Making the scary leap to entrepreneurship, with Larry Long Jr

In December 2019, Larry Long Jr was comfortable. He had been successful in corporate sales, and even had a few speaking gigs on the side where he would tell the audience to take a chance and follow their dreams. But when he looked in the mirror, he realized he wasn’t following his own advice.  So in 2020, he took the scary leap to entrepreneurship.

Transcript

Dana: Welcome to Hustle and Gather, a podcast about inspiring the everyday entrepreneur to take the leap. I’m Dana, 

Courtney: and I’m Courtney, 

Dana: and we’re two sisters who love business. On this show, we talk about the ups and downs with the hustle and the reward at the end of the journey 

Courtney: And we know all the challenges that come with starting a business. Between operating our wedding venue, doing speaking and consulting, and starting our luxury wedding planning company, we wake up and hustle every day.

Dana: but we love what we do. And today we’re talking with Larry Long Junior. The founder and CEO, Chief Energy Officer of LLJR enterprises, which focuses on sales motivation and inspiration, as well as team training.

He is the host of the Midweek Midday Motivational Minute, and also co-founder and lead instructor of the Sales Allies, an online sales training course and supportive community designed to uplift the sales community. Larry is extremely passionate about coaching and helping professionals take their game to the next level.

Larry, welcome to Hustle and Gather.

Larry: Oh come on now. H and G in the house. I’m happy to be here.

Courtney: we are excited to have you, your energy is absolutely infectious. We have laughed a lot already and we’d just gotten started.

Larry: that’s the first time I’ve heard that. Wow, you’re making me blush  

Courtney: We can’t wait for our listeners to hear more about who you are. So tell us a little bit about your background.

Larry: Oh my goodness. Where do I start? It’s been an adventure. More like a misadventure. Let’s keep it real. I Moved around. I lived in six different states as a youngster born in Maryland, lived in Nebraska and Illinois and Alabama and Pennsylvania. I moved to Pennsylvania, they put me in speech classes.

They said, little Larry, how old are you? I came from Alabama, Tuscaloosa. I said, I’m fo. said for what? And I said, I’m four years old. They said, oh, heck to the na, Mr. & Mrs. Long, he can’t talk like that. He’ll get teased out of the school. I talk country. So I went down to the dungeon, had those flash cards and had to learn how to enunciate my words. Cat. Dog.

And it’s funny. I went to my aunt, she worked as a teacher in Baltimore County. That’s where my mom grew up and I went on a field trip and the kids said, you talk proper, you talk like a white boy. I said, I said mom, do I tell him proper? She said little Larry, you talk like, you’re going to get a job. Yeah.

It’s been an adventure. It says he moved around a lot as a child, played baseball, university of Maryland. Go Terps. And after baseball at Maryland, I worked at Accenture to an IT consulting. Still had the bug, went to spring training with the Dodgers and the Red Sox, and they told me you don’t have to go home, but you got to get the heck on about it here. Don’t let the door hit you where the good Lord split you.

They sent me on my way, but since then I Went back to Accenture, moved down the Raleigh to open up an indoor baseball and softball academy, teaching youngsters the fundamentals of the game, but more importantly, fundamentals of life. 

We ran out of cash. We ran out of our business, and that’s what took me into tech sales. I’ve been in tech sales the majority of my career until recently, I picked up the gold mic and now I get the rock the mic. When I was younger, I used to get in trouble for talking. Now I get a paycheck for talking, which, who would’ve thunk it.

I’ve been talking to about whole life. teams would ask me to come in and talk to their players. Sales organizations would ask me to talk and I never charged anyone.

I met a coach in 2018, who said Larry respectfully, whenever someone says respectfully, you know a doozy is common. He said, respectfully, are you stupid? Or are you dumb? I say, what do you mean? You don’t know me like that? He said, when I speak corporate, they write me a check and there’s a few zeros at the end.

I had done like nine speaking engagements, didn’t make a dime. I said I don’t, I have a full-time job. I’m not speaking to make money. He said, well, I guess you’re both. When you want to turn your little hobby into a business, 

at your boys. So December, 2019 came, and my wife said, hey, baby, I love you, but you got to look in the mirror. 

You tell Everyone else to pursue their dream, pursue their passion. But look at you you’re faking the funk. She was right. I said, oh, happy wife, happy life. I’m in trouble now. So I called Dr. Snyder in January and we went to work. We started working on the business in March. 

It was March the 17th. I’m not Irish, but March the 17 of 2020. you remember March the 13th, Friday the 13th. Everything’s shut down. But March the 17th, it’s a St. Patrick’s Day. I had my first paying engagement publicly traded company here in Raleigh. They wanted me to come in and they said, hey, we still want you, but we’re going to have to do it zoom, zoom. 

So that’s, that’s how I set it off, my first paid engagement and. I think I had 12, maybe 14 paid engagements last year, and this year it’s been dynamite. It’s been absolutely amazing because right now we’re going through some tough times. People need a word of encouragement. They need support and organizations are looking for ways to really sow into their people and without your people being at their best, good luck.

Dana: I feel like too, we’ve talked about this. I am helping plan a conference, a national conference, and they’re like, do we need like somebody to come in and do training? I was like, no, you need, you need someone to lift their spirits. Like you need somebody to come in and motivate them.

Larry: I might know a guy. I ain’t wanting to gossip, say you ain’t heard it from me, but I might know a guy.

Dana: But I just think it’s, so it’s what’s necessary. It’s not about like the brass tacks of things. It’s like, you need to, you need to tell people, remind them why they love what they do again, because it was so hard for the last 18 months to have any type of energy or excitement for your career.

Courtney: Talk about hitting the mark right at the right time.

Larry: Timing is everything I’ve been, I’ve just been so blessed, so fortunate. I mean, I every day is hashtag too blessed to be stressed and I just hope to pass that on as many people as I can with intentionality and with purpose. And it’s all our choice, I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s a, it’s a choice.

Dana: But I like, I, we were literally just talking about this today. Like when you, when you open a company for the sole purpose of making money, it’s really hard to be successful because you have to be passionate about it. You have to love it. You have to be invested in it, not just financially, but your time and energy and realize, yeah, it would be great to be compensated. My payday’s coming, but if you’re doing it solely for that paycheck, like it’s, you’re just going to get burnt out on it. You’re not going to love it.

Courtney: Okay It’s a lot towards authenticity Which I think is so important, especially if you’re speaking to somebody and motivating somebody like. They can see right through that, right? 

Larry: Big time, People are smarter than we like to give them credit for and when, when you are authentic and when you are true to yourself, it shines bright, like a diamond. I know y’all are in the diamond business, in the wedding business.

Courtney: I don’t about that. It’s not all sparkling. 

Dana: It isn’t, and it’s hard to be authentic. We’ve talked about this many times on the podcast, but I think it is what’s our, what is a saving grace for a lot of people like for us, I think its what people connect to, is that authenticity. Not putting on airs and pretending you’re here because everyone’s been in the trenches one way or the other.

And I don’t know, it’s more comforting when you’re around someone that’s real and true, and you’re like, I could be, I can be real now. I don’t have to be fake. Yeah. 

Courtney: I think I’ve learned recently in the recent past, of business that it’s fine to be successful and authentic. Do you know what I’m saying? Like when you’ve earned it, sometimes when you have that success, that you’re like, that doesn’t fit my brand, like it takes a minute to own that, like to own that your authenticity in everything that you built makes you successful, and makes you who you are and makes people want to do business with you. You know?

So I think that it’s a little bit of a learning curve there. Like kind of, like, think about that. You’re like, well, who am I? Like, why would I charge for this? Right, like I’m just speaking cause I love it, cause I, I get the intrinsic motivation by motivating other people. You’re like, wait, no, it’s fine that you can be good at this, and be successful and make money at it too. 

Larry: I’m still fighting through that. When it comes to the fees, I just had this conversation with my wife.

I I’ve been really fortunate to have opportunities with big companies and stepping into. My power, my superpower my strengths. It’s a, it’s tough to throw a number out there that it’s like, wow, who do I think I am charging this amount to talk when, when I’ve been talking for free 99 for years. But my wife, she’s my biggest cheerleader. I’m working with a performance coach as well. Who’s really helping me through

Courtney: Did he teach you that trick?

Larry: she actually, Kristin Frady, is unbelievable. Game changer. You talked about #gamechanger? I knew that I needed a coach, but I didn’t really want to admit it. And my wife was like, how much is she going to charge you?

I was like, yeah, it’s an investment. It’s been the best investment in myself and my business to have Kristin there holding me accountable making me think outside the box. Making me step into that belief. I mean, when you think about it, the ABCs, I think the A is taking Action and holding yourself Accountable or having an Accountability partner.

The B is Belief. If you don’t believe it right here and believe it right there. Good luck. And then the C is Care, and with her we’re working on commitments. Are you committed to this? And I’ve, I’ve been I have a tendency to over-commit to say yes to everything, not to say yes to the dress, but close enough. But, but she’s like, you’ve got to say no to some things, if it doesn’t fit into your vision. Nah, ain’t nobody got time for that. 

Dana: It’s so true. Because it’s, yes, it’s just things that, that I think again, like leads to that burnout and you, and you forget if that you’re committed to something, and you’re right, if it’s not part of your vision, but you’re a good person, and so you’re committed to it.

So you’re going to do it and you’re going to do it to the best of your abilities because you have integrity and then you are constantly asking like, why am I doing this? Why am I doing this? And then it clouds the things that you wanted to do and where you are going. So I, our good friend, Rachel Sheeran, she always suggested end of year to write an F-it list. Like things that you just want to say F it too. Like, I don’t want to do it anymore, and that’s, I think really therapeutic to, and some of those things are on that list that you always say yes to. And you’re like, no, this is not feeding me. It’s not feeding my vision or my purpose.

Larry: Y’all just, y’all just mentioned one of my favorite people, Rachel Sheeran. F that S. she’s amazing. Yeah. The burnout queen.

Dana: She is, 

Courtney: So your latest Midweek Midday Motivation Minute was on a topic that your son brought to your attention, and that was time. Because I think what you’re talking about is being intentional with what you say yes to, because you only have a finite amount of time right, that you can give and you want to give it where it counts, right. So can you dive into that a bit? Because it was very inspirational and we want our listeners to hear that. So what were those five tips that you discussed about the most of 

Larry: wow. I don’t know what the five tips were, but my son just turned 12 and I asked him, I said, Trey, what do you want me to talk about? And he said, time, daddy. I said, what do you mean time? You’re talking about Bo time? Because there’s time like Bo time. He said no, the time is right now for people to do those things that they’d been noodling on

So many times we dream and we don’t dream enough. I mean, most of us don’t dream enough, keep dreaming. So essentially the time is right now to do that thing that you’ve been waiting on, whether it’s starting that business, whether it’s going after that dream job. So what I shared with folks is, number one, you got to dream. Number two, And I love how y’all are being diligent note takers. I, I can relate, I did my scouting report, but essentially, you’ve got to document it. What’s your plan? What’s your game plan? And then now you have something that you can execute on. Now throughout it, you need to find your A team. Who’s on your personal board of directors?

Who’s encouraging you? Who’s kicking you in the behind when you need that? And then just being flexible because there are some people who, and I’ve been there, who are afraid of failure. And what is failure. It’s not, it’s just an unsuccessful attempt. It’s an opportunity for you to learn. So that next time, I mean, think about when we were younger, when we were learning how to stand and walk, we fell down and then we get ourselves up. We fall down again and then we tried to take our steps and we fall down. Well, at some point when we get adults, we say, nah, if I fall down once, I’m just going to stay here. Come on Cletus, like no, that’s not the right attitude. Let’s go and get it. Let’s be persistent. Let’s be hungry.

So essentially, I’m not sure exactly what the five tips were, but I love planning, forming your A team, I love executing on the plan, I love accepting that you’re not always going to be successful. We’re going to live, we’re going to learn, and then we’re going to share our learnings with others, and then we’re going to try it again. Keep that thing moving. Don’t stop 

Courtney: That felt like five-ish,

Larry: Close enough. 

Courtney: Close enough.

Dana: I love that so much, and I love, I love the idea of failure is just an unsuccessful attempt. Cause it’s so true, and I think that there’s so much like shame in failure. And then we, we’re taught at a very young age to their shame in failure. You didn’t make that A. You made that C. Why? You didn’t hit you didn’t hit the ball. You didn’t swing the bat for the ice cream. 

Courtney: You didn’t get the ice cream. 

Dana: Right. Like, and it was shame. 

Courtney: Obviously Dana is still carrying that. 

Dana: yes. I remember how, how hard it was to fail because everyone expected you to not fail. And, and so now you, every single time that you fall down, you feel like it’s not even an unsuccessful attempt.

Like, oh, obviously I shouldn’t do this. Like, there’s something telling me I shouldn’t be here as opposed to saying like, maybe I need to rejigger it and figure out how to do it better.

Larry: Hey, Dana you took it too far. You didn’t have to go work at Dairy Queen just she missed out on the ice cream. Come on

Dana: I love ice cream and it’s like my favorite food. Dairy Queen was like the dream job. I got all the ice cream I wanted, I was a master Dairy Queen curly q maker.

Larry: a master.

Dana: still can do it. Its like a wrist flick

Larry: look at the flick of the wrist

Dana: every like every soft serve. I can do it, still to this day.

Larry: love it. I love it.

Courtney: that was a deep dive. Where is that even mentioned? 

Dana: I don’t even know.

Larry: It’s on your LinkedIn.

Dana: Okay. Oh yeah, probably is. Yes, because that was a Rachel tip. That was a Rachel tips, to put every single thing you’ve ever done, because someone will find something in common with you. And I was like, yeah. So I put on there that I was supervisor at Dairy Queen.

Courtney: Such a rule follower. 

Larry: Time to step your game up Courtney.

Dana: I know Courtney. Jeez. 

Courtney: I know, I know I’ll try, but I can’t promise. 

Dana: Yes, 

Courtney: no promises, no promises made, but I love that. I think that as a culture, I think we need to demystify failure. Like everybody fails. Every big CEO fails. Like every business fails. Like you all have little missteps along the way, whether it’s public or it’s private, like failure is a part of success. 

Larry: Well, that, that’s one of the things that when you look at social media, you see all the wins. Very rarely are people publicizing the unsuccessful attempts. I’m a big believer. It’s about perspective. 

Dana: It’s about mindset

Larry: It’s your mentality. And if you’re open to, Hey, I’m going to step outside of my comfort zone. I think Mia Hamm said the greatest growth comes just outside of your comfort zone. And it’s so true.

get Comfortable with being uncomfortable and putting myself in uncomfortable situations as kind of a personal challenge, as a personal test, and once you do it one time, it’s like, okay, I can do this again. And then all of a sudden, watch out now, here I come world.

Dana: Yeah. 

Courtney: I do feel like that. I feel like success builds on itself. There’s always going to be those challenges along the way, but you can look back on the challenges that you’ve overcome and take a lot of strength from that. And I think that like, as you navigate those and life just throws them at you and as you get older, it’s not the end of the world like you thought it was. Like, oh, the world kept moving when this happened, and this happened, and this happened. It’s going to keep moving when you make that next failure too.

Larry: Wow, you must be digging into my book. One of the chapters in my book is strikeouts are a part of life, and I’ve had so many strikeouts. On the ball diamond I used to swing for the fences. My coach was like, Larry, you’re a little dude. You shouldn’t be trying to bop the home run, but I was a hard-headed kid and I’ve had. 

Courtney: Just start bunting, please. Larry, get the ball out there, get someone to some base.

Larry: That’s right. 

Courtney: sacrifice. 

Larry: I wanted to be a big banger, but even in business and in life, I’ve had plenty of strikeouts, but the thing is you learn from them. so it’s like I said, it’s been an adventure and sometimes a misadventure, but I can tell you it’s been fun every step of the way.

Dana: Yeah. Yeah. Well, it’s I was talking to a coworker or colleague of mine, I guess I should say. She had posted a job opening and I know that she had had an issue with this employee that was in that job opening. And I texted, I was like, oh my gosh, did it, how, did you let this person go? And she was like, yes, and it’s like a huge sense of relief. And she was like, but I’m so nervous. I’m training someone new. And I said like every single time that we have been in that position where we had to let somebody go, or someone has left us, needed to hire someone, there is this like immediate fear of like, oh my gosh, are they going to do this amazing job?

Like, we’re gonna have to get them back on like onto like the team or whatever. But every single time it has pushed our business so much further because we one, got to reset. We got to put in the values we really wanted, but we hired for someone, we hired someone better every single time. And I was like, you will see, you will look back in six months and you’ll say like, this is where your business pivoted, like this is where it, like, you could see that exponential growth.

So I think sometimes the failure is where you actually see the most growth is right after it.

Larry: So true. So true. There, there’s an exercise called a journey line exercise, and you look at, from when you were born, just some of the significant experiences and relationships throughout life, there’s the peaks. then there’s the valleys.

I mean, I’ll get personal with y’all six years ago my father passed, and that was one of the deepest personal valleys that I’ve had. And in that I’m working with my coach now. I’ve got a I’m on a mission that by 2025. I’ll have broken ground on the shorty long. His name was Shorty Long, on this Shorty Long Academic and Athletic Community Center, really helping inner city youth with a positive resource, a place that they can go for a computer labs, for mentors, for both academics, which is number one, as well as athletics, where you can learn so much. That was my father’s dream. And now I’m taking that baton. I’m going to take that Baton and really make that thing happen.

Courtney: So like taking that low moment and making it into almost like a departure point, I guess, I,had a yoga retreat and they’re talking about how if you think about your life kind of like as a timeline, right. And you have like all these things that happen, and it’s on a trajectory, so like you’re at this point and you’re on this line and unless you make a change or a departure point, you’re always going to end up at that same destination, but it doesn’t have to be huge.

It can be like incremental, right, and then all of a sudden your outcome has changed. So like, it’s kind of like a departure point moment for you, with your father there and making that change, and that can effect a lot of people, right. Not just you, but also other people around you. So I think that’s really amazing.

Larry: I love what you said. The little things can make a huge difference.You talk about that departure point, just a little little adjustment.

Courtney: Yeah. It could be like a mindset thing. Like I’m just going to wake up earlier. It could be like, I’m going to change my diet or I’m going to do this one little thing every day. And it’s like just a little departure and it just changes where 

Larry: I’m going to give your listeners a little insight. So each of my chapters, we have three jolts, things that they can do to really change their life. And like I said, I moved around a lot as a child. Kids can be. Cruel and my self esteem, wasn’t the highest. So my mom, we would say our prayer at night, and then she used to make me stand up in the middle of the room and say, I am somebody 10 times. Now I’m not a math major, but you do that 365 nights in a year. I am somebody. You start to believe that you are somebody. Now, you got this little seven year old, this a little hard headed a seven year old, walking around with his chest out. I am somebody. You got these people looking like, who is this little kid?

Who does he think? I am somebody, but it’s absolutely amazing. If you just speak it it’s it’s a world of difference. So whatever it is that you might be challenged with, I encourage you before you go to bed tonight. When you wake up tomorrow, just say out loud, if you need something, I got you. I am somebody.

You do that 30 days coming holler at your boy. I guarantee your life will be like you said, that little, that departure point,

Dana: Or even just something you want changed about how people perceive you. Sometimes you get stuck in like, you know, we talked about before, like maybe you think people say you’re too much or whatever, and just saying like, I am enough, like I am not too much. It just like, and training your mind to think that about yourself because we are our own worst critic and more than anything. And I think it’s, that’s so powerful. I love that your mom did that. 

Courtney: Yeah.

Larry: Yeah. I was, I was blessed. And actually the first chapter of my

book is the story we tell ourselves, you about worst critic. I talk more trash to myself than I would ever talk to anyone else than I would ever let anyone talk to me. But I beat myself up. Larry, you, you big dummy. What are you doing? I mean, and once again, I’m making mistakes along the way. And some of it is hilarious, like some of the stuff that I do, it’s like, why are you going to even get mad at yourself? Just laugh it off and keep it moving there.

There was a term called Fido and, a what’s up. Rick Daily, Rick Daily shared it with me. It stands for F-It, Drive On. Whatever happens to you, Fido. Fido. And I shared that with a group of ACC athletes. They were part of the student athlete advisory committee. one of the cross country runners from Boston college. He said, Larry, I’m, I’m going to steal your Fido, but I’m going to give you something in return.

He said, me and my roommate, we call it FITFO I’ll say, what’d you call me? He said, oh, FITFO. Figure it the F out.

Dana: I love that.

Larry: Oh I can’t figure this out, google it. FITFO.

Dana: That is totally me. 

Courtney: That’s going to be Dana in the office now. Thank you.

Dana: I literally like there that will text me and like figure it out. Like you need to figure it out. 

Courtney: I mean, you are speaking to our tech department. 

Dana: That’s true.I need to stop holding your hand and you need to figure it out. If I consistently give you the answers all the time, you’re never going to know how to think for yourself. Figure it out.

Larry: Yeah, that sounds like a conversation I recently had with my 12 year old son.

Courtney: It sounds like a conversation we had in our office.

Larry: I love it. I know it’s never a dull moment with, y’all plenty, plenty of adventures and judging from your Tik Tok y’all are having a ton of fun. And that’s what it’s really all about. If you’re not having fun. why even bother life is too short. And that, that was one of the things I knew that before my father passed, but when he passed,

it’s like were all running this race And we don’t know when the finish line is. So what we do know is that we’re here today. We better Carpe diem. Sieze the day.

I met a cat out in California, he said, oh, you like Carpe Diem? I said, yeah, Yeah. He wrote down his sleeve, he had it tattooed. Carpe Diem. I said, Ooh, that looks like it’s painful, but I feel your dog.

He said, hold on. On this side, he had a tattooed Carpe Noctem, seize the night. said, good googly moogly. I said, I don’t know if you see these grays, but I’m getting older and wiser. I can’t seize the night.my wife said, don’t go tell him those nice people you’re getting any wiser you’re getting older.

Courtney: Yeah, no, I think as you get older, you like embrace more of like the fun and the less serious side. And I think it’s like, it’s regressing, but also like progressing because it’s like, obviously I had it made when I was seven and I just didn’t know, you know what I mean? Like, but as you get older, you’re like regressing more towards that, cause I feel like you had it all figured out then. 

Dana: But time sees so much more finite, especially when you’re a parent, because it goes by so quickly. And you’re like, and I, I think this all the time with my 11 year old and like she’s, you know, being sassy or whatever. And, and I’m like, oh my gosh, I can’t. And that was like, you know what? I have seven more years.

I have seven years. That is nothing. Then she’s she’s an adult and she’s, she’s gone. I mean, she’s not gonna be gone gone, but I mean, then I don’t know. I can’t prevent her from moving to across the country or whatever. And like, and there’s like those moments you’re like, oh, and I think you realize as when you’re a parent, that death or life, but time is just fleeting. Like it goes by in a second, and I want, and I we’ve talked about this often too. Like I want my kids to look back on me and not think, oh, you were so stressed out all the time, but we had a lot of fun. I don’t think they can say that right now. I think they think I’m very stressed out a lot of the time.

Courtney: working on the fun 

Dana: and working on the fun, but I have to, I have to consciously say. Let’s have fun tonight. Like, let’s do something fun instead of just sit there and you know, not do something. I don’t know.

Larry: I love that intentionality. The power of choice. I just spoke to some students at NC State. What’s going on, my engineering, my engineer your experienced students at NC State, the Wolf Pack. And I’m a Terp but nothing but love,

but we talked about priorities. And if you look at eight buckets, I, I call them the seven F’s and you’ll laugh at the seventh F and then the one C .But faith, family, friends, fun, finances, fitness, philanthropy. I do know how to spell. I, I spell phonetic, phonetically, and some people might say frenetically, but it’s all good. And then career, and then you look at what are your priorities, and you do a self evaluation of scale of one to 10. How am I doing? And am I eight? 

I talked to a CEO in Chicago who said, Larry, I’m a 2 when it comes to fun. He said, my business is struggling. So all my employees hate it when I’m around. And he was self-aware and he said, I take that home and I’m not fun to be around for my family.

I said, well, I appreciate you sharing that.I appreciate you being brutally honest, but what you’re going to do? Are you going to stay at a two or are you going to take action and be intentional and schedule in time to really be fun because you can’t get those moments back. you can’t. So it’s like, Hey, the ball’s in your court, you know it, but now what you’re going to do about it.

Dana: Yeah. And I love to that like that, when you’re saying that, like I’m actually like envisioning buckets. And I think that there’s times when those buckets get rearranged and there’s one, the thing that’s number one and the one thing number five may flip flop in different seasons of life. And, I love that freedom and flexibility. Cause I think we grew up in a very, very like conservative household and it was always very specific. Like this was how you had to, this was your priorities and this way could never change. It was always like this. And as you get older, you realize that’s just not, that’s not the truth.

Larry: It’s crazy you talk about that because my coach. Funny story, so I went out on my own March, the 26. I was so nervous to update my LinkedIn. I wanted to make sure my website was up to date. I wanted to make sure I had my one page, right. Everything had to be perfect. And my coach said, Larry I hear what you’re saying, but that’s the most ludicrous thing I’ve ever heard.

Larry: You can update your LinkedIn without having your website. I was like, no, I can’t. She was like, can you open up your mind? You big dummy. She didn’t say that, but I read her mind. I, I do, I do card tricks and I read people’s mind.

She was like, are you stupid? Are you dumb? I was like, whoa, there’s a trend here. But I updated my LinkedIn and it was absolutely amazing. No one asked me, what’s your website? Nobody. Yeah. I publish my website and people were like, what website. We don’t want, we don’t look at websites. So it’s just expanding your perspective and realizing that it doesn’t have to be just one way.

There’s other ways. And we’re doing a lot of work around just she talks about low performers, average performers, high performance. Which I think I fall in, she said nah, we want to be meta performers. We want to be better than, than high performers. And essentially we always want to look for ways to improve.

So we’re mapping out what that ideal life looks like. And my wife she’s been, she’s been listening in on my coaching because somehow my wife said, Hey, we’re going to spend the whole month of June in 2022 in London. I said, we are, she said, yeah. She said, I’m speaking it into existence. She said, you’re going to work in order to fund it.

And me and the kids were going to travel around Europe. I said, we are. She said, yeah. I said, I pity the fool, but we’re going, we’re going to London in 22. Happy wife is happy life. 

Courtney: Got any gigs lined up?

Larry: I’m sprinkling those seeds out right now. I mean, I’m not a math major, but I got what, I got what nine months, 10 months to go. I got an engagement next Wednesday. It’s virtual in Barcelona, and I told the gentlemen, he said, oh yeah, you can come on over here. We’d love to have you in person. I said, sure. I’ll bring the gold mic. You better put your seatbelts on when I come up in the house, que pasa loco.

Courtney: Well, I love that. So we always like to ask our guests this cause obviously leaving a stable career, going out on your own. Theres some moments of self doubt in the middle of it. I think not just concerning LinkedIn pages, but like real ones. So did you ever have an oh shit moment, where you thought, like, maybe I’m not doing the right thing or like I’m in over my head or like the fear was just kind of taking you 

Larry: Are you a mind reader every day? yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s FUD. Fear, uncertainty and doubt. It’s one of the, I mean, let’s keep it real.

I got compensated very well as a sales leader. I got a paycheck every two weeks. I got a commission, sales commission check every month. And my team was awesome. I got a quarterly bonus. So when I went out on my own, I was like, 

I like, are you stupid? Are you dumb? Like, I know you’re crazy, Larry, but are you really that crazy? And luckily my wife was there to support me, even when I, when I still doubt. She’s like, you got this, come on, come on, Larry, you got this. So it’s it’s just been an amazing journey.

I’m learning so much and there’s a book and I got to say, thank you to my coach, Kristin Frady. she sent me a book called Three Feet from Gold. So many times entrepreneurs and even just professionals, and even just people, they give up when they’re three feet from gold. And there’s a whole story behind it, but it’s like, you were so close if you had just stuck with it. And she sent it to me at the right time. It was just amazing. I needed to read that because. The easy route would be, let me go back to corporate.

Larry: Safe and secure, but I can tell you the joys and the benefits and really the biggest benefit of doing what I do. Number one is I get to impact people, but I’m going to be real with you. It’s the flexibility of  my time. Im carpool dad. I drop off my kids for carpool every morning. I pick them up every afternoon. I’m at my daughter’s gymnastics every Monday, unless my son has a baseball game, then I’m there with him.

I’m at a soccer practice. I couldn’t have done that in corporate America. essentially my time, they control my time instead of me control my time. And if I want it to be Bo time, its Bo time.

Dana: Get the Bo Berry biscuits anytime of the day.

Larry: Now you’re talking, Bo Berry biscuits.You need to get them as a sponsor as much as we’re mentioning them.

Courtney: I love that.

Dana: But I think that’s, so that is so true. And I, and I think that it’s, it’s hard to even admit that sometimes, because I think sometimes as entrepreneur, you almost act as a martyr in a lot of ways. And you’re like, oh, I have no time.

And and there are times like, I can say, like right now we’re in a season of like, there’s not enough hours in the day. But at the end of the day, I was able to take my kids to school every single morning this week. And, I was, I picked them up half the time. I can take them to their practices and you are right, that there is that, that flexibility that you actually really do have. 

Larry: It’s crazy because with my coach, we’ve been mapping what do I want it to be? Because if you don’t map it out, you’ll just end up doing, she pretty much said, Larry, if you don’t identify what you want, you’ll just do anything and everything.

So my ideal week is two virtual paid engagements every week and 10 coaching clients. My coaching is generally 30 minutes. That’s what I want. And if that, if that’s what my week looks like, I’m going to be in really good shape to be able to do free engagements at my son’s middle school, to be able to go and talk to the kids down in Fayetteville that are part of this youth program, be able to rock the gold mic anywhere and everywhere.

So we’re really intentional with mapping out. What does that look like? And I never, I never really visioned. I never really dreamed what do I want my life to look like? And I like to golf. I’m Tiger Woods long lost cousin. Yeah. Larry “hit it in the woods”, but don’t, but I love to golf. So one of my goals is I want to golf in 20 different states. I’m at five right now and my wife hates it. She says, you know, you ain’t right putting that as one of your goals, but I’m like, it’s one of my goals. So I haven an engagement in a couple of weeks in New York and I’m mapping it out. I can tee it up in New Jersey, tee it up in New York.

I might be able to drive to Pennsylvania, knock out three more states. Yay. We’ll see if the weather will, I don’t do well with cold weather, but yeah, I got to get down to Florida and Texas and Arizona and California. I got it all mapped out. we were just in Las Vegas and I was going to go to a top Golf, but I said, ah, that’s, that’s a little bit, that’s cheating right there.

Courtney: Same thing 

Larry: That’s what I told my wife. I got to go back to play. 

Courtney: No, I love that. I, I think it’s important to like talk when you are an entrepreneur, like, why are you doing it? Like it, and it’s fine if your reasons aren’t altruistic, like that’s really just fine. I think we just get so stuck.

Dana: Yeah, yeah. I agree. We have, we’ve talked greatly about this this weekend and I’m just trying to make sure our our goals and our visions aligned with what our, not just our company, not just, you know, our retirement, not just for financials, but like, what do I want to leave behind? And I think that’s where we have been so stuck in the trenches of building the business to be financially successful to where it can support us. And now that we’re there, we’re like, okay, 

what do we do with this? And I was telling him, saying this to Courtney. I was like, I think the biggest mistake that we, as that, you know, our top earners in America have is they think it is a privilege to be wealthy. I think it’s a great responsibility to be wealthy.

And you and I look at our community, live in this little community and I’m like, I would love nothing more than to bless this community with all brand new computers 

Courtney: our school community, Shes talking about.

Dana: our school community and like, we need affordable housing. I mean, like people are getting pushed off their family farms because taxes are too high. And they’re living in these really terrible like unhealthy conditions, right? And like, I want to do something and I have the responsibility of knowing how to make money, knowing how to run a business, knowing how to turn a profit to do that for something that’s more than just, you know, money in my pocket.

Larry: I love it. love it. That reason. It’s not just about you. I was just talking with the students about is there’s a concept called me monster.

We’ve all played sports with, we’ve all worked with and if we havent it might be us, but the folks that wake up in the morning, it’s all about me, me, me, me, me. says “X” I want. To be around people who are you monsters. I want to help out you and you and you, and really give back. And it’s that philanthropy of giving back and just helping others. There’s a quote that I love, and I think about every day, Martin Luther king Jr said, life’s most persistent and urgent question is what are you doing to help others? 

And if you can answer that question at that at the end of every day, what did I do today to help someone else out, Sky’s the limit. You’re you’re really leaving behind a great Legacy. 

Courtney: So how has your life changed, an impacted and as you started the sales coaching? Is there like a particular moment that stands out to you?

Larry: so many. I mean, every time I work with my coaching clients. When I worked with my coach, my life changes, and then I have the ability and the opportunity and responsibility to impact lives. There’s one story that stands out. my man Manan. He’s in Australia, he’s from India. We were talking about priorities and he said, family’s number one. He takes care of his parents in India financially. Finances, number two, just as important, to help out his parents. Number three was fitness.

I said, well, I said, let me see your workout routine. When, when you work out? Crickets, crickets, I say that’s your number three priority. You don’t work out. He said, nah, he had. Excuses, and he said he likes to box. And I was like, dude, we got to fix that, open your calendar and let’s go ahead and schedule it in. And this was Australia.

It’s like, I think 14 hours ahead. So he scheduled it in for Monday at 12. I said, Hey, put me on the calendar invite. And then you got to send me a picture when you get done. So it was 10:30 at night on Sunday. 1230 in Australia. I get this selfie of Manan all sweaty. And he was like, this hurts so good.

Being able to take that first step now we’re impacting lives and it’s not just his life, but it’s his partner’s life. It’s his family’s life. It’s his job. I mean, just having that impact is so amazing. There’s no, for me, there’s no better feeling than being able to touch the lives. And that’s why I had my baseball academy.

That was really what drove me, having Ian Holbrook, having, having his mom April say, Hey coach, Larry, Ian wants to tell you something. Coach Larry. i hit three hard line drives. I went two for four and I hit a home run. Come on now.

There’s nothing better. So now I have the opportunity to do that with professionals, with sales professionals, business professionals, just helping them improve their life for their families personally, as well as professionally. Nothing beats it.

Courtney: It’s amazing how you get like stuck as a professional, like in the day to day that it just, even though it might not be like earth shattering things, it’s like just having someone take a top-down perspective. this is why you’re feeling stuck. Or this is what’s what you’re not focusing on. Even though you’re saying this, this isn’t what you’re doing. That’s really, really helpful. 

Larry: I get to come in and give that jolt to people. I mean, yeah. I don’t know where that name came from, but we’re out. There’s a saying, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I dont subscribe to that. If it ain’t broke, break it, shake it, flip it upside down. Let’s have some fun with this thing.

So, I mean, I get to have fun each and every day. It’s really about those relationships. Those relationships are crucial to having success, having fun, having meaning in life. It’s, I mean, the book Three Feet from Gold, it says we’re all going to be the same people five years from now with the exception of

the things that we read, the books, we read, the content we consume and the people that we meet, which is so amazing. You can learn so much from just asking questions of other people, understanding their journey, their path, their adventure, their misadventures. It’s just so much to learn. But so many times we want to rock the mic and I’m guilty of this. My theme for 2021 is drop the mic. Listen. And when you do that, it’s absolutely amazing.

Dana: That’s so true. 

Courtney: So good.So what do you have coming down the pipeline? and how can our listeners support you and what you’re doing? 

Larry: goodness. Just by listening in there supporting, ah, life is good. So, I mean, we’re really want to mission right now. A lot of organizations are getting ready for their 2022 kickoffs, whether it’s sales kickoff, company kickoff, And they’re looking for that jolt. looking for that Larry Long Jr experience.

And they’re like, Hey Larry, can you come rock that gold mic either virtually or in person? I’m like, yes, I’ll be there rocking the mic. So if there’s ever a need, if there’s ever an opportunity where I can help an individual and organization with getting to that next level, give me a ring.

Dana: and you have a book coming out?

Larry: Yeah, it’s going to be coming out next year, probably in February because you know, January, everyone’s got their new year’s resolutions, everybody in February. Hey, what happened to your new year’s resolution?

So we’re having a lot of fun, good times. And just the future is bright. I mean, I tell everyone on my Midweek Midday Motivational Minute, make it a great day. It’s your choice. Let’s make this the best week ever. Let’s make 2021 the best year ever. Let’s one in 2021. I got to come up with something in 2022. I don’t know what we’re going to do, but 

Courtney: maybe you should do in 2022. 

Larry: now you’re talking my language. I liked that.

Courtney: now that you’ve listened, you’re going to do something with it. 

Larry: That was right. That was right.

Dana: Thank you everyone for gathering us today yo talk about the hustle.for our episode with Larry, we picked an amaretto sour with three cherries. We hope you’ll get the chance to make it this week and cheers to doing something that matters.To learn more about Larry Long Jr. and his business visit larrylongjr.com or follow him on Instagram @longjr7. You can also find him on LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube by searching Larry Long Jr. You definitely want to check out his Midweek Midday Motivational Minute.

Courtney: And to learn more about our hustles visit canddevents.com, thebradfordnc.com, and hustleandgather.com or follow us on Instagram at canddevents, at thebradfordnc, and at hustleandgather. If you liked the show, be sure to subscribe and leave us a rating and a review.

Courtney: This product is a production of Earfluence. I’m Courtney. 

Dana: And I’m Dana.

Courtney: And we’ll talk with you next time on Hustle + Gather.

Full Episode Transcript

Follow Larry on LinkedIn for his weekly Midweek Midday Motivational Minute.

Hustle and Gather is hosted by Courtney Hopper and Dana Kadwell, and is produced by Earfluence.  Courtney and Dana’s hustles include C&D Events, Hustle and Gather, and The Bradford Wedding Venue.

Amplify Your Expertise
About the Author
At Earfluence, we are proud to produce this podcast. We believe in sharing amazing stories, providing knowledge to the world, and celebrating diverse voices. Through podcasting, our clients are amplifying their expertise, expanding their networks, building a content engine, and growing their influence. If you're interested in podcasting, we'd love to hear from you! Schedule your free 15 minute podcast consult today.