Michael Bruce Rosmer – Richucation Founder & CEO
Discoverer, adventurer, entrepreneur, writer…
I believe more than anything in being the best you are able, continual improvement, and living life to the fullest.
Like you I hate mediocrity!
I grew up in a lower middle class Canadian family watching my Dad struggle running his own business. My parents practiced strong money management, which allowed them to get by but not really ahead. At an early age I listened to some Tony Robbins tapes on a family trip to see my grandparents and was inspired with how he’d changed his life. My goals were simple then like a list of the movies I wanted to own but it stuck with me the belief that we can change our lives.
I dreamed of being rich but was never driven by money. I wanted to be respected. I wanted time to pursue the things I loved but never really cared much about money beyond that. Worse I saw that my Dad couldn’t take a vacation because his clients always needed him and that wasn’t a life for me.
Though I had my first small business in high school and it spoiled me for normal jobs since I made $50/hr. when my friends made $5/hr. and taught me some valuable lessons I lacked social confidence not comfortable reaching out to new people. I could barely talk the one time I had to say a few brief words in front of the school. Marketing and sales were always my struggle and I didn’t want that. So I decided to pursue something I thought would be valuable that would give me freedom of time without having to hunt for business.
For a few years I had a job and pursued my interests on the side. Then something changed.
I went on a family vacation to Europe where I spent 2 months and fell in love. I had visited my grandmother each winter and spent a month or two with her shoveling the snow, getting the mail for her, taking her to the mall, etc. for a few years but otherwise hadn’t had any real vacations only time off. I loved it! I loved seeing the world experiencing different cultures and activities, food, concerts, theater, architecture, history…I wanted more.
I came home and wrote a list of 30 different trips I wanted to take in my life…more experiences really like staying in the best hotel in New York for a week in the best suite eating the best food and seeing the best shows or riding ponies across Mongolia or racing camels between the pyramids.
I went on one of these trips but the list didn’t shrink by one it grew by five. I did the math. I realized it was impossible working a normal job to have enough time off or make enough money to afford them all especially while I was young so I needed to do something different and business seemed like the only course.
I had to figure out what kind of business to start and didn’t have much of a clue. At first I thought maybe some kind of travel adventure company where I could create for others the trips I wanted to experience myself. Then I was approached by a friend with a sales background who suggested starting a recruiting company. I didn’t much like what he suggested but when I thought of all the businesses we could grow into that we could go from simply moving people from one place to another to ruling the world I became excited. Suffice to say we never did rule the world.
I thought at the time that in the long run I’d be more valuable to the company than he would but I was ok with that because in the short run he had the sales skills needed that terrified me. But then something happened. He had to drop out due to some family issues and I had to make the decision whether to go it alone.
I still remember driving to a course thinking to myself “am I going to do this alone?” As I said the word “alone” I experienced a tightness in my chest. It was a scary thought but I decided to do it.
Learning to Walk
I was so completely green I actually thought we’d invented the recruiting industry at the time. I kept saying “this is such a good idea someone must have thought of it” but I didn’t know it was called recruiting at the time. I had zero experience in the field and was afraid to tell people that.
When someone would ask “do you have a background in HR” I wouldn’t want to say “no” for fear of being judged so instead I’d tell them a story that implied an exaggeration. When I’d had my business in high school one of my clients was an employment agency and they asked me to come in and watch the store front for a day as manager while the actual manager was out of town. So when someone asked about my background I’d say “I briefly managed an employment office” not mentioning that briefly meant a day!
I was now faced with what to do and little knowledge except that it couldn’t be that hard right? You just talk to people. I probably benefited from my ignorance.
When I’d had my first company in high school I’d noticed having your own company gave you a lot of skills so I thought to myself “even if I fail at this no one can take away from me the things that I learn and skills I develop”. So I wrote down a list of all the skills I wanted to develop: marketing, sales, leadership, management, business finance, recruiting, etc. Then I set out to learn buying all kinds of books that sit in my library to this day.
I also took several courses and got involved in personal development some of which did a lot to help improve my confidence and I’m eternally grateful it powerfully changed my life and reinforced my belief in our power to create ourselves into who we want to be.
I knew I needed to get clients but had no idea how so I got involved in networking groups and not knowing anything else decided to try cold calling. I cannot describe how painful the experience was. Filled with uncertainty I read a couple books on the subject, wrote up a script and made a list of businesses to call then started dialing. I was beyond horrible. I could barely speak when I got on the line and faced immediate rejection even though I had a zero risk offer.
I remember falling back onto my bed almost in tears and calling my grandmother for support. I’d ask people “do you know what the best part of cold calling is? When you hang up at the end!”
There are too many lessons to relate here, hence the purpose of Richucation in general but I did make progress and met some great people. In the process I became fascinated by this question. I’ve always been interested in the best, in extremes. As a kid I wanted to know who was the strongest man, the fastest runner, the tallest mountain, etc. Guinness Book of World Records was probably my friend reference book and I’d spend hours looking things up in it.
I noticed something in business. I’d meet lots of different people with very different results. Three people each in the same city, each with 10 years in business. The first made less than $100k/yr. with no employees. The second made $600k/yr. with 30 employees. The third made millions per year with over 200 employees in 5 countries. What was the difference between them? How do I replicate the success of the third? I don’t want this to take my whole life business is a vehicle not the objective itself. So I studied.
Over the next few years I started, ran, bought, and helped grow numerous companies in all different industries. I participated in plenty of business education even having a seminar company that brought in business experts from all over the world. I’d construct models to help me understand how business works and how to evaluate and grow the company. Looking for this method of growing big fast.
There were a lot of successes but more importantly a lot of lessons and I tried to learn a lot from others and based on what others had done rather than having to do it all and try it all myself. When I was 28 I first succeeded in buying back my time and having passive income where I’d make a solid amount of money based on just an hour or two of work per week. And I learned in the process that for me it wasn’t all about freedom, it was about doing meaningful work.
I’ve always loved learning, I credit it in large part to my grandmother who was a teacher and my Dad who’d always listen to tapes of speakers in the car. This became my fascination. Working to understand how business and eventually finance and wealth building work and then taking incredible joy sharing it with others.
Years later my goals are so different today. I’ve traveled all over the world and experienced many of the fantastic things I dreamed of and they are enjoyable but they no longer hold the same meaning to me that they once did. Today I’m inspired to share what I’ve learned to help others shortcut their success through a deep understanding not just of what works but how it works so it can be applied anywhere.
I’ve seen so many cases where people feel trapped in an existence they wouldn’t choose if they were dreaming as a child. They want to change it but they don’t know how. For some the other of making money without working is foreign. Others don’t understand how to predictably get and grow customers. They are stuck and I know they don’t need to be.
We all have different dreams. For me I value artistic creation and together with my brothers write books and eventually plan on turning them into movies and games to give people the same experiences I have when I read something I love. For others it might be a cause or an adventure or both or something else altogether. But we need to fuel these dreams and for most of us that means having money at the very least our society needs us to grow and provide more value and the fuel behind all of that is this understanding of how to create entrepreneurial or wealth success. We have a world where the middle class is eroding and they don’t know why and it will increasingly hurt us. But there’s a better way and I can’t imagine anything more valuable than sharing it.