then we could handle like to the point where Cutco literally was at one point time back backlog, 70,000 words, they couldn’t make the knives fast enough. It was it was crazy. So it’s um, I think, you know, they defaulted to that. But what they don’t realize is that like a lot of those things, even before the pandemic, like if you go out to dinner with somebody to Morton’s or some restaurant, like everybody does the same, you know, the rich, or the Four Seasons all that’s like, it’s all table stakes stuff. And so what I’ve what I’ve challenged people with all along, but even more, so now, if you can’t get FaceTime with them, how are you like, people are like, oh, send him some wine or something like, it’s like, it’s not the act of sending something, it’s the act of sending something that makes people say, Wow, they really do care about me, they really do see me. And if it feels like it came from Amazon, or if it feels like it was just done in mass, like we all want to be treated as an individual. So if we’re helping people think through this, I’m like, don’t have it come from Amazon, it has to be personalized, even if it’s the same thing going out to everybody. Don’t do it at an event, don’t do it at a conference, don’t do it. Dear God, don’t do it at Christmas. Yeah, you want to make somebody just feel like part of the obligatory expected masses, the amount of stuff that people send between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I’m like, now they’re just the number. Whereas if you it’s like, if I show it for my wife on, you know, anniversaries and Valentine’s Day like those are, those are expected, like, Nope, I don’t earn any brownie points. But if you show it for your relationships as it just because, and you can do that from afar with thoughtfulness. Now, all of a sudden, like, instead of having to fly around and see everybody or deal with the pandemic stuff, like literally somebody could hit, you know, 1000 cities in one day, and have very each of those people be like, holy crap, Kara was thinking of me, she didn’t send this because it’s an anniversary edition, because I did anything, just because I was thinking of her. And so that those sorts of things have become more front and center, because people that are options of going and just jumping out playing and seeing somebody was taken away. So now they’re having to be more creative, about how they built relationships with clients, or prospects or employees or whatever else.

Kara Goldin 22:21
Very interesting. So one of the things that I think a lot about and in your story is not having experience, like people always think like, oh, in order to start a company, you’ve got to in order to start an agency, you’ve got to have experience you really, I think, in many ways, you know, hard work and work ethic, you touched on that. But I but so often people fear that they can’t do something. And as I always, you know, especially when I’m speaking when I call attention to people, and I hear, you know, the, you know, how did you do it, you didn’t have the experience, you weren’t in my mind prepared in some way. They’re really talking about themselves and their own fears? And what would you say to somebody who’s thinking about, you know, maybe I can’t be an entrepreneur or or, you know, I can’t do it, because I didn’t grow up with a silver spoon or whatever. I mean, how do you tell people to kind of get out of their own way?

John Ruhlin 23:22
Yeah, well, I think that, you know, I was fortunate to have a mentor that I could look at and say, he showed up generously. And this is the result. I think that you know, being careful about who you surround yourself with, when you surround yourself. That’s why masterminds and do invite the different groups are so important as you become the people that you surround yourself with. And I think that even though I was poor, and grew up no silver spoon, I did recognize that, you know, that getting I was gravitating towards people that were successful. And so I think that, you know, there’s a lot of examples, like, you’re a great example, like, there’s so many books out there, people, they’re like, I didn’t have any experience, but I dove in, and I figured it out. And you know, like a Jesse Itzler, like his stories of like, just showing up getting treated if you didn’t have money for a 10 ticket, but he showed up at the conference Anyway, when he was starting Marquis jets. So I what I would say is there’s 1000s of stories of examples of people that didn’t have any experience whatsoever, they saw a problem. They were desperate because they didn’t have anything. And you know, over 21 years, my businesses evolved. Like I didn’t have to figure it all out at one time, like, but I had to dive in and start somewhere. And, and I think that most people never start so like, you know, whether it’s a podcast or whether it’s a book or whatever it is, like, the biggest thing is just making the leap. And then oftentimes things start to like evolve and change and people show up and, but to me, like, I would say that the people you surround yourself with, like making sure that you’re putting good stuff in your head reading good books, and you’re taking the time to go do Find other people that are crazy entrepreneurs, because that does rub off on you.

Kara Goldin 25:05
Absolutely. And I think all the people that you mentioned to I would say are, you know, thoughtful, right. And you know, they think about things. They’re big thinkers, and so surrounding yourself with people. And even if you, you know, can’t sit down with john, Rulon, or have that one on one conversation, I think reading a lot of what you talk about, I mean, you you also, you know, through your book, and, and definitely on different social, you can go to YouTube and see some of the some of your talks as well. And I know you did a great interview with Lewis Howes at one point. And so anyway, I really think that there’s so many, there’s so many more ways for mentorship today that is, is not necessarily two ways, right? But you start to like, you know, grab ahold of what people are talking about. I mean, Gary’s another one, Gary Vaynerchuk. We were talking about, and there’s more content and

John Ruhlin 25:59
access to ideas and people free. But yeah, I mean, there’s ago like, I don’t think YouTube existed or like it, the amount of free content and pod podcast weren’t a thing when I was in college. Like, there’s so much. And in even, like these masterminds, some of them are virtual now. And they’re like, 100 bucks a month, people like john, I could never afford to do what you do, or whatever, something like, like $100 a month, like even a college kid, if they really wanted to. And oftentimes that like paying just a little bit gets you into a sphere where you’re around this kind of people and you’re able to get access to the Gary’s or the US or the Jesse’s like a lot of the groups that are out there that are you do get intimate access to people and social even like I respond to a lot of people that reach out college kids reaches out, I’ll shoot a video and send it back to them. Why? Because I can repurpose that content in other ways. And I also remember what it was like to be in college and not have two nickels to rub together. And I think a lot of people Jessie and yourself, like people that come from nothing and dope something, want to pull people along with us, in having one of our legacy be helped people. Like, I don’t want to get to the mountaintop by ourselves. I want when I’m on you know, like, I want a lot of people at my funeral saying like john gave me this one word and I latched on to her this one piece of advice or her to my stage or I think everybody budgets everybody, most people want to have their legacy be like I brought this many people along with me to success not I did it all by myself because nobody gets their Bible by themselves.

Kara Goldin 27:37
Now, I think that’s so true. So I think about that a lot. Like, am I helping people? Am I generous? Am I am I inspiring people in some way, that’s what I want to be known for. And I think that they, you know, older, the more experienced you get you look to try and figure out how to do that. But I think oftentimes people are stuck because they haven’t been acting that way. And I’m like, well start, right. I don’t use that excuse either that how do you get there? How do you do to show up one day and start sending gifts to people or and it you know, it’s just I think that you, you do have to almost start somewhere and for sure, start to just change things

John Ruhlin 28:16
yet. Well, I think that I mean, Tony, Tony Robbins talks about it like he’s, he gave money away when he didn’t when he had like 16 bucks in his pocket. I do think that there’s an element of showing up generously even when you don’t have it. That starts that in for me. In college, I saw Paul and I was like, I saw how people like flocked to him. He was like, every idea deal in town, like he just like radiated, he attracted these people. And so I started $500 a month when I was in college giving gifts. Now that doesn’t sound like a lot, but 20 years ago, that’s six grand a year that was a lot of money. Yeah. But that you know, now like is evolved to this year are gifting budgets about 650 grand personally, to send gifts to people. Well, it didn’t go from that to that it took 20 years of getting there. But I think that the fun of it is when you like I’m an introvert naturally and my love languages and gifting my love language is words of affirmation. So when I give a gift to somebody, I realized I would get like people to respond. And I didn’t have to be the life of the party, they would take me around the the event or the gathering and open doors. So for me it became kind of addictive of like I saw when I did that gift that whatever, like people would respond a certain way I was like, well, I want to double down on that I want to do it more and more. And so I think that part of it is just starting. But as human beings I think from a least from a faith perspective for me, like I believe God’s wired us all to be generous all to be gift givers. I feel like you know, we’ve all received the gift and even being able to, to be born in the US to be born healthy or whatever else. Like I feel indebted at some level. And so when I start to give I feel like that’s part of everybody’s purpose is to be generous. And then it comes back around like, this is how the world’s wired, like, you do something, and there might not be that person, but it comes back tenfold hundredfold. And if you aren’t playing the true long game Vaynerchuk talks about, it’s like, it’s not days, it’s decades, you start to see, you know, those things coming back round, maybe not in three months, maybe three years. But for me over the last 20 years, I’m like, I know, I’m going to continue to grow that giving because I see the fruit of, and most people don’t stay in the game long enough to see the fruit. I mean, how long have you had him? 16 years? 18 years? I

Kara Goldin 30:34
mean, years? Yeah,

John Ruhlin 30:36
it wasn’t 16 months, you didn’t deserve the results?

Kara Goldin 30:40
Yeah, and it’s building it the right way, though, too. I think it’s like, you start somewhere. Right. And you and I think that, you know, today we, I share a lot with entrepreneurs that, you know, we didn’t go and blanket the country with him right away, we it actually took us 16 years to or actually 15 years to go into a Walmart not because Walmart didn’t want us because we wanted to a do it right. And be able to support it and not screw it up in some way. But also, we wanted to make sure that that customer would want hint to and so there was a confidence thing with me wanting to I didn’t want to fail. And I didn’t want to I mean now we you know do extremely well and Walmart and Sam’s Club and you know, we’re in Costco or in all of them, but it’s but it’s interesting because you know, it’s kind of the Rome wasn’t built in the day sort of theory, like people think like, Oh, I gotta just go and send out I only should gift if I’m, you know, able to spend $650,000 or whatever, you know, whatever it is, I think that you start somewhere you start with your top 10 you start with, with why I’m going in there, right? Start with one

John Ruhlin 31:57
one writer, one advisor, one professor, why? Yeah, the amount of people are like, I’ll be generous when I’m wealthy. It’s like, no, you’ll get wealthy because you’re generous. And, you know, gifting can work. You know, I we have, we have clients that are authors, they have one employee and their budgets, you know, $1,000 a month. You know, that might sound like a lot to some people, other people will like it even bigger companies. It’s amazing to me, people like john, I think we can’t afford to do what you’re talking about. And I’m like, you hired two employees last week and made the decision in five minutes. That added $100,000 in fixed cost overhead labor to your company, when’s the last time you invested 100 grand in the 50 relationships that even allowed you have a business totally and they’re like deer in the headlights they’re like, Wait call me out on the BS like you’re right I didn’t make that decision in five minutes to add 100 grand and you’re right I’ve never invested $100,000 into my top relationships and it’s the same $100,000 so it’s it’s oftentimes I think we put these like you know hurdles or we we look at certain things a certain way as business owners and we don’t realize the blind spots that we sometimes have and we’ll we’ll do something over here this way and over here we’re not willing to do it and it’s an oftentimes it’s fear it’s I’ve never done it that way before or whatever else like but yeah it’s it’s funny to see people say I can’t ever do that I don’t have that much money I don’t have that many relationships and I’m like we all have relationships that are important to us total it’s just a matter of taking the time to write it down and like and then you know loving on them like we mean it versus checking a box and doing out of obligation.

Kara Goldin 33:40
I love it so great. Well john, thank you so much and everybody needs to definitely follow john and also pick up a copy of gift ology and certainly go to his site. What’s the best way for people to connect with you? By the way?

John Ruhlin 33:55
Yeah, so I would say I mean a couple things. One is for people that want to go take this process the system and go do it on their own, they can go download what we charge 10s of 1000s of dollars to go do it. If we do it with them. They can download a whole playbook for free gift ology plan COMM And it literally talks about who they should send gifts to and how they should love on them. What should the budget be what the timing all of that and I really get excited about people not just hiring our agency but actually like the amount of people he talked to they’re like hey, I took that I did that. And I’ve got I landed my largest account I did this like I get excited about people taking this and running with it and being more generous. If they want to look at our site and kind of like speaking consulting and get ideas gift ology group is our core site. And I post most of my more original stuff on social media at john woodland calm and on, or not at General in it on Instagram is is where a lot of it is my daughter’s and me with my family, but it also we do share some of our best ideas on the gifting side.

Kara Goldin 34:56
I love it. Now. I’ve looked at it and it’s super great. And definitely check that out and I’m all over social at Kara golden. I have a book that john has actually gifted to a few people as well and it’s called undaunted, overcoming doubts and doubters. If you haven’t read it or listen to it on Audible, definitely have a listen. And thank you so much, john. We like this is been absolutely amazing. We’re here every Monday and Wednesday. So hopefully if you are just for the first time listening in on the show, you will subscribe and come back and have a great rest of the week. Thanks, everyone. Thanks, john. First, before we sign off, I want to talk to you about fear. People like to talk about fearless leaders. But achieving big goals isn’t about fearlessness. successful leaders recognize their fears and decide to deal with them head on in order to move forward. This is where my new book undaunted comes in. This book is designed for anyone who wants to succeed in the face of fear, overcome doubts and live a little undaunted. Order your copy today at undaunted, the book calm and learn how to look your doubts and doubters in the eye and achieve your dreams. For a limited time. You’ll also receive a free case of hint water. Do you have a question for me or want to nominate an innovator to spotlight send me a tweet at Kara golden and let me know. And if you liked what you heard, please leave me a review on Apple podcasts. You can also follow along with me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn at Kara golden golden thanks for listening