Ep. 132 – From Selling Houses to Saving Children with Jimmy Rex
Rob: All right, welcome back to our Becoming Your Best podcast listeners. Wherever you’re at in the world, welcome. I’ve got an awesome guest with us today. He’s a good friend, amazing person, one of the best realtors honestly anywhere in the world. He’s incredible at what he does. He’s been involved with the program called Operation Underground Railroad that rescues child sex slaves. He is just an absolutely incredible person and you’ll get a sense for that on this podcast.
One thing I’m going to ask you to do before we jump into this interview. You know, we interview these amazing people and it’s great that it benefits us in so many ways. I’m going to ask you to share this podcast with at least one person who you think could benefit from it. I don’t care if you do that via Facebook, you know, whatever medium you use. Send them a text, a link, but I’m going to ask you to share this with one person who you think would benefit from this podcast and be the catalyst for good in their life.
So with that I’m going to introduce Jimmy Rex, good friend. I’ve just got to say something funny, Jim, you just came back from Lake Powell a week or so ago and posted this video that went viral. I just thought this was classic Jimmy. You know, he saved the house boat from sinking. I don’t know what was wrong with it but it was filling up with water and here he is at the helm, you know, the captain of the ship and he says, you know, if this thing goes down, I’m going down with it as the captain. But the video was incredible. It’s taking on water and they pressed in and eventually saved the house boat, but that started going all over the different news channels and had a bunch of views and I just thought, you know, that’s classic Jimmy having all kinds of amazing adventures. So Jimmy, welcome to the Becoming Your Best podcast.
Jimmy: Hey, I appreciate it and to be honest, I’m still not sure if I saved the house boat from sinking or if I almost sunk the house boat but either way, we didn’t go down with the ship so it worked out. But as of this morning, I had over 800,000 views since we posted it last week so funny.
Rob: It’s a hilarious video. I was just talking with a good friend named Beret and he’s going to Lake Powell next week and I said, “Hey man, you’ve got to watch my buddy, Jimmy Rex’s video.” He was laughing and saying, “I saw that on KSL, a local news media outlet.” Hey if you haven’t seen this video, just for fun, look on Facebook under Jimmy Rex, you’ll find it and watch this video, it’s pretty cool video.
Jimmy: Yeah, I appreciate it. It was the Titanic music, I think, that did it. That’s what made it go viral but anyway.
Rob: It was great. I loved it. Well, Jimmy give our listeners just a little bit of background about you that I haven’t covered. You know, who you are. Just a short background on you if that’s all right.
Jimmy: Yeah, no worries. In 2002 I was trying to find a job. I knew I’d go into sales and I’d started working. I ended up finding a company that sold steak and chicken door to door. The guys that put the freezers in the back of their truck and then they go door to door. I went out my first day doing that and in about two hours, made like $300 profit and my life forever changed. I knew I had endless possibilities financially. You know, my worst case was going to be pretty good because I knew how to sell. I did that for a couple of years. Tried the franchise and go big with it but I was young, naïve, didn’t know what I was doing. I had a business partner that was on drugs and we franchised it to a guy in Saint George and when he cut us the $50,000 check my partner disappeared. He’s a guy from the Netherlands. I didn’t hear from him for about two weeks. His family was calling me, his kids, everybody worried for him.
When he came back, the money was gone. He’d spent it on drugs. So I immediately shut down that meat company. I couldn’t deal with it. I had my real estate license. I had been working on that one the side and I just dove full speed into real estate.
First six months, you know, really not much happened. I sold five or six homes. And then I got a mentor that taught me everything I had ever wanted to know about real estate. The best in the country, I got pretty lucky. My next six months, I sold over 60 homes and my career just kind of took off. You know, I got a really cool opportunity really young. I was 24, 25 and I got to meet all these top people in real estate because I was kind of this little phenom guy they love to put on the stage and tell the story. I was working 70, 80 hours a week. I had to. I had 100 plus rent debt from the meat company that I shut down. So I was working all the time. I was trying to learn from all the best people and it catapulted me into my career where I’ve sold now almost 2000 homes since 2005.
So, that’s what I do full-time. I’ve been able to build a really fun, really cool network along the way. You know, I have a course now where I teach other real estate agents how to build their business and I have my podcast that of course I highlight my friends and meeting people, including yourself on that and just do a lot of fun things on the side. That’s kind of my background and business history.
Rob: Well, it’s a great background. As you know, we’ve talked about this a little bit before. We have listeners from every variety of background. You know, CEOs of large publicly traded companies, down to people who are working out of their home, in between work. There’s just a whole spectrum. So building on that success that you’ve had as a realtor, and I very sincerely say that I think you are one of the best in the world, what do you think? And you touched on a couple of things there. You know, you had a mentor. You did and found what other successful realtors have done and built on that. What could you narrow down that would be valuable for our listeners as far as some meaningful things that you’ve done that really have made a difference for you and getting you to the successful point where you are now?
Jimmy: Yeah, I think you hit on one of the biggest ones for me. You know, the first six months I was really frustrated because I was very excited to sell. I was excited to be good at it. I just didn’t know what I was doing. You know, I chose a broker that didn’t have a great training program and when I hired that mentor that was a real stretch for me. I was paying $1000 a month and at the time, I didn’t have a dollar to my name. In fact, when I signed up, I was at a seminar and I told him, I said, listen, I’m in on this. They gave us a homework assignment. It was like a 3-day seminar and every night I would go home and do the homework and I was getting leads, I was getting buyers. I was getting listings and I was like, “I’m in on this but I don’t have any money. If you try to run this credit card, it’s not going to work, but if you’ll give me three weeks, I think I have a closing coming up and let’s get this started.” They did and that guy became my personal mentor, one of my best friends.
You know, just learning what you do…Success leads clues and I picked that up at a young age. I don’t have to invent this. I just have to learn what to do and I knew, because a lot of people, you know what to do but it’s just applying it or doing it every day. My mentor would always say, “Fall in love with the boredom and the repetition and you will be very successful.” I just got really good at doing the things that nobody else was willing to do to be successful. That was, you know, making those calls every single day. You know, I had scripts that I would memorize. So I learned what to say and I expedited that learning curve by just doing it that much more than everyone else. So I think those are a few of the key, key things that I picked up on very early on.
Rob: Y:ou know, it’s interesting that you say that. Albert Gray, and I won’t use the exact words from his quote but he said something along the lines of, “Successful people,” and I’ll use successful in the broadest reach, “Have the habit of doing things that most others don’t want to do.” He calls that the common denominator of success. “Most successful people have the habit of doing things that most others aren’t willing to do.” It’s interesting because sometimes, those things can become boring and they lose all the initial appeal of whatever it is. You know, whatever the passion is that started, after the initial excitement wears off, that’s where most people taper off.
You know then, another thing interesting Jimmy is building on this idea, there’s a book called Mastery and you’re I was just talking with a coaching client on the phone about this book and you’re talking about loving the boredom or something along those lines. It’s this idea that we quickly progress in something and then we plateau in our progress. And then there’s another progression and then we plateau. You know, if you learn how to ski, there’s this quick improvement, the first five or six times and then there’s a little bit of a plateau. That’s where most people quit, is in the plateau. Say that one more time. Did you say, “Love the boredom” or how did you say that?
Jimmy: Yeah, it’s, “Fall in love with the repetitious boredom,” was the exact quote that my mentor used to say. You know, learn to really love the part that other people get bored with. I mean, think about a basketball player. The best basketball player in the world, if he doesn’t fall in love with the idea of shooting hundreds and thousands of free throws and 3-pointers at practice every week, he’s not going to be very good at it. But most people are just not going to be willing to do what it takes to be an expert or be the best at their profession to do those little things.
Rob: That is so true and I hope our listeners caught that because that has been an observation that I’ve seen all over in these seminars is, you know, a person has the skillset but if I had to attach percentages to mindset, skillset, I’d almost venture to say, it’s 90% mindset, 10% skillset. I mean, the skillset’s important. It’s the ability, desire and discipline to execute on that skillset, and that’s something we all can most likely improve on, so I’m glad you brought that up Jimmy.
I want to shift gears because I don’t want this one to slip through the cracks. You know, you’ve been involved with this child rescue and some different things. It’s been one of the things that has always stood out to me that has been impressive about you. If you don’t mind just talking a little bit about that because I think that holds a lot of meaning to our listeners. You know, there’s all these opportunities to help others in our lives and sometimes we get so engrossed in the day-to-day grind that we don’t realize there’s so many opportunities to help others in the world and you’ve always been a great example of that. So do you mind just talking for a minute or two about what you’ve done there and why you did that and what it meant to you?
Jimmy: Yeah, you bet. You know, one of the things that I believe strongly is there’s never a good time to do certain things in your life, whether that’s travel or charity work or these other things. You know, if you find a reason not to do it, you’re probably right, you probably don’t have the time, you don’t have the resources or whatever. But at the same time, you just make them a priority in your life and I believe strongly that that extra level of fulfillment in your life comes from the growth and the contribution. That’s, you know, Tony Robbins human needs 101.
The group is called Operation Underground Railroad. Basically it’s an organization that was founded by a guy named Tim Ballard and he was in the CIA and he recognized these issues which child trafficking but because a lot of the kids that were being trafficked weren’t American citizens, they weren’t able to go in even when they found them and found the traffickers, they weren’t able to go in and make the rescue. So he founded this organization and when I first heard about it, a friend of mine named Paul Hutchinson was giving a speech. At the time I didn’t know this guy and I heard about it and I just said right there, I said, “I’m in on this. I’m going to make this a part of my life.”
You know, they had over 200 people that were trying to be part of these operations to go undercover and help find the kids and then do the rescues and the takedowns. I just made myself an asset in every way I could and just refused to take “No” for answer until they finally let me be a part of it. Now, I’m part of a special unit that goes in and finds the traffickers, what’s called the pre-op. I’ve been a part of over 60 kids being rescued and we’ve helped take down over 15 traffickers.
Rob: That’s amazing.
Jimmy: Next weekend we’re booked, I can’t talk about where but we’ll go to do another one. We have about 30 children that we’re going to rescue next weekend, next Thursday we’re flying out. You know, this something that’s ongoing now that’ll be part of my life forever. But I just said, you know, I got to dating a girl and she didn’t like that I was going and doing these rescues. She’s like, “Let them do it. Let someone else do it.” I had to wonder, “There is no ‘They’. There is nobody else. It’s us or nobody’s doing this.” I think, I just kind of look at life that way, is we are the ‘They’. We are the people that need to go make the change. It’s one thing to be mad about something on social media, it’s another thing to actually go and put your life, you know, in danger and actually make your life meaningful in those ways, and that’s why I chose to do that.
Rob: What a great observation. In those experiences, and I’m not sure that people who are not familiar with the Operation Underground Railroad understand the significance of what’s happening here. If you have a chance and you’re listening to go to the website that they put together and see some of these children. I mean, Jimmy and some of these others are going into these crazy situations where they’ve got these children as sex slaves and they’re literally putting their lives on the line imitating a client. So when you’re down there, what’s one of the most interesting things that you’ve seen that really touched you, you know, when you’re in that experience? You’re there and then the police and other people come in once you’ve done what you need to do and they arrest these people. What’s been one of the most interesting parts about that when you’re actually there doing it?
Jimmy: Yeah, I think for me, in order for us to be good at what we’re doing, we have to almost befriend these most evil people in the world, right, these guys that are doing this, and ladies a lot of times. So you’re just like almost you’re acting but it’s such a real situation. Like one of the ops, we’re in the middle of the op and one of the traffickers showed up murdered. I mean, it was like crazy. It’s not a safe situation yet at the same time, every time this happens, as we’re setting up the operation and we’re kind of trying to get everything set up, you kind of feel, “Man, I don’t know if I’m going to do this again.” There is a lot on the line. There is a lot of risk here.
But then you see, when the rescue goes down and you see these traffickers…There’s this one that happened in Latin America and I’ll never forget his face. He just thought he was the man and he was doing the most evil things, you know, trafficking these kids and drugs and everything else. When we took him down, it was one of those feelings like, “Man.” Not only did we rescue, you know, there was I think 16 girls there that day. I was like, but how many people…You know, and his organization was using middle school teachers to lure these women in and model agencies and all these different things. How many future kids that I’ll never even meet were we able to stop from living, you know, in a lice hotel. For me, it was one of those feelings, I was like, “Man, I’m never going to quit doing this.” What else could I possibly do better with my life than to give people this freedom? So that moment where you see and you recognize, you know, you go from fear to hope and joy and all those feelings that come from seeing the rescue and the take down.
Rob: That is so awesome. I can only imagine, you know, the feelings looking in his eyes when he knows that he’s done, he caught, you know, his game is up. That had to be so gratifying on a level to see such evil being done. They can’t do it anymore.
Jimmy: Yeah, it’s just a high that you can’t…I’ve done a lot of fun things in my life. I’m an adrenaline junkie and I don’t know if there’s anything that I’ve done that’s given me more of a high than that in that moment.
Rob: That’s got to be amazing. You’re getting me all fired up now if he choose to tell, tell me the story. You know, you talk about that, you know, you’re an adrenaline junkie and people who follow you on Facebook will quickly get a sense of this. You have truly been all over the world, done all kinds of things. You know, ridden elephants, done all these things. From all that experience and travel, what I’d like to ask you and then I’ll preface why I’m asking you this. What do you feel could really make a difference in someone’s life if they want to be happy?
The reason I’m asking this question is because I have had the chance to glimpse behind the curtains in so many organizations, Fortune 500 companies, you know as we are doing seminars with these leadership teams around the world, everybody’s human. They all have similar wants. They want to be happy, they want to feel the sense of fulfillment. They want their current reality to align with their vision and it doesn’t matter where they are at financially, everyone has those same intrinsic needs to feel happy, to feel, you know, like they’re connected. They want to wake up excited in the morning. So from your experience and travel, what do you think could help people that would contribute to their happiness if that question makes sense?
Jimmy: No, it’s a great question and it’s one that I love talking about actually because for the last couple of years, I have really been able to get to a place where I’m a much happier overall person. I was always pretty happy kid and everything else, but I always had these expectations and I had these how my life was supposed to be, and that was what was screwing up my happiness. So what I tell everybody is I say, strip yourself of somebody else’s expectations of what your life needs to look like. Like, for some people travel is great. I went and swam with tiger sharks in the middle of the ocean a month ago. You know, I always been to Africa, all those different things, Asia. I’ve been to what, 39 countries.
For some people, that’s not going to make them happy. What I say though is intrinsically, inside of ourselves, we really know what makes us happy and unfortunately, a lot of times, what we mistake is comfort for our happiness. I think too many people settle for comfort when what they really want or what really lights them up, it’s harder, it’s more difficult to do those things. So in lieu of happiness and fulfillment, they settle for comfort. So I just say, strip yourself of all the expectations of others and truly do what you want to do. Obviously, have your life planned out by design. I have goals, I have things that I’m looking to accomplish, but I don’t really let other people’s opinions of me or of what I’m doing affect what I’m going to do. I don’t worry anymore what others will think of the life that I choose in any way, shape or form.
I think when we can really get outside of the expectations of others, you no longer have that daze because the things that stress me out, the things that I thought were wrong about me, weren’t wrong at all and in fact I was honoring myself by being true to my feeling when I wasn’t doing things that maybe my cultural wiring or my expectation of who I should be wasn’t aligned with how I felt.
Rob: You know what comes to mind when you tell that which I love, what I great advice for all of us, is a show that I watched, I don’t know, three weeks ago for the first time, The Greatest Showman? I don’t know if you’ve seen that Jimmy. Have you seen The Greatest Showman yet?
Jimmy: I haven’t seen it yet. I know it’s top of my list of some movies to see but I’ve been told many times I need to.
Rob: Yes. There are so many good lessons. In one of them Zac Efron and I can’t remember the name of the character that he plays. It’s this exact thing that you’re talking about. His whole life up to the point where he’s in his mid-twenties, late twenties, he’s fulfilling the expectations of his parents, but he’s clearly unhappy. I mean, he’s clearly miserable and it’s not until he makes this shift and strips himself of those expectations that he’s liberated and that he’s free. There’s so much power to that. Another way to look at that is a person intrinsically has a personal vision for them inside and they feel it. Not very many people write it down yet often times there’s this vision that’s inside of us that percolates. For you, you know travelling and doing these things. For others it may come in different forms. The question is, how many times does our current reality not align with our vision? And if it doesn’t there’s going to be something missing inside of us and sometimes this matters, scrapping away those expectations.
Jimmy: No, I love that. That’s what I’ve learned. You truly get lit up…Everybody has their thing that they know and to really listen to yourself. I hate when people go to others for advice because they already know the answer a lot of times. Like when they go to somebody especially that’s close to them because our egos are wired, our own selves are wired from DNA to keep us alive, so give this horrible advice. And other people that love us are trying to keep us from pain just like our own DNA and so it’ll get us horrible advice to keep our life safe but all the rewards come on the other side of that.
And so it’s getting outside of that and really listening to that internal voice. That’s why I love meditation and doing those things because you really listen to yourself and get past the fears and get past other people, what they want for you to keep you safe and, you know, outside of harm. But all the blessings in life come after that. So it’s important not to look, you know, too closely to friends and family for advice when really you already know what you need to do inside.
Rob: Yeah, that’s fabulous advice. Well, as we have only just a few minutes left Jimmy. Since we’ve got one of the best realtors in the world on the podcast with us, I’ve got to at least ask this question because we have a lot of people who are home owners out there or they will become homeowners in the near future, so let’s just take advantage of a couple of minutes. From your experience, what are some things that a homeowner can do to increase the value of their home, to really take good care of it? Where’s the right areas of focus with a person’s bandwidth if they were to choose some areas to focus on in taking care of their home if they wanted to increase its value or sell it at some future point?
Jimmy: So there’s a couple of things that are always going to matter and that’s going to be the street view. You know, your curb appeal of the house. You’ve got to just keep that looking good enough. Good enough is what I said. When it comes to the actual inside of the home, especially if you’re building or thinking of future value, put the money in that master bedroom and bathroom and put it in the kitchen.
My rule of thumb on other things is, if every person buying this home would want it to be changed, you probably need to change it before you list to sell your home. So like, if the carpet is just hideous and everybody that buys it would change it, don’t give a carpet allowance. You want to actually make the carpet, you know, change it out and just put something nice and neutral because what happens is, buying a home is a very emotional thing and you’re not appealing to the senses of emotion if you have bad carpet. You know, the newly-wed couple walks in, you want the wife to fall in love to the picture of kids playing on the ground and if the carpet needs to be switched out, if there’s a room that’s hideous or if all those pictures are way outdated, it just doesn’t give that feeling. You know, it’s going to tie them maybe to the worst time in their life as opposed to, “This is our big beginning. This is how my kids are going to live and be raised.”
So, I just tell people, look if it’s something that everyone would want to have switched, definitely switch it out as far as building a house out, and that’s how you can best prep your home to be ready.
Rob: Can I just add one of those? I don’t know, from our perspective, we’ve had a chance to move into a bunch of different homes back when I was a fighter pilot and we moved every two years. If a person has financial means to do so, we used to move into a home and then we would wait just until we were ready to sell it, and then we’d make all these changes. What we found is, man, we’re making it great for the next people who are going to stay here. And so what we started to do now is, and at this point we’re in a home that we’ll probably be in for…you know, if you have ability to do so, make those changes right upfront so that you can enjoy those changes while you’re there. You know, adding a fireplace or whatever, and making it nice while you’re there so that you can enjoy it.
Jimmy: Yeah, people forget that, you know, a lot of the stuff you’re going to end up doing, you could have done for your own enjoyment as well as added value. Don’t put in a pool or a hot tub if you want to add value, but certainly make a fireplace nice or redo the kitchen if you’ve always wanted to. You know, add whatever it was that was missing that you always wish was different in the home.
Rob: Yeah, the kitchen. If you know you’re going to redo it before you sell it, why not redo it in the beginning, you know, without using debt and then enjoy that nice kitchen for the time that you’re in the home.
Jimmy: For sure. Good advice.
Rob: One of our observations. Well Jimmy, it’s been fabulous having you on here. So many good thoughts from, you know, the mentor being involved, stripping a person of, you know, the different expectations. Just so many good takeaways that we could use in our lives no matter where we’re at professionally, personally. If someone wanted to find you, you know, connect with you, I know you mentioned that you had this realtor course, if we happened to have a realtor who’s listening to this, how would someone who wants to follow you find you?
Jimmy: Because I’ve made myself really easy to find, on Facebook it’s Jimmy Rex, on Instagram, @mrjimmyrex or you can just Google Jimmy Rex, you’ll see all of my stuff pop up. My podcast is called The Jimmy Rex Show. I have one of those names it’s super easy to remember so I just stayed with that theme. Yeah, reach out to me. Feel free to send me a message on any of those platforms. I get back to everybody. I love hearing from people. You know, the whole reason I do what I do is to get that feedback and see how it’s changing people’s lives. It lights me up. So please do reach out. If you dig into some of my stuff. I have a couple of free eBooks that go with my course. It’s called the 100K Agent Blueprint. But if you just go to, you know, my other stuff you’ll see it all on there and I’m pretty easy to find.
Rob: Just to clarify, it’s J-I-M-M-Y R-E-X, right? Jimmy Rex.
Rob: Okay, perfect. Hey, well, thanks so much Jimmy for being on the show. Any parting thoughts?
Jimmy: No, I appreciate you, man. You know, one of the things that I’ve learned from you is just to always have such a good energy about you. I think people pick up on energies more than anything. It’s what goes in us comes out of us, whether that’s what we’re watching and listening to or if that’s what we’re eating. I really believe that. I’ve opened more doors by simply having a positive energy and a good energy about me and making it a point to show up with the right energy. Also that I’ve learned from you and I think that’s one of the reasons we were attracted, you know, to each other. So I just want to emphasize that and keep doing what you’re doing. It’s awesome.
Rob: Well, thanks buddy, I appreciate that and I feel the same about you. Hey, I want to go back to my invitation at the beginning and that is, you know, Jimmy shared some great thoughts with us. I would ask you to commit to share this podcast with one person who you think would benefit from it. It could be a family member, it could be a team member, it could be a friend, but I’m inviting you to be the catalyst for good in someone’s life. You know, just like Jimmy is doing with Operation Underground Railroad, we all have different ways that we can make an impact and some of those could be as simple as sharing something that might help another. So I’m inviting you to think of one person and share this podcast with that person because always remember that one person in the end can make a difference. So this is Rob Shallenberger here with Jimmy Rex and wishing you a fabulous week.