The life of an entrepreneur is filled with a rollercoaster of emotions, adventures, and stories. The lows on that rollercoaster can be so low, leading us to question why we stepped into entrepreneurship in the first place and to possibly quit. The highs can be so high that we believe they can transform our lives, our family, and our social contributions.
The road to becoming a revolutionary entrepreneur is daunting and grueling. Many have fallen off the steep, slippery ladder leading to success. But those who persevere, and reach their entrepreneurial success can find life-changing rewards.
One of the secrets of highly successful entrepreneurs is that they are constantly learning from other successful entrepreneurs. This is one of my favorite reasons for doing this show: to learn from the amazing entrepreneurs and monetization experts I am able to interview.
In this episode, I was privileged to interview and learn from Redge Allen, who is an experienced and highly successful entrepreneur, realtor, podcaster, business owner, event planner, professor, and good friend.
He is currently the Vice President of Marketing for a company with billions of dollars of annual revenue, and he has been fortunate to have founded, sold, or been a part of a number of highly successful companies. Redge created his first small business as a Phoenix real estate agent at the age of 22. He then grew the company to achieve a personal profit of more than $1 million before the age of 25 and ranked in the top 20 realtors out of more than 60,000 realtors.
Redge Co-founded Color in Motion 5K, which is an event where people throw colored chalk at each other while running a race. Redge turned that into a national event company with races all over the country. He organized the events and received more than 100,000 participants nationwide.
He regularly consults organizations on leadership, marketing, business strategies, and professional negotiations.
Redge is a dear friend of mine. Jim Rohn said, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Redge is one of those people I want to be more like. This is part 1 of 2 episodes with Redge. In this first episode, he shared four actions of a revolutionary entrepreneur.
Redge’s Story: A Road that Paved the Way for Success
Redge was raised in a family with a meager financial situation. “We lost our home growing up, I had times of being displaced, and I didn’t know what clothes were outside of Goodwill,” Redge said. Due to his background, he gravitated towards the book Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki, which focuses on obtaining financial security. He was so inspired by this book that he jumped into learning about real estate without previously understanding what it really was. After completing a class at the local community college, Redge took the real estate exam and became a realtor.
Here are 4 actions that Redge took in becoming the revolutionary entrepreneur he is today:
4 Actions In Becoming a Revolutionary Entrepreneur
1. Build on Land We Own
Big, national brands would advertise to realtors saying, “Come work for us!” But as Redge thought about it, he said, “I’ve got a chance to go with these companies that take a substantial amount of profits from my sales. Instead, I saw a company on a bulletin board who hardly took anything. They would only charge me $200 per transaction. They wouldn’t offer support, help, or anything. They would just meet the legal requirements, which sounded like a great opportunity to me.”
In Redge’s mind, he thought if he was going to start from the bottom and have to spend time building his business anyways, why wouldn’t he build on land he owned versus upon a national company, who supposedly knew the secrets and gained his success? Redge wasn’t looking to build someone else’s brand; he was looking to build himself and his own brand.
His first success in real estate was helping a friend’s cousin purchase an $80,000 condo. “I had no idea what I was doing, but I gave my best to my client,” Redge said.
Three days later, a friend of Redge’s client contacted him and said how much their friend couldn’t stop talking about him. They sought his help in finding their own home, and sales became a snowball effect from there. Eventually, he went from selling two to three homes to selling 11 or 12 in one day!
“It was the perfect storm where I was giving my heart, but I was building my business versus building someone else’s business. I’m stubborn enough that I would rather learn on my own through my own experience, rather than hoping someone else is going to own my success. I was selling well over 100 homes a year with my own personal business. To go through that process and learn and grow from it was invaluable. I wouldn’t change it at all.” – Redge Allen
2. Create Relationships with Clients
“I wasn’t a genius in real estate. For me, people knew whether I genuinely cared or not. It’s not so much what you say. When I’m sitting down looking for homes with people and they sense that I care genuinely about them, it gets reciprocated ten-fold,” Redge said.
Moving forward, Redge decided to maintain relationships with his clients. “I kept track of everyone’s birthday, their anniversaries, their kid’s names and birthdays, and sent them hand-written cards for these special events.” For children, he even included a $5 gift card to Cold Stone Creamery or another ice cream place. He would receive calls from children saying, “Hey Mr. Redge! I just wanted to say thank you.” He expected nothing in return and showed genuine care that became a huge ROI.
Redge got to a point where he’d send potential clients a card. They would call him up and say, “but I don’t know if I’m going to use you.” Redge was investing in them. He would respond, “If it turns out that I’m not the right fit for you, you’ll never question whether or not I care. Because that’s my primary focus.”
Redge said, “It always paid greater dividends. Realtors would hire me to buy or sell their homes because they had high trust in my ability to perceive and meet client’s needs. They knew I cared more than anyone else would. That was worth the financial investment from them. It was about their trust within me, and when they gave me that trust, it paid dividends for them.” His venture grew by building relationships, reaching out in love and compassion toward clients, and showing he valued people more than money.
3. Recognize the Lifetime Value of a Customer
Individuals would ask Redge, “What happens if you invest all that money and someone doesn’t buy a home from you?”
Redge would respond, “What if I don’t invest and they don’t buy? I can’t afford not to invest my best.” Redge understands the value of a customer.
Let’s use an example of a small business owner with a hot dog stand. If Redge were to consult them, he’d say, “You have the best hot dogs, and everyone will love them. Let’s offer free hot dogs to every person who comes today.” The owner of the hot dog stand might respond with: “I can’t afford to pay for those free hot dogs!”
Redge would then say: “let’s say people love this hot dog so much; it has value, and they could get the first one for free. They return, and after buying a hot dog every week for one year, with a $1 profit each time, the business would make $52 of profit in one year.”
Redge wants business owners to begin seeing that if they invest “Y,” they will get “Z” back. “They can make decisions based on long-term applications by recognizing what the lifetime value of a customer actually is, rather than being focused on a single instance that they lose out on the big perspective,” Redge said.
I would add that it’s not just about providing value first. It’s about consistently providing value. Every time a customer buys something from us, they make sure it has enough value and feel good about the purchase. That’s the only way they will trust us enough to buy something in the future.
4. Maintain Credibility & Transparency
In 2012, Redge founded and directed the start-up Color in Motion 5K, which achieved millions of dollars in revenue by attracting hundreds of thousands of participants in major markets. The mission with these races was to bring people together in communities “to have fun and support a common goal.” (Source: Color in Motion 5K)
Large events were held all over the US including venues at Lincoln Park in Chicago, Reliant Stadium in Houston, and Seattle. They were able to partner up with many national organizations and then sell the start-up after accepting an offer only 13 months from beginning operation.
“When I started Color in Motion 5K, the first event we had brought in 10,000 members to the park,” Redge said. He was sitting in the park in Dallas, Texas, and went online to check their social media feed. As he scrolled through, Redge found some negative things that were happening at the event. He remembered having the dilemma in his mind: “as someone who owns this social media channel, what do I do now?”
Because he had the power to do so, Redge could have deleted the negative or less than “picture perfect” content. “I found that rather than deleting it or blocking someone, I chose to let those negative comments stay. Not because they were negative, but because they were honest. It allowed me an opportunity to give an honest response. When I responded thoughtfully to those less than ideal comments, people saw how I responded to that type of information. That says far more about building credibility as a company than to look at a company that is purely sanitized and untrustworthy,” Redge said.
At the end of the day, Redge believes that negative comments or situations aren’t really negative. They are simply opportunities to show genuine care, listen, and be receptive to real, meaningful feedback from customers.
Thank you so much Redge, for sharing your story and knowledge with us today. Here are some of my key takeaways from this episode:
1. Whether you are a genius or not, it is more important to show that you genuinely care about people. People know if you care or not. It pays great dividends.
2. Recognize the lifetime value of a customer. Maintain relationships with clients and find ways to build long-term connections with them.
3. Consistently provide value.
4. Own the land where you build your skyscraper. Don’t spend your time building someone else’s brand. Build your own brand.
5. Create direct relationships with customers. Rely upon the value of this.
6. Credibility isn’t built in a moment. Invest in the long game of credibility.
7. No company can control whether or not bad things happen, but they can choose how to make things right. Responding well to things going wrong is an opportunity to provide amazing customer service and build trust.
8. Negative comments or situations aren’t negative. They are simply opportunities to show genuine care, listen, and be receptive to real, meaningful customer feedback.
Connect With Redge
If you enjoyed this interview and you want to learn more about Redge or connect with him. You can find him on https://www.linkedin.com/redgeallen/. Follow his “Brother Redge” podcast, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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