and Robert talk about the power of discovering your Zone of Genius and how he wants to help everyone in the world know their zone of Genius and start living into it. Ramon also shares about the value of shared experiences in communicating to your niche, you know their language, they identify with your stories and communication feels natural.
A little bit about Ramon...
Ramon Ray is unapologetically positive and high-energy. He's the founder of www.ZoneofGenius.com; is a 5x serial entrepreneur; and has sold 3 companies. Ramon is an in-demand motivational speaker, top small business success influencer and event host. He's written 5 books, including, "Celebrity CEO" (about personal branding).
Robert Peterson 0:00
I'm excited for today's guest, Ramon Ray Ramon is unapologetically positive and high energy. He's the founder of zone of genius.com is a five time serial entrepreneur and has sold three companies. Ramon is an in demand motivational speaker, top small business success influencer and event host. He's written five books, including celebrity CEOs, but personal branding. Get to know Ramon better at Ramon ray.com, Ramon, Ray and Robert talk about the power of discovering your zone of genius, and how he wants to help everyone in the world know their zone of genius and start living into it. Ramon also shares about the value of shared experiences and communicating to your niche. their language, they identify with your stories, and communication feels natural. Ramon, thank you so much for joining me today. I'm excited to have this conversation and share your journey and adventure with the world.
Ramon Ray 1:58
I'm excited to be here. Anyone that has the word smiling in their name or title must be a very interestingly amazing person. So thanks for having me.
Robert Peterson 2:06
Well, thank you, and I love it. I know that you're committed to positivity and so love that about you. And it's part of how we connected and just love the message that you're spreading as well. And so hope that between the two of us, nobody will leave listening without feeling better about themselves and about the world. Absolutely, absolutely. Well, so typically remote, I just let my guests share their entrepreneurial journey. And I know you started a bunch of businesses, sold a bunch of businesses and loved love businesses. And so would you share your journey a little bit? Tell us where you are today?
Ramon Ray 2:46
Sure,. Today I'm the publisher of zone of genius.com zone of genius recently started. Really, our whole entire goal is to help small business owners live life fulfilled when they are a media company, so that's what I recently just started. And prior to that, for the last seven years, I've been producing smart hustled.com That I bought or sold, which is a good thing. So people are like, Well, I'm sorry for it,it's a good thing. That's where I am today, but I'm a keynote speaker, motivational speaker and author of several books five total, and now the publisher of zone of genius.com. And prior to that, that the journey since you asked is a large part of my career and where I learned my head my first professional work was in the United Nations before that I was,at a stock clerk and a local grocery store, things like that some smaller jobs and things but at the United Nations so that was one big defining moment for my life until I was fired and I'm happy to go into that depth. And then while there though I had also started a few small companies My first one was a small technology consulting business I did that's the 90s or so the when modems were important whatever era whoever's listening, take your pick but whatever eras,modems and 1200 baud I don't remember but,fax machines that early 90s Maybe something like that,or mid 90s So that was that and then then I started a few companies and,the rest as it were was history but ,I'll stop there but the United Nations started a few small companies started a few blogs, but today publisher of zone of genius.com and a motivational keynote speaker around the world ,
Robert Peterson 4:19
all the listeners that have never heard the zing ding the modem connecting,the end the prayer that the prayer of the person just listening to the sounds of the fax machine or the modem going zinging. Hopefully it'll connect. It'll connect. I love Zona genius so huge Gay Hendricks fan love the big leap and, and all that, that he taught in that idea and helping people discover their zone of genius. Share with us your journey in discovering your zone of genius.
Ramon Ray 5:01
it's been multi disciplinary and even though I started zone of genius, I'm no expert on it per se. But since you asked the question, two things come to mind. I don't remember how long it was now, but a few years or two, it seems like to me, I as someone said, Ramon, you're so high energy, so high energy. And Robert, I was so angry and offended that I was, in fact, very disappointed and sad. Because I wondered, why can I be the Simon Sinek cool guy with the cool, oh, your why, or Seth Godin who's known for so many amazing things? Why am I just high energy? I thought it was pejorative. But I embraced recently, that authentically, this is who I am. We all have different gifts in the way we present ourselves. And I'd like to think mine is some people said, Ramon, well, everybody says high energy, but those who get to know me know, that's just how God made me the moment I wake up, oh, my mind. So that's one way if it's helpful for me to embrace a zone of genius. And to have recently I did a Facebook, a post on Facebook recently, about a time people see this, it'll be,some time but recently about living life fulfilled. And yesterday as we're speaking, Robert, I swung in a swing for just a few minutes. It was beautiful warm weather outside and I was just swinging in a children's swing as if it were just swinging on, my knees had just come over. I had another nice cup of coffee. And I was just grateful at living life that way. Not everybody can. But God bless the people in Sri Lanka and Ukraine and others, but my life today, I'm grateful for so is that a long winded? Is that helpful about how I'm seeing my zone of genius today? Robert,
Robert Peterson 6:44
It's very helpful.I had a similar experience. We have been running my company since 2018. Adding value to life is important, because that's based on the idea of encouraging one another and lifting others up,? Already. Our mandate as humans, I believe, is to encourage each other and lift each other up. But it wasn't until actually we were in Washington, DC doing a book launch for our book, and everybody kept saying, Oh, your smile, oh, you're always smiling. And I said,what? Maybe maybe the Smiling is the thing. And so, I've only recently added this smiling entrepreneur coach and embraced that. That smiling.,in a similar fashion. And so it is my personality, it's how I show up in the room. And, and, and people always compliment the smile. So I said, let's just roll with it and put
Ramon Ray 7:41
It's good.Robert, why fight it if it's something good? They could have said He's a moron. He's stolen credit cards. He he,kicks baby kittens
Robert Peterson 7:49
can't grow hair on his head.
Ramon Ray 7:52
Why not embrace it? So you're. To your point, the smiling entrepreneur, coach. A lot of people call me high energy positive. I've embraced it. And I own it.,absolutely.
Robert Peterson 8:01
like you said, it is good. It wasn't pejorative, it was a positive statement. I suppose there are some people that might be sarcastic about it, or might have a negative feeling about it. But that's their problem, not yours.
Ramon Ray 8:17
I do think some people do have a high energy that is inauthentic. Like the one thing I so dislike is those people who say, so we're in a big room. I know, Robert, I have a big voice. I know I can project. No question about it,again, I'm not flexing, that's just one or two things that I do well, but the people, I don't need a mic. I don't need a mic. I have a loud voice. your mic. Loud voice. the people who are that fake? Anybody, let's bring high energy. Those are not high energy people. You can't bring high energy, you are high energy. You're just who you are. You can't like, let somebody tell me a joke. I looked it up and there were two turtles. Now let's get to the sales meeting.
Robert Peterson 9:00
Yep, I agree. Well, authenticity is really important. It's one of the things that I like to chat about. So let's dig into the value of character, the value of authenticity and for entrepreneurs to be able to show up as their true selves.
Ramon Ray 9:15
It's important. That part of it is authenticity. It's a word yes, that people band around. But for me,it means some sort of trueness that I can trust. You have a buddy of mine, a friend of mine, Scott Simon's of Carter Myers, automotive, in Virginia. Big big car dealership, 20 foreign growing car dealerships. And one thing I get from him is that listen, if we're not a fit for you to buy a car from us, we don't want to, we don't want to sell it to you. There, we can recommend you and refer you to others. Of course that rarely happens to them. But that's what authenticity means. Am I true to myself? When I look in the mirror, is this truly who I am or am I projecting and trying to be someone else? that the other part of that is the of the of the Who we are, is, what do people say I am, like you said, the smiling entrepreneur, people got into your smile, I'm sure there's 75 Other things, Robert, that you're great at that you're known for that you're like, what they say I'm good at business plans or math or whatever, and you are. But the one thing that people hooked on was that and for me, it's the high energy. And I'm sure they could have called me the smiling guy too. I smile a lot. But for me, they the marketplace, said Ramon, high energy and positivity in the marketplace, said to Robert, smiling. And so we just own it. So though, that being true, is important. And last thing I'll say on that, Robert, is that be people of your word, most people, thankfully,are decent people. But there's a few people in the world that are, the Bernie Madoff of the world. And thankfully, you and I are not that, but it just reminded us, let's never be those kinds of people.
Robert Peterson 10:54
Well, and most people that are trying, that or if they're, especially if they're in an online space, and they're trying to attract an audience on Facebook, or they're trying to attract an audience on YouTube, and they feel a pressure to act like an influencer. And and, I mean, and now obviously, we've all heard about the scoundrels that are out there, renting an Airbnb and parking a rental, Lamborghini in the front end, spending the weekend taking all their photos and doing all these things to put on a show, So there are those people out there pretending to be better than they are or have gone further down the road than they really have. But there are entrepreneurs that are in that middle ground that just feel this pressure to act a little differently to try to be Simon Sinek, to try to show up as Ramon in the room here. The
Ramon Ray 11:50
the guy wanted to show up, I was Steve Harvey, I'll confess that to you, Harvey. I want his swag. And I still model people,it's okay to say, Huh, like, Robert has it but continue on with Steve Harvey, the other guy,
Robert Peterson 12:01
I love that my wife loves Barbie, and she just loves watching his reactions to people on his show. He's got such a great presence? Always, I mean, obviously, he's well dressed and promoting his own clothing line. I like that idea of modeling. Is there a big difference? You can model somebody without copying them. In fact,that's honoring them. part of your own growth journey. So it's not fake till you make it. It's not, I need to fake and pretend to be this person. But I can model certain characteristics. So there's I can, I mean, I do that in my studies of biographies, I read about Henry Ford and about Walt Disney and there's certain attributes that I'd like to add that attribute to my character to who I am. That's a great way to look at that. So you mentioned living life fulfilled, and you mentioned gratitude, I want to kind of go two directions with those,one of my big goals is to help entrepreneurs recognize that you can design the life that you want, and you can create a business to support it, or multiple businesses, eventually, but for many people, they feel like that's just so out of reach. That it's just not, not for them, maybe. this idea that we can design a life and then create something to support it and make it happen. You speak to that in your case?
Ramon Ray 13:49
,it's two things. As far as the business owners are concerned,we should try to wake up every morning. The goal should be to have our business serve us. And that may be Ramones making 35,000 a year in New York City, reasonably speaking. that's not too good for anybody.
Ramon Ray 14:06
But let's pretend Ramones are happy with that.
Ramon Ray 14:08
Robert can be making 3 million a year in the middle of Iowa. My point being putting the money aside to degree can we run our businesses, Gino Whitman and some of the books that are here, and I'm sure you've quoted these people, that it runs well, and that we can wake up in the morning with our business serving us with our business, our slave, we not slave to the business. So that's one thing, Robert, that I'm seeing and trying to make sure I do. Because I tell my team all the time. It's a great day when you say, Ramon, I'm not available Thursday to Sunday, I'm taking off. Great. This is why I'm paying you not to slave away and work away. So that's what for me I'm seeing more and more is that let's design businesses that are profitable, that we charge a not market rate whatever that may mean but a charge of a nice fee because our clients see value in that The not not gouging the but in a good way that we're looking at our finances, that we're have a good team assembled, we're leveraging the power of technology, we understand the marketing principles,? We're niching even though we overuse words, I do think there's power in that to our degree. And then once we do that we've earned the ,Robert, to live life fulfilled, that we don't have to work so hard, because we have a team. I just told one of my colleagues and her name is Helen, I said, Helen, my job is to take care of you. Because if I take care of you, you will take care of all the myriad of details that I'm paying you for as we help build the zone of genius.com.
Robert Peterson 15:36
Absolutely. But I love that you've mentioned niching down is, is so over, definitely overused, overstated, and yet, it's still one of the areas where many entrepreneurs really just wrestle with that idea of picking that narrow, narrowing down to the least common denominator that they can communicate with. And obviously you come with a marketing background and an understanding. Why is it so important to narrow that? Who you serve down to, to know exactly who you can identify your people in a room?
Ramon Ray 16:16
One thing that I heard from Lamar Tyler is this and I'm going to start off. It may sound a bit not controversial, but some people may not get it. But follow me here at Robert and allow me grace on this. So Lamar Tyler has a business, a digital marketing business focused on black business owners. And I asked him, why Black business owners? Because for me, Robert, I've been,as you can imagine, the black community remote. You can be our Black Twitter guy or black Wi-Fi guy or black retargeting guy. And I'm like, well, that's just not my focus. I'm for everybody. And retargeting is for black people, white guys and Spanish guys, we kind of do the same. What he told me about targeting is shared experiences. And it opened my eyes. It's not a racial thing, per se. And I'm going to get to the broader point of niching, of course, but meaning of course, having, digital marketing company helping Irish business owners. I'm not saying I don't like Spanish people, as Irishman, I'm making this up. So give me some grace here, maybe we drink the same beer or we, we have the same background and food at 90% is the same thing we're saying to everybody. But I can say a little joke, a little context, a little background that all the Irish guys will get. So going back to niching. In general, we are a digital marketing company focused on Latina women who are high, high net worth. Latina women who have a high net worth speak a different language than Latina women who don't have a large net worth. So that's the power of niching. We focus on small, three year old children with ADHD. Everybody in that demographic, the parents, the kids, they all speak a language. They all know the acronyms. They all know the struggles of success. That's the power of niching. So I hope that was helpful if people didn't get it,but that's the power of it, whatever niche you're going for.
Robert Peterson 18:14
That absolutely and shared stories, shared experiences, really helps you in marketing and communication because then you're not, then you're speaking from your heart,? If you are your own avatar, if you are a piece of your own avatar inside of you. That makes your communication so much easier. Because you don't have to spend hours reading these marketing messages
Ramon Ray 18:38
that veterans imagine they all speak the same language meaning, especially,we're Special Forces veterans 80 to 90% of what Robert you could share the same you'd share with me, but 10% They're going to have insider jokes, talk about sad things maybe maimed or warfare that unless you serve and if you did, whatever, I don't know if you serve but if those who I didn't serve, that we didn't go through
Robert Peterson 19:01
I have served but I was not in combat. So
Ramon Ray 19:05
okay, but still, but thank you for your service. So being in the military, though, you'll understand a whole lingo different than I would ever just because you've served.
Robert Peterson 19:12
Absolutely.That's a great way to look at it. So obviously gratitude is a big part of you mentioned swinging on the swings with your nieces and just just just being grateful finding a moment of gratitude. And what are the ways gratitude serves you in your journey?
Ramon Ray 19:30
,that just and you don't have to know you're okay because of somebody else's misery. I don't have to be grateful. Oh, I had a tire blow on the highway. Robert had two tires below him. I must be okay. They have to be like that. But me and Robert it does help me think I'm angry because my tire had a flat. Oh, well. Robert had four flats.
Ramon Ray 19:58
Ramon Ray 19:59
Give me a little more grateful, silly example. But that's kind of helpful. Now it's good to be grateful because I guess God put it in us. You're just grateful. That's just part of the human experience. Something beyond us. But on the other hand,that's for me, Robert gratefulness is just what? I got a piece of bread. There's some guy out there who only has half a loaf of bread. I'm so grateful. So that's for me and just and also thinking of others if I'm thankful, Robert, thank you so much for seeing I can have some value in having me on your podcast today. That makes him feel appreciated. I did some things Robin,we're born with s. I heard a podcast once or a discussion, somebody said, babies are born, , knowing how to suck or eat that's just natural. And it teaches them they're looking even for animals looking for the mama's breast or nipple, whatever it is. And then to fear of falling,I'm sure there's more but those are natural things. So gratefulness is something Robert, thank you. You can't find it. You're like, all fuzzy inside. And same with me.
Robert Peterson 20:59
Well, but obviously, you and I have a huge positive mindset, huge positive attitude. But there's a lot of people out there that don't get that they haven't gotten there, they're still they're still feeling like they're victims of the world. They're, the, the news makes them feel bad that life makes them feel bad, they're depressed. And, and gratitude is so powerful, it can start to change that it can start to help them. And for me, gratitude is simply an opportunity to focus on what you got. and not get caught up in all the stuff you don't.. And, even a flat tire even in the midst of a flat tire is as frustrating as it can be. I can find things to have gratitude for. I'm grateful there was a place to pull over. I'm grateful that my dad taught me how to change a tire. I'm grateful thatT mobile's paying for AAA now. I'm grateful for that. I mean, you can get caught up but there are so many. I mean, all of us have been around people that said that that flat tire would ruin not just the morning, it would ruin their entire day, every meeting they walk into they would say oh,I have a lifetime. Oh, now they have their full day. Every interaction, every conversation is going to start with that flat tire. And, it is Just man, I You got to snap out of that. Yes, circumstance and that thing. It's just a thing.?,and for me, I love the idea. Well, that's such now what? And I can switch gears.
Ramon Ray 22:38
You acknowledge it. That sucked. Got it. however long that sucked is an hour, a minute, two minutes. And then you move on. And, Robert, if you have time to tell you a true story of a flat tire that happened to me just recently. Absolutely. Okay. It's not mean it's not directly relevant. But it is a true story. I'll just jive with you here. But I rented a car in Turo. People don't know Turo, I'm not selling it at an affiliate deal. But it's a pretty cool service. The,you have Uber where you're somebody else's driving you can rent your car from the traditional rental car places and then Turo is this I rent a car from Robert is have you ever used or have you heard of
Robert Peterson 23:09
I have,he's a girl. I've used it a couple of times and it works great. pick the car up in the airport parking lot. And off I go.
Ramon Ray 23:14
I did that. So I use Turo first time and I signed up like within seconds as my plane was ticking off so I couldn't find a car point being is I rented some expensive and I'm not a car guy BMW X five or some version either x five was the car ultimately got point being I rented a car pulled out a lot Robert and I heard a clicking sound I didn't leave the airport yet. The car had a flat side of the road so I wasted an hour or two calling thank God AAA had a flat tire and I'm new tour user so then the guy upgrades me like so maybe x three or some SUV to the x five is the sedan that the high end vehicle that people love I guess I'm a car guy so he was more excited. Oh, five I'm like okay, so anyways, so I'm driving that car and basically bottom line he tells me that Ramon just so turtles policy or the end user you remote are responsible for tire damage. So the car itself was an $800 rental for two days, something more than a $500 tire. Point being that's why flat tires maybe in my head subliminally I just wanted to share that it literally happened to me this flat tire. But,Robert, I was grateful that at this season, I had the money not that I won't ever be a sucker. But he was such a nice guy in the whole experience. It could have happened to an idiot, a mean guy, but he said No problemo text me. I'll replace the car. We took it to the BMW dealership, everything went well. So just to your point, even in that situation where I had to pay a lot of money. I was just grateful to screw with a nice guy.
Robert Peterson 24:40
Most people don't realize most rental car companies you're responsible for the tires unless you've even a windshield, you get a rock in the windshield. If you haven't paid for the extra insurance, you're responsible for that windshield. And so it's now like, like you said, that doesn't happen 99% of the time you rent a car. You don't have any issues at all. Oh,
Ramon Ray 25:01
this happened by the way,it was the other good thing he took, he paid half of it. Because it kind of happened. Robert and I recorded it ironically. I don't know why it happened in the garage. So I don't think he would have given me a car like that. He was too nice of a guy. But my guess is, as he pulled in, I bet there was a projectile this big rubber? Oh my gosh, I bet he rolled over it. When he parked the car. That's my guess. But who knows? So he paid half and I paid half the nicer guy than that.
Robert Peterson 25:29
obviously, it hurts either way.? Nobody wants a flat tire on their own car, let alone when you're borrowing a car. And, and so. So that story brings me the idea of communication and, and relationships. And , there's three things that we don't talk about a lot in, in our culture. schools don't teach us financial literacy, time and money management, literacy, and then and then relationships and communication. And so it sounds like he had a great experience in that. Let's talk about the value of that positive interaction and communicating in a way that even in a negative situation is really uplifting.. Obviously, you're trying to solve a problem. But at the same time, you can treat others in a positive way.
Ramon Ray 26:23
That's it. most of the time, Robert, it's not what we're saying so much. It's how we're saying it.,Robert, telling me, hey, Ramon, you're a total idiot, because you spelled something wrong on your website. What a moron Don't better? That's different than saying, hey, Ramon, Listen, can I just share something with you to help you? You spelled the word wrong on your website? And maybe you want to fix that, buddy? He said the same thing. But one way was with grace. So you're , Robert,for me, the aspect of how we say things is so much different per se, than what we say. And just communication. Just being a nice person. What is the saying? I don't know. Let nice guys finish last, something like that? it says, but I don't know about that. in my life.. People could have thought they could roll it over Ramon, maybe I paid a few percentage points more than the other guy who is a bit hard. No, I'm not paying more. But what, I sleep well at night. I'm friendly with everybody. I don't have any enemies that I know of. I feel pretty good. Maybe if I was a meaner guy would get less rates or better rates or faster cut somebody in line. But then I'd be like, oh, did Robert see me cut someone in line? Just, I don't live that way.
Robert Peterson 27:39
Well, that sounds like it creates a lot of pressure,? I mean, I guess, my younger days I had, I would compare to road rage, I suppose. And, trying to get to that next destination faster, and then better and, and in driving with that pressure. But I realized that pressure doesn't, I'm only hurting myself yelling and screaming at the cars that aren't going fast enough, or aren't letting me in or aren't moving over, and we're all in, we're all going to the same. We're all headed in the same direction. We're all trying to get everyone, everyone on the road is trying to get somewhere.. And so, being able to let that go as this, like you said, Man, I sleep better at night. I don't have all this pressure. And,I mean, it's similar to the idea that I can control other people that I can, have these, this, this other impact in the world. And there's a lot of people that have stress and anxiety in their lives, because they're trying to control things that are outside of their control.
Ramon Ray 28:48
Who knows for sure 100% And when you try to control things outside of your control, and make you very fortunate, I must say Robert, it does feel a little good. When that guy tries to go fast and they get stuck in the same place. You smile just a little bit.
Ramon Ray 29:00
You gotta check yourself. It feels good to scream.
Robert Peterson 29:04
So two weeks ago, two weeks ago, where I was following somebody and we're in the left lane, and we're doing about,510 over that range over the speed limit. And this car pulls up behind me and he's just all over. You in and finally he went to pass me and he took off. Well the guy in front of me hit his brakes and I hit my brakes because in the lane on the exit ramp was a state patrol car. And that guy never saw him and the room in the state patrol car turned on his lights. It was like that was a moment of joy. I will. It doesn't happen often. Somebody speeds by you and then the cop pulls them over in front of you. You're like
Ramon Ray 29:44
, it happens to you.
Robert Peterson 29:48
There was a moment of joy there. I'll admit. Let's talk about the power of networking and the power of creating a network of like minded supporters and power partners in just just the the power of community.,my
Ramon Ray 30:41
good friend Sarah McCord. She built a community of over 80 moderators and, and two hours of content on clubhouse and she calls it like hearted, light hearted because we all may not agree. But if our hearts are in the same place, we can all get things done. But it's important. that this community is important because community is what uplifts you, when you're down. Communities where you can go to for advice community is what can can correct you in a good way.,if you're being a total idiot, Robert can come in a remote dude, listen, you didn't have to push that kid down the stairs to jump ahead of them in line to get the ice cream cone. Ramon Come on now. That wasn't nice. Okay, Robert, that wasn't Reno. Never do that. But I've been silly, you get my point. So that's the benefit of the community. Robert,that everybody needs community and part of community could be yes, your parents or family depending on your age, and where they are in life. Part of that community could be your own kid, part of the community could be your bros or your sisters. And your part of the community could be your church or some other group like that. So there's different levels of community as well. Part of the community can be your professional community and shout out to a community a man called breakfast with champions on clubhouse, I encourage all those listening. If you haven't used the clubhouse social audio app, you may want to check it out. It may not be for everybody. But I found that there's a lot of silliness on that app. But one really good group is called Breakfast with champions community. So, um, community is important. And it's helped me because we don't know we don't know. That's one. So having a community of people that we can turn to is good. And then two is that, again, that upliftment we all get these are one of those things that I'm a firm believer that God has made us within those who may not believe in God, whatever you believe in, but the point being, certain things we need, and community and and comradeship is important. Imagine Robert doing this podcast alone, like a dark screen over there and him saying him just talking to himself. I mean, I guess Howard Stern and a few others could do that. They can just talk for six hours straight. But most of us want to talk to somebody else.
Robert Peterson 32:31
Well, my stories would run out a lot faster. So I appreciate guests, they're willing to come on and share their stories. And I love that. Looking at it from the sight of the community. And you mentioned, we don't know what we don't know. And being open to a community allows that level of growth that most people don't experience yet.? Because they don't have somebody in their life that's helping them see what they don't know.
Ramon Ray 33:02
That's it. It's important for us to have that reflection around us.
Robert Peterson 33:05
Absolutely. Well, that brings me the idea of intentional community, like mentors, and, and having mentors in your life, how have mentors served you? And how would you encourage an entrepreneur to find a mentor that can support them?
Ramon Ray 33:20
, two mentors in my life. And again, mentors, something, there's mentors, and then there's coaches, or consultants, to kind of different things, coaches or consultants. Generally speaking, if I vibe with you, I pay Robert to help me. And that is a form of mentorship. So everybody needs that coach, that consultant, some of their life they work with on a regular basis doesn't have to be your whole business. But in seasons, I've had coaches, consultants or others. that's one in this aspect of mentorship. I do think there's a slight difference. And mentorship is kind of a vibe not quite like a marriage. But let's say it's me and Robert, I may not vibe with Robert Robert may not vibe with me. And he may not be my mentor, but if we vibe with him, especially if he's the one who has the most experience. He's like,what, I like this guy. And if he's open to it, especially us, I'm like, Robert, can I call you once in a while, that every day, not every Thursday at 10? Because that's more consulting. But Robert, can I just text you every once in a while? If I'm feeling down, if I don't know what to do with my kids, something's going wrong. That's kind of mentorship where it's not, kind of that buddy side, that friendship side. Oftentimes,there's no money because then it's more formal consulting, but everybody needs somebody they can turn to two mentors in my life Robert, one was Mr. T down but Anathem Indian Hindu gentleman, who one of his quotes he would say I was working at the United Nations a very frustrating and toxic environment at the time I was at. And Raman slows down, Ramon, you're angry. Don't write the email now. Ramon slow down as a poor accent that he had, but I said an honor of him and honor I mimic him an honor.,he poured so much into me his name was Mr. Chidambaram Athan, or we call them Mr. Nathan and I love That means so much. Another mentor who I currently have is Jaco Verbinski. We're similar ages. He owns an IT technology consulting company. We're the same age, about 50. But he's had a little more experience in building larger businesses. And I see him as a mentor. He ironically turns to me for advice, but those are two people. I would shout out and say that everybody needs to find a Mr. Nathan or Yaakov in their life.
Robert Peterson 35:23
Nice. Well, recognizing the difference between coaching and mentoring typically, a mentor is somebody that's been where you want to go. And a coach is somebody that can help you get where you want to go. And so there's a little difference, , and experience and expertise, where a coach is trying to pull it out of you, and help you figure out your journey. And so they may not be me. I use the example of or heard the example recently of Mike Tyson's boxing coach who has never won a world title and think about how Tom Brady's quarterback coach has never won a Super Bowl. And yet, Tom Brady is paying him to teach, to work with him, and his quarterback skills.?
Ramon Ray 36:11
and part of it is because if you're good, let's say you and me, Robert, you're let's say I was your coach, if you're already a good speaker already good at what you do. I can still teach you new things, because I'm learning, I'm reading, I'm an academician. But you're the one that has to implement it. So that's interesting. You said that, because I may not be able to execute it. I may be more apt at speaking. But I can be your mirror and look at you and say, Robert, I've I've talked to hundreds of speakers. And Robert No, no, I thought, Robert, do it again, say good morning, USA. And what I mean, if you get the play here, that you're the one who's going to be on stage, you're the one who has the talent to execute it. But I can definitely be your iron sharpens iron, and help you get better. Because I'll be working on your mind, on your heart, I'll be seeing things you're not. So sometimes the perfect speaker in this case, is not the one to coach the other perfect speaker, it takes the mentor to have a slightly different skill set.
Robert Peterson 37:06
Absolutely. And I like how you put it goes to help you see, they can see things that you can't see. And it's just like the quarterback coach can see the arm angle, can see the elbow, can see, hey, keep your elbow down, try it, try it with your elbow in a little bit.. And then, and of course, all those other details that we cannot see. And we're blind to it because we're arrogant, and her ego saying hey, we got this, I know what I'm doing.? But when you hire a coach, you open yourself up to say, al , I feel like I know what I'm doing. But I am missing something. And that outside set of eyes is so powerful to help somebody see what they're missing and open them up. And for me, coaching is the power of curiosity. And so being able to explore somebody's life with questions. And,not just asking them where they're stuck, asking him why they think they're stuck and ask him how his curiosity served. Ramon.
Ramon Ray 38:08
. That's a good question. it served me because the opposite. If you're not curious, how do you grow? I don't think you can grow. If you're not curious, if you're not always challenging yourself. Didn't have to be doesn't mean you have to be an idiot about it. And Robert, says, Ramon, it's, it's, Monday and it's sunny outside? No, it's not. It could be snowing. That's being stupid. But the curiosity of challenging yourself, how can we do better? asking, Hey, Robert, listen, I baked this cake for you. Was it? Okay? That's curiosity. Me not just to give it to him and leave? No, I want to hear if your motor was great. My two cents from a little more sugar a little less walnuts? Great. Now we know, that's curiosity. So you're awesome in the broader sense, just being willing to course correct. Being willing to do better. That's the aspect of what curiosity is all about.
Robert Peterson 38:55
So powerful.. You mentioned authoring five books and what's been the impact of being an author? Hmm,
Ramon Ray 39:05
I'll get a bit transactional for me, I just wrote them really, because they were good talking points to get me on podcast.
Ramon Ray 39:11
And they and I don't have a PhD or a master's. So that's the selfish reason if it makes sense.,I wish I could say it like,
Ramon Ray 39:19
I wrote this book because I wanted poor children in Cincinnati to have a better life. Well, I didn't write it for that. But I like to think I must say celebrity CEO. I didn't write it to have an impact per se, kind of like the person who started a business. You did it just because you liked donuts. You wanted to bake it and sell it. I didn't do it to change the world. But I must say celebrity CEOs. I have pictures of people bookmarking it, emailing me selfies and saying Ramon, I learned a lot. And so that makes me happy to know that people can take those concepts of asking for a smile before you ask for a sale. Build a community of fans to nurture to sell, building your personal brand. And that has helped him because most small businesses are not going to do Superbowl advertising and are not going to do big campaigns. It's our smile. It's Robert, it's me, I you we can call whatever Corp Inc. We want perfect publishing, get a dose of Hope, add value to entrepreneurs, all that's important, smart hustle is a zone of genius. But,people know, it's me. It's me, this is not Starbucks or Coca Cola. They know it's Ramon. So that's the impact is that knowing what I wrote, indeed, it helped somebody for sure.
Robert Peterson 40:35
And that does feel good. Me as it should create opportunities for you to be on podcasts and to be on stages. And because even the idea of being on a podcast and being on stage is to help people.,so more people hear the message and more people can find opportunities to have that hope to have those lessons that will help them get to another level. So appreciate that. So, obviously,you mentioned we've talked a little bit about gratitude. How did your contribution serve you? Is it, in your community, in the things that are important to Ramon?
Ramon Ray 41:20
No, it's so important. well, as far as gratitude, yes.
Robert Peterson 41:24
Well, constant real contribution to your community. I mean,
Ramon Ray 41:28
Oh, me contributing to my community.. Oh, I see.. No,you have to pour in, you have to give in. If you're not giving in, you're not contributing to others. If you're not pouring into people's lives. you can't live properly. So we have to be beginners to beginners. That's the big thing I learned. We have to be givers to be getters. That is absolutely the most important givers to be getters.
Robert Peterson 41:52
For sure, what areas do you love to give?
Ramon Ray 41:56
Well,time is one. That's one area that I really like is time.,I'm always open as best I can to always helping somebody out because I've been helped so much in life for sure. So the aspect of helping others,that's the biggest way I love. ,that's it. just how can I be of service? How can I be a value? Money? Sure, money is easy to give. But how can I be of service? I like that.
Robert Peterson 42:21
Nice. I like that too. And time, a lot of times overlooked. But the opportunities to volunteer, the opportunities to do community projects and to serve community organizations. I've seen your judging for or have been a judge for entrepreneur development contests that's leaning into the community that you want to bring up the next generation of entrepreneurs.
Ramon Ray 42:53
And I must say even some volunteering, Roberto would say thank you for that acknowledgement. But even a bit deeper volunteering, even for things that you don't get anything back because even that, yes, I like to do it, but builds my brand a bit. But even doing I mean just an entrepreneur that wants to take 30 minutes of your time and you give them your time. Nothing back. No return. No glory. Just absolutely. If I can do it, I'm here for you.
Robert Peterson 43:15
Nice. That's powerful. I mean, like you said, givers, givers, can be getters,? But typically, people want to be getters first and then give? I'll give once I've gotten
Ramon Ray 43:26
Yes, correct. But time you don't have to wait because nobody's gonna Robert can't give me a check for 10,000 hours. Doesn't work that way.
Robert Peterson 43:34
I saw somebody mentioned this morning. It's the one place where Ramon and Simon Sinek are the same.
Ramon Ray 43:44
, but he doesn't know I'm building an app to give me six more seconds in the day than him. Nice. To meet you, by the way, you'll have to buy at least one from me.
Robert Peterson 43:54
. How much is six seconds? Good?
Ramon Ray 44:01
Well, you can only bite yearly. So at six second today. Time 336.. $10,000 That is a delivery fee for installation fee as well. And a training fee as well. So.
Robert Peterson 44:15
I love it. That's awesome.. So you've traveled some you love to speak about. What's your favorite place you've visited?
Ramon Ray 44:24
Probably Aruba.,probably. I liked it because the event I was there was really big. So I like Aruba. I liked it. Would they have something called statues? That was good.
Robert Peterson 44:33
. Tell us a little more about a Roomba. About a Pistacia
Ramon Ray 44:37
Oh, it's like a Danish, like a Danish, Danish. Cheese and a little sweet. So it's that J? I'm pronouncing it. If you go to Aruba, get an F for Pistacia. But I have a feeling somebody's telling me. I'm pronouncing the word wrong. But
Robert Peterson 44:52
they'll figure it out. If you make it to Aruba. You'll figure it out. Yes. Ramon recommended this and I'm going Gotta keep going store to store to like, find somebody,
Ramon Ray 45:02
it'll be everywhere. Everywhere. It'll be,
Robert Peterson 45:06
Oh, that's awesome. Remote, what inspires you?
Ramon Ray 45:12
Those are deep questions. Um,what inspires me is to, as I turned 50, this year to just live a life in this, I really do mean that when I die, which will be, all things go according to the natural order of life 30 to 40 year 30 to 50 years that I've made the greatest impact on the world that I can, it could be impacting just my nieces or nephews could be impact for sure my wife and kids are an impact in a huge way like a Zig Ziglar impact with hundreds of 1000s or millions. Either way, I want to make every breath I can to make an impact in the world that excites me.
Robert Peterson 45:50
Nice. Wouldn't it be awesome if every human being wanted to make an impact?
Ramon Ray 45:57
It would be and many people want to, but they're just not purposeful about it. That's the difference, or they don't.
Robert Peterson 46:05
They don't believe they can.,they believe it's first for someone else to do, they believe it's outside of their zone of genius.,because they haven't tapped into their zone of genius, yet. Most people don't even believe they have a zone of genius.
Ramon Ray 46:22
That's true. And if they go to zone of genius.com, we can hopefully over time, help them see that and we'll learn more. Oh,
Robert Peterson 46:27
so exciting, because everybody needs to believe in their zone of genius, and step into it. It's kind of like aligning yourself with how you were created to be. And most people are living by default.? They take the first job that was offered to him out of college, and it takes him down a career path that they didn't really do well. It's close? Now they offered me a job, it pays well. And then they get stuck in the good pay. And oh, I'm getting paid so well. I can't go somewhere else, because I'll give up on all of this.
Ramon Ray 47:07
, and even if you decide not to go somewhere else, I encourage you to at least have an experience.. You may stay at the same job, but at least on weekends, do what you really love.
Robert Peterson 47:16
So good. Man, start a side hustle. The past is your experience,? The power of serving others is so strong,? That, you could start a side hustle that quickly could pass your corporate income and, and free you from feeling like you're enslaved.
Ramon Ray 47:38
And if it doesn't, you'll at least be happy. So it may not because you've been making a ton of money and your full time job was to be unhappy. But at least your side hustle is a hobby, whatever you call it. It just makes you happy.
Robert Peterson 47:49
Al , speaking of happiness, how important is playing fun and what are some ways that Ramon likes to play?
Ramon Ray 47:55
Not really important for me. I mean, it doesn't mean I'm not a well rounded person, but I'm just not a fun guy. So,I hate to be a downer. It's important. It's important but personally, I love what I do. I could do this all day long. So it is important. Let me answer generically, playing for fun is important. But everybody has to define what they define and play and have fun. To put it that way, what do I mean?
Robert Peterson 48:16
But I'm gonna challenge you a little bit because your work is fun. And you find play in your work.
Ramon Ray 48:25
That is true but I also want to give credit to the fact that I can easily become a workaholic, so I want to be honest and say that if you're all day, it's fun for me to look at Excel spreadsheets. So for me,the fun I do is I am in My Church on the weekends I am very active in art I am very active in church I my travel around the world I try to take a day or two here then my wife often comes so I guess that's why for me it's not specifically like I'm on the rugby team or oh my god work is over my my stay at home life enables me to integrate what normal people call fun in it if that's helpful so i That's why I don't have a specific like a hobby like oh, I golf. My life in general is fun. So,but for those listening. Yes, it's important to play and have fun. But ,
Robert Peterson 49:11
Aruba sounds an awful lot like fun.
Ramon Ray 49:15
but I went there for work,when they're speaking for an event. That's why
Robert Peterson 49:20
they sound like you still went to that beach.
Ramon Ray 49:24
Once I did, but meeting even that, like sea beaches I don't like but meeting. So hence that's why I am on that stage. Just the experience of being in a Roomba with my wife having dinner after the speech, that you see how it's kind of muddied for me. Some people, especially working a nine to five job you don't like. That's why for those people listening, the importance of playing for fun is more important or how it's structured, different than possibly URI who I'm flying to Aruba to speak getting paid for it. I don't even like beaches, but just the dinner afterwards, flying well to them. My wife is sitting in a nice hotel. That's fun for me. So I don't need to have it like, oh, I took off. Thank God, it's Columbus Day. Oh, I'm so glad it's Labor Day coming up. I don't have those moments.
Robert Peterson 50:12
Nope. I agree with you that it is a different lifestyle. But there is definitely still play within your work, for sure. So I want to go to boundaries, because I, obviously you have some boundaries that you've set around your business, because you mentioned I don't want to be a workaholic and the value of protecting your relationship with your wife and in your family. So how have you used boundaries in your life? I mean, do you have some boundaries over certain things to create harmony in your relationships?
Ramon Ray 50:44
Sure,I'll word it this way. So yes, I use boundaries. And my boundaries are integrated into everything I do. So for example, I'm very purposeful to take my adult daughter who lives with me out to dinner once a month. I don't remember, but I have it in my simple task management to remind me to take her out to dinner. Same thing for my wife. When I needed to put it on again, the recording stopped for some reason. We still do it, but meaning we're together so much I work at home. Again, it's a little less. But that's the type of boundary I have, for example, I wake up at 430 in the morning, because of the breakfast of champions community, we have live programming starting at 5am. I woke up at 430. So I can have my devotions and prayer time, do my push ups, drink, eat an apple and orange and drink a bottle of water. That's a discipline I want. So boundary and discipline,those are interchangeable to some degree. So that's how my boundaries are. It's not so much a hard boundary, because I tried to have a very disciplined life, if that makes sense. So my push ups daily are important for me as an example, that I make sure I do that on a frequent basis or spending time with my family or, or calling my son who's an adult, he lives in another country. But meaning those things are important to me. And yes, thankfully, my business doesn't get in the way of it. But to those I must say I always want to speak to both of those who are in a stage in a season where business is really tough. Hopefully it's a season for you. And you can get a team member, hire an executive assistant, build systems and processes, raise your prices, so you don't have to work so hard on things like that, which you can start to live a more fulfilled life. If you do some of those things and work with Robert.
Robert Peterson 52:16
Absolutely. Those are areas we definitely want to help people design their life. So you mentioned a morning routine that is a 430 to five routine, are there other routines that are important to you?
Ramon Ray 52:28
Um, I bet I have 100 routines that I can't think of because they flow naturally. But I exercise as I mentioned,waking up at 430. But I do like to do my push ups and stretches and power walks pretty much six days a week. And beyond that,it's just a routine of life being a good person yesterday. My wife has recently been into watching Korean movies, where they have the Korean audio and English subtitles. I can't stand them. Because I just don't like just staring at the screen to understand it, but she likes it. So once in a while I'll sit and do it with her.
Ramon Ray 52:59
That's fitting time together.
Robert Peterson 53:01
Absolutely.. So speaking of your wife, and what's your most memorable date?
Ramon Ray 53:09
A Roomba? probably I'm guessing it was a Roomba? Well, the most memorable one for me was when I flew her somewhere to a concert to see a famous musician she liked. I didn't like it so much because he was just all fine and all fly and had perfect hair and a perfect body and a southern accent. So I didn't quite like it but yet I knew she would like it so I did it. So y'all y'all guys listen and I'm sure you robber can sense what I'm trying to do. He wasn't all there like he wasn't number 10. We wouldn't go but he wasn't enough that I was like I can go hand in hand with him in combat if I need to. So I'm happy to get here but that's one thing that was cool. Just to surprise her with that big surprise. I like big experiences. She's more of a simple person like I got her a gift card to Smoothie King yesterday. God gonna fight I got our diamond ring. I'm like a big, experienced guy. We got to fly in jet land. And before we land, we have to crawl out of the jet in the middle of the air. Get into the limo, the limo has to have the engine running while we let him in the tarmac and then fly over a canyon and horses have to capture us as we're going. That's the kind of thing I need to do. But just take me to Smoothie King.
Robert Peterson 54:14
For my wife, it's called stone. There we go. If I take her to Coldstone once a week we'll stay happily married for it is nice. Absolutely. And those things are important,? Because it's honoring, honoring that relationship and I love that you honor your relationship with your daughter. I was committed to dating my daughter while she was in our home and then even when she came back as an adult, because I wanted to set a standard. My faith has given me a standard and I wanted her to see that. This is the kind of man that You should be Yes, you're worthy. Absolutely. It's wonderful. There's way too many bad examples and bad relationships. And, and, and the only way our kids are going to break cycles and have better relationships and longer term relationships, is if we give them the tools to make that happen. So, I felt that was very important for both of us, my son and my daughter, and I love that my son's in another state. He's not in another country now. Although our whole family, they were raised in another country. So they have, they have that experience. And it's, I encourage people to travel and live in other places and do other things. Because the experience from that is,it's eye opening,it is recognizing being able to take both my kids to Africa, and to truly see, to truly see, they grew up in South America. But Africa is a whole different level of poverty, that, yes, that it is even fashionable to Americans that people are still living in mud huts, and in the Serengeti, in Africa, and they truly still are, and and it's it's mine, it's like your boom, like your brain goes, How is this? How are these people still living this way? And yet, it's an incredible culture to experience and to see and, and so those things are? I'm super blessed and grateful that I've had those opportunities. Absolutely. So your faith is important in it. How has your faith and your spirituality served you as an entrepreneur as an influencer?
Ramon Ray 56:42
Sure,faith is something that keeps you grounded. That's my opinion, it keeps you grounded. that if you don't have that,it's hard to be grounded. There's very limited what you can do on your own rate limit you can do with your own strength, I believe. But having strong faith is what you do when other humans are not around. I'll give you an example of this. I take the New Jersey light rail train to church, from the suburbs, suburbs, to the hood, where I also grew up in Brooklyn and hood as well. But I go to church in New Jersey, where it's the hood, we had murders and things happen, point getting a little ticket back our show to you. There's this ticket here that you have to get from the light rail, and you're supposed to just put the ticket to cancel it. Now, the only way people will know you've done it is random. There's random checks on the light rail by the ticket people, whatever, they don't have guns or anything but,randomly there'll be there once every 100 trips. How tempting is it? Robert, I'm like, It's random. They're not going to come most of the time. They don't. I can talk my way out. But my faith, because for me because of God, I'm like, How can I do that? So for me, that's where faith comes in, per se. It's something that's stronger beyond yourself. So for me, that's where my faith comes in, as an example, beyond other things of, what are we gonna we die and things of this nature. But for me, my faith is a crystal part of just knowing that, no, I can't cheat the vendor, not because the vendor will find out, not because of the IRS, but because of faith and for me because of God.
Robert Peterson 58:17
Nice, well, and that level of integrity,? If I'm willing to sacrifice my word, if I'm willing to sacrifice my word over a $5 light rail ticket, then I'm willing to manipulate business relationships and do other things because I want to have that level of integrity where we're, I'm, I'm paying my way. In every situation. Yes. And I want people to be able to trust me and trust my word. Al , Ramon, here's the big one. What's, what's your big dream?
Ramon Ray 58:54
a big dream would be to have more recurring revenue at a higher level. So I can make a bigger impact not just for my immediate needs for the next few years. That's easy. I'm probably there now already. But for others, time is good. But money Robert enables you to do a lot more things in the way I mean, meaning Bureau it's not about money, but no money is important as well, Rockefeller and others were able to do a lot more things that we see today. So that would be one big dream. Beyond that. I'd love to have a TV show on regular TV like not OTT like real TV where your grandmama continued on her rabbit ears TV. But the reason I didn't say that was a dream so much because I'm getting closer to doing that. So I'm sliding it off the dream list. It's it's closer to reality list,
Ramon Ray 59:41
if that makes sense. So dreams really did slide off because I'm seeing it happening. So
Robert Peterson 59:48
congratulations. That's exciting and well earned through your discipline and consistency and showing up and how you show up in the world. And so recognize the power that I am moving towards an online TV opportunity. And so I'll take that as a stepping stone towards.
Ramon Ray 1:00:07
Yes, yes. And I have that as well. Things of that nature happening. Yes, indeed.
Robert Peterson 1:00:11
Absolutely. Well, and that's really the power of podcasting and the power of putting yourself out there in a consistent way is your opportunities open up and it's pretty cool to have those kinds of influences and opportunities in this electronic age. Even the opportunity for you and I'd have a conversation from New Jersey to Colorado.
Ramon Ray 1:00:34
Hey, look at that. ,
Robert Peterson 1:00:37
so very appreciative. So you spent the last hour sharing with these entrepreneurs sharing your adventures and your journey. Are you leaving with Ramones words of wisdom? What would you share?
Ramon Ray 1:00:51
,that life is a journey. I tell my kids this all the time, life is a journey. So make the most of it. And if you make the most of life, you'll eventually end up living, life fulfilled. So that's the best thing I can leave with people, life is a journey and live life fulfilled.
Robert Peterson 1:01:08
Ramon, thank you so much for taking the time today to hang out to share with me. I appreciate your attitude, your smile, and of course, your presence. And then I appreciate you taking the time and sharing with my audience today.
Ramon Ray 1:01:22
It's a pleasure. Thank you so much. And everybody go tag and tweet and Instagram and selfie Robert Peterson let the world know that he's an amazing dude. Let the world know. Thanks, Robert
Robert Peterson 1:01:33