Motivation for Outcasts to Become Entrepreneurs by Leveraging Relationships
By Lori Lynn and Timothy R. Johnson
“On a scale of 1 to 10, what’s your level of trust with me in business?” he asked.
“I’d say a 10,” she said.
“On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you trust me on a personal level?”
“Maybe a 7?”
“What would take it to a 10?”
“Do what you said you were going to do.”
“What’s that?” he asked.
“Talk to my kid,” she said.
That conversation happened between Lori and Tim, the co-authors of this article.
After Tim spent about an hour with Lori’s 16-year-old son, who was teetering on the rails, Tim said, “He’s an operator—like me. Your kid is unemployable.”
Turns out, “unemployable” is another word for “entrepreneur.”
People who are happily unemployable (entrepreneurs) end up starting their own businesses because they don’t like it when other people waste their time. They like to move fast. They like being in control.
In business, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) prefers to get a checklist and get it done.
Operators love speed. They want you to give them the bottom line. They don’t care about the backstory. They don’t want a lengthy explanation. They want the short version so they can spend the rest of the time getting it done.
In school, they’re the kids who hate having to show their work. They’re somehow able to skip all of their classes but still pass the final exam. They love a challenge, but they hate tedious work. They enjoy risk, and they enjoy play.
In business, they look for alternative ways to make money. They tend to be good at sales. They pay attention. They ask questions. They make connections. They deliver results.
Tim says that people ask him all the time how he’s able to get so much done. His answer? “I don’t do 90% of the work.”
How is that possible?
Tim doesn’t look for clients for his own businesses. He looks for clients for his network. He empowers his partners and puts them first. For example, Tim asked Lori to help him write the book Unemployable, but he insisted her name come first on the cover. When she questioned him about it, he said, “If you put your partner’s name first, they own it. They show up. They’re happy to go above and beyond. If I build that culture, I don’t have to work that hard.”
Tim says, “I don’t do anything I’m not good at. Instead, I leverage my referral relationships.”
He has conversations every day with business owners. He asks questions to find out how he can serve them. Then, he makes referrals.
But he doesn’t make referrals for free—he gets a percentage of each closed contract. He calls this his “mailbox money” because all he has to do is make a phone call and then a check shows up in his mailbox. “Easy money,” he says. Ah, spoken like a true operator.
It’s not hard to make thousands of dollars in mailbox money. It just takes a little effort to find out what your network needs and start making connections. Instead of spending time on things you could outsource, you could profit far more by making phone calls.
That’s how you get back your most important nonrenewable resource—your time.
When you leverage your referral partners, you not only free up time for yourself but you also create business opportunities for other entrepreneurs, and everyone profits.
Once she understood his referral system, Lori immediately implemented Tim’s framework. She now receives the equivalent of part-time job income from her referral partners, but without the time commitment. No commute. No wear and tear on her car. No need for a new wardrobe. No boss. For a single mom of three young performers, this is an ideal situation.
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Alternative ways of generating cash flow are important to share not only with single moms but also with young entrepreneurs. If you’re a successful business owner, look around for those around you who are unemployable. Offer to mentor them. You never know whose life you’re going to impact—and how many more lives will be impacted as a result.
When Tim was running the streets and selling drugs, his mentor said, “If you can sling drugs, you can sling business. You’ll make a lot more money, and you won’t go to jail.”
Today, Tim checks in with hundreds of connections on a daily to weekly basis. He also mentors a young group of entrepreneurs who call themselves “The Leftovers.”
“Kids would quit selling drugs if they were selling something where they could make more money and not risk going to jail,” says Tim.
Tim helps the unemployable outcasts become renegade entrepreneurs by taking what they’ve learned on the streets and applying it to business. “You’ve got to build relationship capital on the streets or you don’t survive. It’s all about your connections and who’s got your back.”
Through Global Renegade, Tim trains entrepreneurs to lose the labels that aren’t serving them, to dream big, and to create the kind of life they want.
There’s more power in relationships than we realize, and when we leverage our referral partners by recommending them and receiving a referral fee, making money becomes as easy as making a phone call.
“If we set out to serve the community,” Tim says, “we accomplish much more. It doesn’t have to be that hard.”
Lori Lynn is the co-founder of DragonflyWings.Ink and the ghostwriter and editor behind more than a dozen bestselling books. Tim, whose full name is Timothy R. Johnson, is the co-author of S.O.L.D. and the founder of Global Renegade.
Tim, whose biological father was executed on death row, grew up being referred to as “the serial killer’s kid.” It took years for him to realize that he didn’t have to own the labels he had been given. He began to see his story as a gift instead of a curse.
Lori met Tim shortly after her divorce. As a full-time homeschooling mom of three child actors, she didn’t need a job—she needed a business. As Tim helped Lori scale her business, Lori helped Tim capture in words the lessons he’s learned from 33 sisters among 14 foster homes.
Lori and Tim are co-writing the book Unemployable for those people who feel like outcasts—the risk-takers and the rule-breakers—to help them become problem-solving, business-building, world-changers. Join the family at HappilyUnemployable.com.
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