Episode 120: Strategies for Success in Life & Leadership with Larry Broughton – Transcript

Episode 120: Strategies for Success in Life & Leadership with Larry Broughton

Rennie Gabriel  00:09
Hi folks, welcome to Episode 120 of the Wealth On Any Income podcast. This is where we talk about money tips, techniques, attitudes, information, and provide inspiration around your business and your money. I'm your host Rennie Gabriel. In past episodes, we spoke about how to understand the numbers from your business, how to measure the level of pleasure based on where you spend your money, how to track your money in 5 to 10 seconds, and what determines how close you are to Complete Financial Choice®, and how to run your business without being in your business. Last week, we had Divian Mistry from the United Kingdom, a successful designer who creates unique and effective websites. And today we have as our guest, Larry Broughton. Larry is an award-winning hotel owner and entrepreneur, CEO, Best-Selling Author, keynote speaker, and former US Army Green Beret. As founder and CEO of California-based Broughton Hotels, CBS News has called Larry, the nation's foremost expert on leadership and entrepreneurship. He's the host of the Travel Channel's hit show, Hotel Impossible. That show says he's among the top hospitality experts in the country. His upbeat creative approach to business and life has been featured in newspaper and magazine articles across the country. And he's been a recurring guest expert on news and TV programs on every major television and cable network, including MSNBC, CNN, CNBC, CBS, the Travel Channel. And among Larry's awards are Ernst and Young's Entrepreneur of the Year, the National Veteran-Owned Business Association's Veteran-preneur of the Year, and Passkeys Foundation's National Business Leader of Integrity. And fortunately, we didn't take up the whole time with Larry's bio. Larry, welcome to the Wealth On Any Income Podcast.

Larry Broughton  02:22
Wow, Rennie, it's so good to see you again. Before we go on, though, I need to correct something that maybe you just misspoke there. Maybe you got bad data on that. I was not the host of Hotel Impossible. That would be Anthony Melchiorri, I was on the show several times with him, helping him out with some of these hotels. But Anthony Melchiorri is a great guy in the hospitality industry. And so I just want to make sure that I'm not putting out bad information. 

Rennie Gabriel  02:49
Oh, thank you. I appreciate that. 

Larry Broughton  02:50
That integrity thing.

Rennie Gabriel  02:52
I realized I looked at that wrong, and it says the host of the Travel Channel says you're among the top hospitality experts.

Larry Broughton  03:01
Well, if Anthony says it I'm going to believe it. 

Rennie Gabriel  03:03
Yeah. And knowing the Sportsmen's Lodge you have, the place in Santa Monica, where I've been, I know they're quality places. 

Larry Broughton  03:13
Thank you. Thanks. 

Rennie Gabriel  03:14
You're welcome. So, welcome to the podcast.

Larry Broughton  03:18
It's great to see you like I said. It's been a long time.

Rennie Gabriel  03:21
Yeah, yeah. Oh, yeah. Well, before the pandemic. 

Larry Broughton  03:24
Well before that, yes. 

Rennie Gabriel  03:25
But let's get to it with some questions. Now, It's obvious you're in the hotel business. But why did you pick that?

Larry Broughton  03:33
Well, sometimes they say I don't, you know, you don't pick things they pick you. After spending a bunch of years in the military, I thought I was going to get out of the military, and maybe go work with the State Department. I knew I wanted to go to school. That was really the intention. I wanted to go to college and university at that point. I knew I want to study political science. Maybe I wanted, you know, run for political office one day. I wasn't really sure. I just know I want to do something on the global stage, you know, in that arena. But my first job after getting off of active duty was as a night auditor in a little no-tell-motel in San Francisco in the Tenderloin district.

Rennie Gabriel  04:14
I know what those are, no-tell-motel. Yes.

Larry Broughton  04:16
I don't know how you know that, Rennie, but I'm not even going to ask. 

Rennie Gabriel  04:19
I'm well read. Okay.

Larry Broughton  04:21
Good, good, good, good, good. But it was in the Tenderloin area district in San Francisco. For those who don't know, that's kind of a pretty rough neighborhood, a lot of drug dealing, pimps, prostitution, homelessness. And so my job was really to keep the peace, you know, among those folks. 

Rennie Gabriel  04:39
And you're a tall guy, which would be imposing.

Larry Broughton  04:42
Yeah, I was much larger back then. I'm about six, five ish, I guess. But you know, as much more muscular and a lot younger back then. And so I worked the night audit shift. I went in at 11 o'clock at night, worked until seven in the morning, and tried to keep the peace among the, you know, craziness that was going on there. Then I would go to school during the day. And after being there for a few months, an investment group came in, purchased the property with the intention of turning it around into what back then wasn't even known, but now they consider them boutique hotels. And so that did indeed happen. And with this new ownership group, I became quick friends with the managing member of that because we kind of had similar outlooks on life, although he was a Stanford grad, his father was a Stanford grad, his mother was a Stanford grad, you know, and I came from kind of a working poor family back in rural New York. And ultimately, we end up becoming business partners, and grew that hotel company to about 14 hotels in a 14 year period. I left the organization for about a year, right around when Desert Storm hit, and then came back. And, but I fell in love with the hotel industry. And I worked on a couple - a couple of - several political campaigns during that process and realized, I just do not have thick enough skin to be in the political arena. Because of all the nonsense that goes on there. And it's gotten worse and in so many ways. But what I loved about the hotel industry, Rennie, was that it offered, you know, you put your toe into finance and real estate and marketing and team-building and leadership and customer service, all kinds of things. And so, for my kind of multifaceted levels of interest, it just kept me very intrigued. And so I ended up sticking around. And after being at that organization for about 14 years, I stepped out on my own after realizing . . . The way I describe it is this, I was a primary leader stuck in a secondary leadership role. I was never going to be the CEO of that organization. But I'm built more than executive than an operations person. And so I knew that if I was going to be stepping into my fullest potential, I need to step away from the safety of that full time paycheck and the distributions that came from being an owner in the organization and chart my own path. And so I did that.

Rennie Gabriel  07:10
And like you said, there are things that find you as opposed to you find them.

Larry Broughton  07:16
It's so, it's so right. I remember one of the first PR pieces that was written on me. I may butcher, this. But the author, the journalist who wrote this said that, Larry was in the right place and waited for the right time to come along. Sometimes we have to do that, right. It's patience, right. 

Rennie Gabriel  07:37
Yeah, and to backup, the "who finds who", as you know, I donate 100% of my profits, to various charities from the work I do, training other people. And one of the primary recipients is Shelter to Soldier that trains rescued animals to be service dogs for our veterans who come back with PTSD and traumatic brain injury, so they don't commit suicide. But one of the things I remember the founder told me is, the veteran doesn't pick the dog, the dog picks the veteran it's going to work with.

Larry Broughton  08:15
Yeah, yeah. It's really quite amazing. And I've seen people's lives transformed when they get a service animal. Most of them are... I've use the word service animal, but service dogs, that's the primary thing. And boy, it's life changing. It truly is life changing for a lot of folks. I'm glad that you're doing that work.

Rennie Gabriel  08:33
Thank you. And I know that, you know, a portion of people's, when they check in or when they check out, forget about how, tell me what charity or causes are the most important to you right now. Because I know they alternate.

Larry Broughton  08:48
They do alternate, but there's generally three that we stick to. One is called the Green Beret foundation. For those who don't know, folks that are in the Special Operations community do most of the heavy lifting in the military, when I say heavy lifting, I mean most of the door... kicking in doors and, you know, doing the really difficult work. In this global war on terror they've been really taken the brunt of it. And many of those folks leave families behind and they need to be supported. And so Green Beret Foundation does a lot of good work there. Similarly, in the civilian community, there's an organization called IJM - International Justice Mission that I've supported for years, through doing fundraising and holding dinners and that kind of thing. And these are real-life superheroes that are literally kicking in doors of the slave trade and human trafficking trade. In fact, if you were to go to their their website right now, you won't find their office address, because they're breaking up billion dollar sex trade and slave trade around the world. And so for their own safety, if you want to go meet with them in Washington, DC, you're going to meet at a public place first, there'll be a bonafidies. And they will prove that you are who you say, before you go to the meeting. And it's that serious. And they're doing amazing work there. And the other one that I do regularly is called Kiva. Now, they offer micro . . .

Rennie Gabriel  10:18
Ah, we do that as well.

Larry Broughton  10:19
. . .  loans to entrepreneurs around the world. They started out they're just doing stuff in third world and developing countries. And I'm a big believer, I've traveled to many places across the African continent, helping entrepreneurs start, run, streamline their businesses. And so Kiva does that. I spend most of my dollars there helping women, women entrepreneurs, I can't think of one guy that we've helped, but I've helped hundreds of folks there. I've been with Kiva for a couple of decades anyway. And so I like the work that they do. Now they do offer microloans to US-based entrepreneurs now as well.

Rennie Gabriel  11:00
I didn't know that. Yeah, I just, yeah, we've been doing it for many years, and I knew it focused on third world countries, and primarily women, because they're the backbone of communities. Yeah. 

Larry Broughton  11:12
Of course. Yeah, of course. That's great. I believe that entrepreneurship is the most powerful force in the world, you know, besides spiritual force. But, you know, entrepreneurship has lifted more people out of poverty over the last couple of decades, two decades, than any social program, any government program has ever done, you know, and just the pride that comes with people pulling themselves up out these poverty, you know, levels. It's multigenerational. 

Rennie Gabriel  11:43
Yeah. 

Larry Broughton  11:43
You know, when these women's children see them do this, they say, 'Oh, it can be done'. Right? . . . So I could talk for hours about this, but this is powerful stuff.

Rennie Gabriel  11:53
Exactly. It's the old, you know, give a man a fish or teach him how to fish. 

Larry Broughton  11:58
That's right. Absolutely. Great parallel. 

Rennie Gabriel  12:00
Let's get a little deeper. Tell me what your biggest failure or learning experience was, and what insight did you gain from that?

Larry Broughton  12:08
Wow, Rennie, you want to cut deep? All right. Well, probably, still to this day, probably my biggest, let's say public failure was my divorce. It happened, I think we separated about a dozen years ago, 11 years ago now, if I think about it. So Larry, why would you say public? Well, because I was kind of a public person back then. On the outside, it looked like we had it all going on. No one knows what goes on behind closed doors, in marriages - right? And so, this is just kind of a cautionary tale to a lot of people. I learned this in the kind of recovery field or programs. Don't judge your insides by everyone else's outsides. Okay. It may look like that couple has got it all together. But you don't know what's going on inside them just like they don't know what's going on inside you. You know, that person who's driving that Porsche that, you know, wished that you had, you have no idea. You know, they might be looking for the next concrete embankment that they can drive that thing into. We just don't know - right? So what did I learn from that? Well, so much. Back then, Rennie, I was very, very focused on shielding the real Larry to the world. My fear back then was if people really knew my flaws, they wouldn't love me. Right? If they really knew the wounds that I was carrying around, and that included my bride. If she really knew what was going on, there was no way that she could love me, you know. And so, open communication, I learned there's real power in that. It takes courage, though. It takes real courage to speak the truth. It takes courage to tell the truth, even when it's hard, especially when it's hard. Also I learned, you have to be committed to healing. You have to be committed to healing from from the past, right? Back then I used to focus purely on my business, and I thought that the world would reward me. If they knew that I was busting my butt, growing my empire, making money, then everything was going to be sunshine, lollipops and rainbows. And that my bride would know that I cared for her and I loved her and loved my kids. But her juices weren't being or her whatever bucket. . . . 

Rennie Gabriel  14:33
Her needs weren't being met. Yeah.

Larry Broughton  14:35
Not, not even close. And so what I realized is that life begins beyond the bottom line. And so because of that, I kind of actually developed a tool for my clients and business coaching clients and business and myself, called the Whole Health Spider Graph. What I realized is that there's really kind of eight major spans in our lives and that includes physical, financial, professional, spiritual, friends, relationships -  all those kinds of things. But if I'm focusing on my business 100% of the time - guaranteed those other areas of my life are being neglected. And so the idea with this tool that we have developed is that we want to have whole health in all areas. All right, so that I'm not just excelling in one area but hopefully in most areas of my life. And so I had to learn that, well, here's what I learned - the power in honest communication. And that I'm worthless to my team and to my business, frankly, if my spiritual life, my relational health, aren't all in good order. So it's a very, very painful time. But I'll tell you what, Rennie, thank goodness, I was an entrepreneur when I was going through this. I was able to for the first six months, when I got separated, 40 hours a week I dedicated to getting healthy, getting whole, 40 hours a week. You know, I had our Chief Operating Officer step into our interim CEO role. And then for the six months after that, I spent 20 hours a week, getting healthy. What do you mean by getting healthy: accountability groups, journaling, writing, reading, meeting with therapist, whatever it meant to get healthy. That's what I focused on. And so, one of my mantras is, I'm not who I used to be. You don't transform yourself by focusing on the past and being stuck in the past.

Rennie Gabriel  16:23
No, you're absolutely right. All you need is an awareness of what happened to transform it. Without that awareness there can't be any transformation. And, you know, I talk about being a latchkey kid when I was growing up, which is why I took responsibility for myself. I wouldn't ask for help and all the rest of that stuff. But being aware of that is not the same as being committed to transforming it. 

Larry Broughton  16:53
Ain't that the truth? 

Rennie Gabriel  16:54
Yeah. 

Larry Broughton  16:55
It's a big step beyond - the awareness and actually getting intentional about making the change.

Rennie Gabriel  17:01
Exactly. So yeah, my life transformed in my 40s, and because I became willing to ask for help, and when I did that, my gosh, it just showed up enormously.

Larry Broughton  17:13
It's so interesting you should say that, that you have to be willing to ask for help. It takes guts to ask for help. I know what goes on in our minds. Well, if I ask for help, then I'm going to look weak, you know, or I'm going to be vulnerable. You know, I want to do it on my own. Somehow, we got it in our head, that we believe in this lone wolf myth about success and life and the rugged individualist and all that kind of stuff. But what I realized, Rennie, is that when we ask for help, we're giving other people an opportunity to help and to serve us . . .

Rennie Gabriel  17:46
And feeling good.

Larry Broughton  17:46
By not doing that we're rejecting the joy that comes from helping other people. 

Rennie Gabriel  17:51
Right. 

Larry Broughton  17:51
Yeah. When people say, 'Hey, Rennie, do you need any help?' And you say, 'No -  I got it.' It's like, they're offering you a gift and you're saying, No, I don't want that gift.

Rennie Gabriel  17:59
Yeah, you're absolutely right. And it's the foundation, the last time around when I created, you know, the wealth that I have, I created the expression, wealth creation is a team sport, not a solo sport. 

Larry Broughton  18:15
I like that. 

Rennie Gabriel  18:16
And it applies to business. It applies to relationship. It applies to every area of life. It is a team sport. And yeah, the lone wolf syndrome doesn't help any of us. 

Larry Broughton  18:27
Yeah, that's for sure. 

Rennie Gabriel  18:28
Thank you for emphasizing that. I appreciate it. 

Larry Broughton  18:31
Of course. 

Rennie Gabriel  18:32
When it comes to the hotel business, though, let me ask this. What difficulties did you encounter during the pandemic? And how did you adapt?

Larry Broughton  18:40
Holy mackerel-oly. Well, for those economists out there, or people who watch the business cycles, you probably know that the hospitality industry by all measures, it was the worst hit industry during the pandemic. 

Rennie Gabriel  18:54
That's why I'm asking. 

Larry Broughton  18:55
Yeah, it was crashed during that. But frankly, anyone who owns a business, not all businesses, but many businesses realized that it, boy, at the flip of a switch, the government can shut you down. They may not be targeting you personally, but they have that power, right? And so first of all, I used to think I was so smart, because we used it for all of our businesses, we used to carry, you know, roughly three months, four months, maybe five months of free cash flow to help in case there is a downturn. But who the heck budgets for one year 100% shut down zero cash flow coming in? Nobody budgets for that. 

Rennie Gabriel  19:39
No. 

Larry Broughton  19:39
You know that the average business in the US has, I think it's 23 or 26 days of free cash flow. That's it - right? So is it any wonder, and when you look at the hotel industry, and particularly the restaurant industry in which we own and operate restaurants as well, these are single-digit margin businesses, and so by a lot of estimations over 20% of the restaurants in the in the country will never reopen. 

Rennie Gabriel  20:03
Yeah. 

Larry Broughton  20:04
And some of the major markets, over 20% of the hotels will never reopen. So we were crushed, decimated, frankly, not to the extent that a lot of businesses were where they actually closed their doors during the pandemic, and handed hotels back to the bank, and that kind of thing, although we did on one in particular, but we do have some hotels that have closed the doors, and not reopened. So what have we done? So we've had to reshift, pivot, we're moving into the asset management space rather than the, than just the ownership and offering third party management stuff, or services to the clients. But the major thing, Rennie, is that the humility that comes from this is powerful, and will serve us all into the future - I hope. So our major shift comes from being very intentional about recognizing our gratitude that we have that we're even still alive. Like living, breathing. 

Rennie Gabriel  21:05
Yeah. 

Larry Broughton  21:05
And we all know, particularly the space that you're in, where you're serving people, a lot of folks took their life during this time. They took them at their own hand. A lot of suicides. We know that suicide rates have skyrocketed since the pandemic, right, and not just in the hotel industry. So what have we learned in our hospitality space? Now because I do, I've got other businesses as well. But every morning, we have what we call a morning stand-up. We've been doing this for years, right? So we get the entire the key executives together, and very quickly, we go through, what have you accomplished yesterday, what do hope to accomplish today? Now we've added an extra element onto that now since the pandemic, and that is we start out with saying what are we grateful for? We start with that. What are you grateful for? And it's amazing, like, in the beginning, people would get very emotional. Well, first of all, it was very difficult for some people . . . 

Rennie Gabriel  22:00
Yeah.

Larry Broughton  22:00
. . . to say it, but then they started getting very emotional. I'm grateful for whatever it might be. And there's something about when you start recognizing the universe for the blessings that you have. And that even in our worst times, we probably don't have it as bad as some people in the world. And you always I mean, always have something to be grateful for. 

Rennie Gabriel  22:22
Absolutely. 

Larry Broughton  22:22
Right. So that's the biggest lesson. I would just encourage people to consider this. Just consider for 30 days starting your meetings, go around the room - I'm not talking about client meetings, you can try it, I guess - but internal meetings. What are you grateful for today? And do that for 30 days and see what happens to your attitude. It's a challenge.

Rennie Gabriel  22:44
And it's something my wife and I are very in tune with. 

Larry Broughton  22:49
Yeah? 

Rennie Gabriel  22:49
And when the pandemic hit, because we have apartment buildings, and you know, people didn't have to pay rent. I looked at a couple of things. And one of them was, well, if none of our investments pan out, if none of the tenants pay rent, because of my insecurity, we had two years of free cash flow. And talking about insecure. Yeah, yeah. But you know, what ended up happening? 

Larry Broughton  23:17
What's that? 

Rennie Gabriel  23:18
100% of our tenants paid 100% of their rent, through the entire pandemic. 

Larry Broughton  23:26
Wow. That's a rarity. 

Rennie Gabriel  23:28
But that's because of how I interact with our tenants. 

Larry Broughton  23:31
Yeah. 

Rennie Gabriel  23:32
In the same way that you interact with your employees, and your employees interact with your guests, whether it's restaurants, the hotels, whatever business, because from the top, it filters down to the bottom.

Larry Broughton  23:44
Absolutely. And we forget that sometimes. We forget that. People are always watching. 

Rennie Gabriel  23:51
Yep. 

Larry Broughton  23:51
Always, no matter what you do, people are watching. 

Rennie Gabriel  23:53
The good, the bad, doesn't make any difference.

Larry Broughton  23:55
Does not matter. Does not matter. Yeah. That's good. Congratulations on that. And you're setting a, you're studying a standard, I think, for people on how to live. 

Rennie Gabriel  24:05
Yeah. 

Larry Broughton  24:06
And someone told me a long time, you never know the impact you have on people's lives.

Rennie Gabriel  24:09
That's true. Yeah. As an example, I just thought of this, but every single new tenant gets a copy of my book when they move in on how to handle money powerfully. 

Larry Broughton  24:20
Oh, I love that. 

Rennie Gabriel  24:21
And many of the tenants have left us when they bought their own home. 

Larry Broughton  24:25
That's awesome. Yeah.

Rennie Gabriel  24:28
Now, Larry, I'm sure my listeners will want to know more about staying in contact with you. Is there some free resource or some thing you can provide that will continue to keep people able to be in connection with you?

Larry Broughton  24:44
Well, let me do this. I mean, if people go to thelarrybroughton.com.

Rennie Gabriel  24:49
And I'll put that in the show notes.

Larry Broughton  24:51
There's a recording that I did several years ago. I meant to write a book on this and just didn't so I took basically the synopsis of this book that I wanted to write. It's called, REVEALED! 8 Mission-Tested Strategies for Success in Life & Leadership. And when I put this recording out, it's about an hour recording on these eight different, I guess, strategies, I didn't realize the impact it was going to make in people's lives. We've received countless, and I'm not kidding, countless number of texts, emails, people saying this changed my life. And in many cases, this saved my life. There was a nugget in here that resonated with me that was so powerful I continue to fight on. So let me give that to folks. And they can get that by going to, yoogozi.com/revealed. Okay, yoogozi, okay, that's one of my business sites.

Rennie Gabriel  25:44
Yeah, you going to have to spell that.. 

Larry Broughton  25:45
Y - O - O - G - O - Z - I .com / revealed. So it's, yoogozi.com/revealed. 

Rennie Gabriel  25:59
Great. 

Larry Broughton  25:59
There's a recording and there's an action guide in there. I mean, it's, you know, it's a great recording. So, love for people that have that, hopefully that touches their hearts and beings.

Rennie Gabriel  26:10
Thank you, Larry. And I will make sure that link is in the show notes. 

Larry Broughton  26:14
Great. 

Rennie Gabriel  26:14
All people will have to do is click on it. And I want to thank you for being on the Wealth On Any Income Podcast. 

Larry Broughton  26:22
Of course. My pleasure. Thanks for having me. 

Rennie Gabriel  26:24
You've got it, Larry. And to my listeners, thank you for tuning in. With this broadcast being so close to Christmas and New Years, it will be the last one for 2022. Our next broadcast will be on January 9th, 2023. And our guest will be Iman Aghay, the founder of Success Road Academy, Canada's leader in online marketing and training. You can listen to the Wealth On Any Income Podcast on your favorite platform. And please rate review and subscribe. And if you'd like to know how books, movies and Society programs you to be poor, and what the cure is, then log on to wealthonanyincome.com/TEDx. You'll hear my TEDx talk and can request a free 27-Page Roadmap to Complete Financial Choice®, and receive a weekly email with tips, techniques, or inspiration around your business or your money. And if you'd like to see how you can increase your wealth, and donate to the causes that touch your heart, please check out our affordable program, Wealth with Purpose. Until next week, be prosperous. Bye bye for now.


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