SOW 12 | Finding Your Focus


A CEO Only Does Three Things, the latest book by Trey Taylor, talks about focusing on the right things instead of doing everything. It zeroes in on the three pillars of business: culture, people, and numbers. On today’s show, he joins Rondi Lambeth to talk about his journey as an entrepreneur. Trey is the Managing Director of trinity | blue, a consultancy designed to provide executive coaching and strategic planning to C-Suite leaders. Prior to that, he had a great run in the VC space and was running their family business, a life he wasn’t prepared for and didn’t want. Trey reveals that his book was his contribution to his younger self who needed guidance on how to find your focus and run a business.

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Finding Your Focus With Trey Taylor

I have an extra special guest. I spend about 10 to 15 minutes every single day over the week with him. That’s because he wrote this amazing book that got published. The book is called A CEO Only Does Three Things. Based on what I’ve read so far, I think it’s going to be a New York Times bestselling book. It’s my honor to have author, businessman, father and entrepreneur, Trey Taylor. Thanks for coming on the show.

Rondi, it is good to see you. Thanks for having me on here. Thanks for all the support that you’ve given the book. I’m pleased that it would be something that caught your eye.

I put it on Instagram. I tried tagging you on Instagram. Can I not tag you on Instagram?

I don’t do Instagram except to look at what my wife is wearing on Instagram. I only follow 1 or 2 people, and that’s one of them.

I open up the book and we have the acknowledgments. One of the first quotes is, “The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you.” That’s how you started out. I love this quote and it’s after Kevin Harrington, who’s a mutual friend of ours.

Kevin wrote the foreword of the book and was gracious when he heard about the book. He said, “Let me read it. If it’s good, I’ll give you a foreword on it.” He read it and he loved it. He said, “I needed this when I was a much younger CEO.” He was good enough to write the foreword.

I love the fact that he wrote that. In fact, because he wrote that foreword, I’ve joined EO. It is a great organization. In fact, it will be my first get together with them for breakfast.

I sent Verne Harnish, who’s the other Cofounder of that a copy of the book as well because he wrote Mastering the Rockefeller Habits, which was a popular book in the ‘90s, scaling up his company, Gazelles and his book or maybe I have that backward, but Verne is a hero of mine. It was a real pleasure to drop a book in the mail to him and say, “Because of the work that you’ve done, I’ve been able to add to the conversation and that’s what this is. It is my contribution to the conversation.”

I have that book but I haven’t read it yet. I want to read this quote on page 29 of Chapter 1 of A CEO Only Does Three Things. It says, “Start by doing what’s necessary, then what’s possible, and suddenly you’re doing the impossible.” With that, I have loved the books so far.

I hope you’ve made it a little further than that quote, but it is good. I’m glad to hear that.

I have. I read ten pages a day and what I’ve been doing with yours is about a chapter a day. I bought the book when I first heard about it, and then I had just finished up another book. I’ve only been reading this one for a couple of days, but it’s great. I like it. Thank you for taking the time to write that. I know how hard writing books are. I’ve done a few of them myself. It’s difficult and it’s a love of labor. What I read here was that the average CEO reads twelve books a year. I’m going to guess those are personal development, business leadership books, where the average person reads three books a year. Those are probably fiction. I want to ask about that stat, where you got it. The reason why is I had seen a stat somewhere else that the average person after high school reads one book in their lifetime, which is another stat. That’s so far out to the left. It’s hard to believe, but where did you get the stat that the average person reads three books a year?

[bctt tweet=”The only way you make long-range impact, come into focus, and be a reality today is to do a little bit of it each day.” via=”no”]

I want to say that comes from a footnote of an HBR article. I’m going to have to dig for that specific site and get it back to you. I’m recalling the article and it was contrasting the reading habits around the world. Japan read more books than America does. America reads 300% to 400% more books in a year than the Arab world does. Europe comes out in between those two, and Russia was the lowest of all of the ones that they reported. Russia was 0.2 books a year. The article went on to say, “Largely, this is because those places don’t publish a lot of books.” We published tons of books in English. Japan evidently publishes enough books. Maybe they’re bilingual enough to have some English books as well, but in the Arab world, they’re not publishing as many books. In Europe, I don’t know what the stat there is, but a large piece of it was the language.

How many books do you think that North Koreans read every year?

One, whatever the great leader recommends. It is like Oprah’s Book Club, but it’s Kim Jong-un’s Book Club.

The reason I wanted you on the show was not necessarily to talk about the book, even though it’s an incredible book. I can’t wait to implement, which I’ve already started implementing some stuff in there, even though I’m a couple of days into it. I used to sit down and I would read a book in a day and implement hardly anything. Now, what I try to do is the 75 Hard Program, which is just ten pages. I’ve raised that a little bit where I try to do a chapter and then I will implement that chapter that day. I try to implement that throughout my week, and then inside my business or my personal life, whatever it is. Speaking of 75 Hard, you completed 75 Hard, didn’t you?

I did on Thanksgiving Day. I had my first glass of wine in 92 days because I did 75 for a little while, and then messed up a little while. After I got fully on track with the habits and got everything things worked out, on Thanksgiving Day I finished, and then the next day, I was able to have a beautiful glass of wine.

How was that?

The program itself was good. I know you’re completely devoted to it. Failing in the program was very difficult. I’m not someone who likes to fail, no one is. To fail only with myself to blame is even worse, and then to do it back-to-back after starting over once and doing it again, it made it seize the mind and finally have these one-on-one conversations with yourself where you say, “Get it right this time.” I did, and I’m very happy to have completed it. I will go through it again, but I am also happy to not be doing it now. Although some of the habits stick. I complained to you the whole time about the water intake. Now, I’m parched all the time because I’m not drinking a gallon of water a day.

It’s funny that the easiest thing to fail on is a pitcher. I’m going to let you in on a secret that I haven’t told anybody publicly. I’ve done 75 Hard three times. I’ve done phase 1 and 2. This last time that I did it when you started, you started and some other people in BA started with me. On day 40. I stopped posting what day I was on. The reason why was on day 39, I had 9.5 hours of a complete bullshit phone call. It was ridiculous. I forgot to take my picture and I did not realize it until several days later. I was going through and I was like, “I think I forgot to take my picture,” but I did not start over and had something to drink, ate some ice cream, and then said, “I’ll start over tomorrow at day one.” I said, “No, I made a commitment. I’m going to go 75 days doing the program.”

Technically, I failed because I forgot that one picture, but I went the full 75 days and then I did an extra day so I went 76 days. My friend, Ed Mylett says, “Always do one extra on everything,” so I did an extra day and I’m going to start up again. I’m going to start on January 1st because we’re taking the kids and family to Costa Rica for two weeks. I always go somewhere for Christmas. If you’re reading the blog, startup with us. Start with me on January 1st and we’ll finish together. You look great. How much weight did you lose with that?

I lost 18 pounds. I thought I had 20 pounds to lose, but I feel like I have more to lose. The habit of getting some exercise every day with some other health challenges that I had, that often to me was the hardest thing. That conversation to say, “Get outside.” I live in South Georgia Swamp, where it’s 98 degrees, with 90% humidity at 10:30 at night. Sometimes that was a hard conversation, especially when you have some physical pain holding you back and giving you a great excuse. The discipline of being able to do that, I listened to a bunch of books on tape at while I was doing it. I didn’t count that as my reading, but it was a nice way to do it. I caught up with a bunch of old friends doing that thing. Definitely, it is a good program. I’m starting back on the 14th. I have my agency Christmas party and, on the 14th, I’m starting back up. We’ll see how that goes. Maybe I can be finished when we see each other at BA again. I haven’t done the math, but I don’t know.

I did my outdoor workout and it was 19 degrees. Let’s get into your journey as an entrepreneur. I did not know this until I read the book. I knew that you run a company, but I didn’t know how you got started. Let’s talk about how you grew up. I know your father was an entrepreneur, but you went a different path.

SOW 12 | Finding Your Focus

Finding Your Focus: The book is my contribution to the younger Trey who needed some guide on how to run a business.


I did. A good friend of mine had me come and speak to a group of high school students a couple of months ago. I said, “What do you want me to talk to them about?” She said, “Tell them how to be successful.” I said, “Inherits a 50-year-old family business that cashflows well.” What a great advice I have for these kids. That’s my story. I was born into a privileged, hardworking, entrepreneurially minded family who has implemented all things that are all the rage now, like loaning your kids money and then making them pay you back with interest. That was our life growing up. The first car I bought, I had to raise half the money and my dad would match half the money.

It gave birth to the hustle. I was doing a thousand things. I used to buy Chick-fil-A sandwiches and go sell them at lunch at school. I’d go to a Costco and get a box of candy bars and sell them on the school bus. I put all of that in my fund to be able to buy my car. I was always taught the rich dad lifestyle of how you do things. It was good but my dad said, “Don’t be in the business that I’m in.” He was in a very sales-forward, financial planning, insurance and benefits business. He said, “Any day you can wake up and your largest client can fire you, so don’t get into that business. Go find a different business for yourself.” I went to law school. Out of law school, I came out at a time when the internet first bubble was getting started. I made a ton of money on paper. I could paper my office with useless shares of stock from companies that I worked for, and then ended up in the venture capital investing space. I had a great run in that space. I had a lot of fun, wonderful, impactful companies that we invested in and helped grow, all of which came to a halt on 9/11.

I had to go out of wonderland and get a real job. I call it wonderland because in VC, you spend other people’s money. I went in-house at a couple of large internet companies and ended up at AOL with a task to raise $1 billion by selling off unused or underutilized assets for AOL. On my way to accept that job, waiting for the moving truck, they wanted me to move to Virginia so bad that I listed my house for two weeks and then they said, “Forget it, we’ll buy it. Get up here and get to work on this.” They bought my house. While I was waiting on the moving truck, my phone rings, and my parents had gone to Vegas to visit some friends and family around the New Year and have a good time. My mom said, “Your dad is in the hospital and it’s not looking very good. I was going to call and tell you that.” I said, well, “Keep me informed. The moving trucks on the way and I’m going to get in the truck. I’m going to drive to Virginia with all of my belongings.” She said, “No, you’re not hearing me. Leave right now, get on a plane, and be here because you may not get to say goodbye.” Unfortunately, I got to say goodbye.

We came home to a life that I wasn’t prepared for and didn’t want. To some extent, it felt too good if that’s understandable. My dad had said, “Don’t do this. You can do more with your life than what we’re doing.” I had to come home and take over the family business. Our top producer in the business was my dad’s best friend who’s now my father-in-law. The guy running the show was my kid brother who was one of my dad’s best friends, and with the absence of my dad and his leadership, and some short know-it-all guy who doesn’t know anything about the business coming in and telling everybody what to do.

It was a hard year for everybody, but we made it work. As I was going through that, I heard a speaker speak a couple of years ago and that person said, “Be the person you needed when you were younger, that is your only moral imperative.” I thought to myself, the person I needed that year was somebody to tell me, “This is what your job description is,” because I didn’t know. I was involved in things I shouldn’t be involved in like checking copier levels and seeing, can we get better expenses? It wasn’t my job. The book is my contribution to the younger Trey who needed some guide on how to run a business.

I remember seeing that in there, “Be the person you needed when you were younger.” That was one of the things that I implemented in there. I read the first chapter and I took a couple of days off. I finished up this other book. The CEO only does three things, that’s the premise of the book. Tell us what those three things are and then I’ll tell you something I’ve implemented so far.

Those three things are culture, people, and numbers. We come to those three things, not because the CEO is especially gifted at any one of those three things more so than someone else in the organization or anything of that nature. Rather, the CEO is the only person in the organization who is so high on the pyramid that they have perspective over those three things. Not in the trees, but rather seeing the forest and being able to say, “As we evolve as a corporate entity, these are the things we need to do to look like what we want to look like, so that we’re living the way we want to be living.”

Here’s what I did. In 2019, I got divorced. Three weeks after getting divorced, my business partner, COO that ran everything and had been with me for 7.5 years came in, stole my hard drive, and walked out. It took 7.5 years’ worth of work that I paid him to do. He tried to bankrupt the entire company and also left me with $700,000 of credit card debt that I didn’t know he’d racked up. I went from CEO to in the weeds again, in the trenches, figuring out and try to get through the divorce stuff and some other stuff that was going on. Both of my daughters work with me. Chassney runs the social media department. She runs all my social media. She does all of the video editing and production. She used to run and produce the show. Now, we have a mutual friend that does it. She’s also an affiliate manager. She runs all the affiliates and we have thousands of affiliates. Chassney runs the marketing side of the company.

Toya at the time was my number one salesperson. We didn’t have anybody doing operations except for me. That’s not one of the things I’m supposed to be doing. Now, Toya is essentially the President COO of the company. I haven’t given her that official title yet, but she’s in charge of all operations. We have several big projects going on. I know based on Traction and the Entrepreneur Operating System, you should only do one project at a time, but where we are at growing, we can’t afford to just do one project. We have to do three different things at the same time because they all sync together. Toya is doing all of that now. My daughters are essentially running about 90% of the company. It’s only been three days, but now I can focus on those three things. I can focus on the people, culture and numbers. That’s what I’m working on.

As I start doing tasks, I’m like, “Are these the three things I should be doing?” That’s how I’m starting to implement that in there. What I’m hearing from Andy Frisella is that’s what he teaches, culture. If you listen to his podcast, if you’re lucky enough to be part of The Arete Syndicate with us, 90% of what Andy teaches is culture. He’s told me, “I don’t do anything in the company. I do my podcast and I walk around. I say hi to people during the day when I’m at the office. I just build a culture.” He doesn’t even have an office. This is a multibillion-dollar company. Have you seen his new headquarters?

No, is this the Vitamin World?

[bctt tweet=”The first time you meet somebody, you need to look at their credit score.” via=”no”]

Supplement Superstores are his retail stores. The first form is the supplements, the protein shake, vitamins, protein and pre-workout. I think it was $1.2 billion to build his new warehouse. He sells more products inside his stores than every single retailer in the world except for one. Who do you think that one retail that sells more of their own products than he does?

It is not a supplement. It’s Apple.

He sells more of his own product. GNC sells more products, but they sell everybody’s products. He sells more of his own products than any other retailer in the world. That’s what he teaches, people, culture and numbers.

I want to claim a high level of originality, but I got these things from watching people who were good at it. I was one of the first hundred employees at WebMD before it was even named WebMD. To watch those guys in the C-Suite, I was a law clerk and so they needed my help on papering transactions and things of that nature. What it got me was a seat at the table in a room that I had no business being in. I knew it at the time and I said, “I’m not going to waste this. I’m going to absorb everything that I’m seeing.” The CEO of that company, Jeff Arnold, a personal hero of mine, got run out of his own company later through treachery and betrayal, which is the title of my next book.

In the story that you shared, every entrepreneur has been through this, where you’ve over-invested in someone who didn’t deserve it, in the hope that you were creating in them some greatness, and then you get treachery and betrayal in response. I think that’d be a great book. We’ll see about that. It happened to Jeff and it’s something that I was able to observe from being up close. In my young life career, I was always around people who were doing this work. When I went back to think about, “How do they do and what did they do,” it wasn’t that they didn’t have daily activities to do. They had inboxes. They had interviews to be done. They had books to write from some standpoint. Podcasts weren’t a thing then, but they had things to do.

They had tasks on their task list, but they didn’t do any of them until they touched these three things every single day because they wanted to do something that had a long-range impact. The only way you make a long-range impact come into focus and be a reality now is to do a little bit of it each day. Moving the football one yard at a time will get it 100 yards every single time. To be able to watch great ones do that was great, I almost put in the book a non-acknowledgments chapter to say, “These are people who I don’t acknowledge as part of my success because of the bad things that they did when I watched them.”

I worked at EarthLink and ISP. The management team there couldn’t have been more opposite in the way that they treated culture, people, and numbers than anyone. It’s just a cloud of consultants in there. No one had long-term stakes in the business. They treated their employees poorly. If they didn’t happen to have five million customers still paying them $20 a month for dial-up, they wouldn’t have had jobs anywhere. I wanted to put that in, but I didn’t want to be too snarky in it. It is the bookends of being able to see somebody who does it well and somebody who does it poorly. That’s what I dialed in here and said, “The people that do it well, touch the long-term every single day.”

In the company you have now, how many employees do you have?

We have nineteen employees in our prime business. It is our biggest business.

How many customers do you have?

We have 82,000 customers. We touch 82,000 lives.

SOW 12 | Finding Your Focus

Finding Your Focus: The CEO is the only person in the organization who is so high on the pyramid that they have perspective over these three things – culture, people and numbers.


It’s primary insurance. Can you talk about the new program that you and I have been talking about?

I cannot. We’re going to paper that up, but it’s not there yet.

I can tell you if you’re reading this, you are going to want to continuously follow up because the moment that he can talk about it, I promise to share it.

Great things take a while to come to fruition. This is one of those things where we are down to one single deal point. It’s a walkaway point for both of us, neither of us wants to walk away. That’s when you get to compromise a negotiation. We have reached a point where they can say yes and I’ll accept what the yes is. It won’t be 30 days, so we’ll be ready within 30 days.

You will want to follow up with Trey and I about what it is because it can be life-altering. I always ask people on the show about credit because my background is in financial services, and credit has a lot to do with that. Tell me, how have you used credit, and what’s your philosophy of using credit? We have never talked about this personally. How have you used it or not used it in your personal life?

I’m interested that you think we haven’t talked about it because I have gleaned from you a lot of things. The first time you meet somebody, you need to look at their credit score, and then look to see what it is a year later to see how you’ve helped them. You’ve helped me with some tweaks and I’ve even called you once or twice in 2019 to say, “What about this? What about that?” to get my credit better. It should be something that’s important. It lowers your cost of renting somebody else’s money. When I explain it to people in that way, they begin to understand, “That’s why I should care about it.” If you are concerned at all about what does it cost to rent somebody else’s money, then you’re probably already having conversations with what you’ll do with that money.

My hope is that people will do fabulous things with it like start companies, buy rental, rehab or any of those real estate opportunities that come around. In my own practice and businesses as the CEO, we do a very intense goal-setting exercise in January, every year. We have a 65-page goal-setting book that we go through line item by line item. Everybody in the company with me. Their managers are also in the room, but it’s a one-on-one thing with the CEO because what I want to know is what’s important enough to you in your life that you would set a goal around. When you set that goal and I don’t care what it is, it becomes my goal as well. We work together on doing that. It wouldn’t surprise you, but it would surprise a lot of other people. Very often, credit comes up in that conversation because people have been lax, stupid, tricked, or whatever it happens to be. Maybe a mix of all of them. I know I have been all those things when it comes to my credit, but they have a credit problem.

We began to work through how do I fix it and that sort of thing. You probably know this, but the one gentleman that’s working with me now who wants to buy his first home has had a credit score in the 400 or 500. He’s one of your clients now. Even though he’s in the state of Georgia, we figured out a way and fixed that. He’s going through that and as a matter of fact, he’s going to apply for his first mortgage. We’re excited about that. What is credit for me in that world? It’s helping people who may not have as many resources as I have and have worked to acquire, but have them be able to get on that acquisition trail, and that’s one thing that’s preventing them from doing it.

Have you ever used credit inside your business to scale your business and do something you couldn’t have?

We have. We are congenitally scared of debt as a DNA trait in our family. Even though we’re entrepreneurial, we were raised with the idea to own what you own, that debt and leverage were signs of bad choice-making in the past. As right as that may have been, especially when interest rates were 10%, 18%, and 20% back in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, when it made sense to pay cash for everything you could. When interest rates are 2%, 3%, 4%, that’s free money a lot of the time. You are still very conscientious about what you do, what risk you take alongside it, and can the money that you borrow pay you back in a great way?

We don’t borrow money to buy depreciable assets. We borrow money to invest in things that appreciate over time. That’s what we have used in our business. In 2020, specifically, we’ve borrowed money to fund a marketing campaign that we could have funded out of cash but maybe would have taken our cash below a level that we were comfortable with. We used credit for sure to go and do some things. That campaign has paid off very nicely. In our business, if you make a sale, you keep that sale typically for ten years. It’s a very good upside when you hit. In 2020, we have done some mature thinking on how do we leverage and grow.

[bctt tweet=”The family bank is one of the secret concepts that rich people use that the rest of us don’t know about.” via=”no”]

I did that. I leased and leasing is expensive. There are some times when you want to lease as a business and sometimes you don’t, but I went to purchase a folder, a copy machine, and a special printer. It’s about $180,000 worth of equipment. It is depreciating equipment, but it is going to save me about $7,000 a month in labor costs and postage. My lease payment on it for the next four years is $3,200 a month. It seems like a lot of money, but it saved me $7,000 estimated and it should last for 10 to 15 years’ worth of the products. The lease is expensive. It averages out to about 22% interest. The reason that I did not pay cash for it was because my business, with the stroke of a pen, can instantly be wiped out if the politicians decide that they’re no longer going to let me help people fix their credit.

We’re going into November, December and January. These are the leanest months of the year for us. Come February, our wallets started getting fatter again. I looked at it as I can take this almost $200,000 out of the operating account, pay cash, and save 20% interest over the next year, or I can wait until February and then February, pay it off. That’s what I chose to do is to lease it. By doing this, I found out through Kingsley, which is my tax professional, because it’s a lease, when I pay off that lease in February, it’s 100% write-off. I don’t have to depreciate it because I didn’t buy it. For me looking at it because I leased it, I get 100% depreciation immediately because they look at that as a lease payment versus if I bought it and have to depreciate that over a 5 to 10-year period.

Sometimes, it makes sense to purchase or use credit for depreciating assets. Sometimes it doesn’t, but I agree with you on that. Most of the time, you shouldn’t especially consumer debt like a car. I bought a Jeep and I financed it because whenever you buy a vehicle from the dealership, you should always finance it through the dealership. I saved about $7,500 for financing it because they get kickbacks from the bank. I purchased it with a loan. I’m going to pay the loan down in the next couple of days. I’ll pay interest on $100 to $200, but I’m going to keep the loan open. I saved that $7,500 because if I pay off the loan early, they bill me for that $7,500 because they’ll get a chargeback. Consumer debt for the most part should never be financed with a credit card or a loan. Consumer debt should be cash. The debt that is making you money like our apartment complexes. We got $95 million of apartment complexes. We didn’t put cash on that. We’re financing it. We’re getting that at 3.5% non-recourse loans, which is less than inflation.

I’m going to call you for that hookup because I’ve got multifamily on my radar now. I don’t know if you guys talk about the concept of the family bank. I know you’re a life insurance believer as well. We’ve always used a family bank. Our cars, when we purchase a depreciable asset, we pay a 5% to 7% interest rate on those, even though the credit union would give us 2% or 1.5%. I’ve even seen teaser rates, but our thinking there is that if we have to pay interest, we’d rather pay ourselves interest in someone else. We family bank that stuff as much as we can when it makes sense to do that.

I like that you to talk about family bank because we talked about it, and I went to some of my family members to do it. It’s not going to work with my siblings, but with my daughters, it’s going to work. That’s something I want to do. Let’s talk about what a family bank is.

The general concept is that you have a group of family members who want to be able to borrow money from time to time and have some sufficient cash to be able to put up and stake the bank. The idea behind it is that you’re in control of the terms so you can set a high interest and low interest, whatever the happenstance is. You can set forgiveness terms. A lot of people will use their family bank to say, “You can go and try this and if it doesn’t work, then we will forgive 25%, 50%, 100%” or whatever it happens to be, so that you’re making the transition to entrepreneurialism easier for someone. A lot of people finance college for their kids through a family bank.

We use a super conservative, whole life-based policy. The cashflow in that policy has been building up for 35 years now. When the death benefit comes about because of the individual whose life securing it is pretty up in age now, that money will go into a family trust and the trust will then loan it out to family members. This is not a quick thing to do necessarily but we do it. We started our own family bank as a concept. It is not a chartered institution. We don’t even have an entity on it. We started it with $10,000. Whoever needed money on the $10,000, borrowed it, paid it back at 8% interest. We paid to market or above, and it was good. When grandma’s sitting on a nest egg that she’s never going to invest in when she’s doing a laddered CD strategy of 0.5% interest or something of that nature, it might make a lot of sense for someone to come in and borrow, and pay her a higher rate that she probably will use to live on, or at least have that nest egg built up.

To your point, you have to choose your partners correctly. There’s no greater friction in a family than between siblings sometimes. That’s something that we definitely have had to navigate. My brother and I worked together for 12 out of the 15 years that I’ve run the business. He trusted me and I trusted him to do the right thing with the funds, and we had veto right over each other on it. There were times when I came in and wanted to borrow money for a speculative deal because I’m quite a speculator, and he turned me down. There was a time that he wanted to buy something, which I felt was in a fun hobby style project and I turned him down. We didn’t hold grudges on those things. The family bank is one of these secret concepts that rich people use, that the rest of us don’t know about until we find out about them and start using them and building them.

I know the Rockefeller started that. They use whole life because that’s what they had back then. That’s something I’m teaching. In fact, I have a webinar on How to Become a Bank. That’s essentially what we’re doing is we’re teaching people how to become a family bank. It’s not a charter bank, but we’re calling it a bank where it’s your money you can borrow against your life insurance policy. We choose to use index universal life because it’s a much greater return than the traditional old whole life policies. The Rockefellers did that, and they would put the whole life insurance on the oldest person in the family. When that person would pass away, they would take 20% of the preceding that they payout, start a whole life policy on the youngest person in the family, and then divvy out the 80% to the family bank. Over their time, they’ve created through insurance, hundreds of millions of dollars of insurance money. They paid for the whole thing from the very first policy.

The Rothschild is exactly the same thing. They were the bank called the Rothschild Bank, their red shield bank. They got into the business of amassing capital in order to loan it to other people for a good interest and also strategic objectives. When they became a big enough lender to the crown or something of that nature, then other opportunities to make wealth presented themselves, which they took advantage of. I would like to be in a similar situation at some point as well as with my family bank.

I don’t know if it’s a true quote or not, so you can fact check me on it, but it’s Rothchild. One of them said, “It doesn’t matter who makes the rules. It matters who holds the gold.”

SOW 12 | Finding Your Focus

Finding Your Focus: Don’t borrow money to buy depreciable assets. Borrow money to invest in things that appreciate over time.


You got it. “I care not who writes a nation’s laws, but rather who counts the money,” or something of that nature.

What he’s saying is, “I don’t care what your rules and laws are because I have all the gold. I control the bank so I can do anything I want.” Trey, it’s been awesome having you on the show. If there’s anything I can do for you, please let me know. Where can we find the book? If you’re driving and you want to click it really quick, where can they get it?

You can go to Amazon. You mentioned Traction earlier. The first week, we beat out in three different categories one of my favorite business books, which is Traction, one of my other favorite business books, which I’m sure you’ve read, which is called The Goal. I took a screenshot of that. I’m going to have that printed and framed in my office because we beat those guys on bestseller status for the intro week of the book. It got hardback and paperback, and we are working on the first quarter of 2021 to produce an Audible track book as well.

The book is A CEO Only Does Three Things and it’s written by Trey Taylor. Trey, thanks so much. Do you want people to find you on social media?

The website that we have for our consulting, speaking, mentoring, and we’re launching some interesting initiatives, which you’ll hear about at BA in the first quarter is Trinity Blue is our consulting company. I’ve got some interesting people involved in that doing a lot of great things. That’s where you can find me. I’m on LinkedIn quite frequently as well, so you can find me there. I’m Trey Taylor, J.D. on that.

Trey, thanks so much. I know you’ve got a lot of stuff to do, and I appreciate you spending the time with me here, and everything else you do for us.

Thanks, Rondi. I appreciate you and your leadership and friendship.

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About Trey Taylor

SOW 12 | Finding Your Focus

Trey is the Chief Executive Officer of Trinity-Blue, an executive management and coaching consultancy. In this role, his primary responsibility is to set the guiding vision of the organization, recruit the best possible talent to fulfill that vision and then assist those people in doing the best possible work they can perform.
Trey holds a Bachelor’s degree in History from Emory University in Atlanta, a Juris Doctor degree in tax and Corporate Transactions from Tulane University and has done post-graduate work at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and the Georgia Institute of Technology. Trey is licensed in Life and Health Insurance Sales in Georgia and several other states.
Trey began his management career at Healtheon|WebMD where he participated in the largest private placement of equity in US Financial history. Trey then worked as a Senior Analyst for a venture capital firm in Atlanta before leaving to work in a corporate development role at EarthLink and AOL/Time Warner. Heavily involved in public service in Valdosta and Lowndes County, Trey is currently a Board Member and Past-President of the Board of Trustees of Leadership Lowndes, a Member of the Board of Directors of the Alapaha Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and a Member of the Board of Trustees of Lowndes Associated Ministries to People (LAMP), and an Advisor to Azalea Health Innovations, Inc. and AgencySpotter, Inc. Previously, Trey served as a Board Member for the Greater Valdosta United Way and the Chairman of its Allocation Committee, and a Board Member for the Valdosta North Rotary Club. In 2013, Trey was named one of Georgia Trend Magazine’s 40 Under 40. Additionally, Trey received the Cheers for Peers MVP, Cheers for Peers MVP Giver, Employee Recognition Award and Happiest Company Award in 2014 from TinyHR.
In his private time, Trey enjoys teaching introductory wine courses and is a WSET certified sommelier. Trey and his wife, Sheya have recently founded Tyche Wines to produce and distribute interesting wines. They have produced a 2007 Willamette Pinot Noir, a 2009 Sonoma sparkling wine, and a Bordeaux. Trey and Sheya are the proud parents of Roy Edward Taylor IV (Ret), and Emmaline.