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39
Published on
June 7, 2020

039 | Bootstrapping Your Success with Jon Ham, Serial Entrepreneur and Fitness Trainer

Summary

Jon Ham is a bootstrapped and extremely experienced serial entrepreneur. Jon has a demonstrated track record of building businesses from scratch with those businesses primarily focusing on the health, wellness, and fitness industries. He has been able to tie his service components in product sales and branding on leading e-commerce platforms like Amazon and even Airbnb.

Highlights

  • How Jon Ham started his fitness business and selling them on Amazon
  • Jon talks about starting and managing his Airbnb business
  • Jon discusses why he created his own brand away from Amazon. 
  • The importance of delayed gratification and continued learning in business

Mentioned Resources

Episode Sponsors

This episode is sponsored by Juhll. They are a full service digital marketing consultancy that has over 20 years of experience helping your business grow sales online. They've helped most of their clients grow more than 50% year over year by helping them meet their digital marketing goals.

Juhll Digital Agency works with companies who are doing $50 million in top line revenue that have a marketing budget of $2 million. They build your company from the ground up and they also help you in creating a strategy that will work best for your team.

You can email Chris Snyder, President of Juhll Digital Agency, at chris@juhll.com, or contact their team today and find out which of their services will work best for your success story.

Tweetable Quotes

Jon Ham

Jon Ham is a bootstrapped and extremely experienced serial entrepreneur. Jon has a demonstrated track record of building businesses from scratch with those businesses primarily focusing on the health, wellness, and fitness industries.

Episode Transcript

Intro 0:06

Welcome to Snyder's Marketing Showdown, an original Juhll Agency production. In this show, you'll discover which elite business executives hold the strongest hand in business marketing and operations. Listen to Epic no holds barred showdowns debating the latest groundbreaking strategies this side of the internet WARNING. This show ain't for rookies. So check your ego at the door with your host president of Juhll Agency and founder operator investor in Banks.com Chris Snyder.

Chris Snyder 0:43

Hello everyone. Chris Snyder here host is Snyder showdown president at Juhll.com and founder of banks.com. On the show, I talk with top leaders, entrepreneurs, and subject matter experts about what's working and what's not with their growth programs. This episode is brought to you by Juhll. Juhll is a full-service digital consultancy and we focus on helping executives solve their toughest digital growth problems while working as an extension of the executive team. We generally focus on three things we quickly identify the biggest problems impeding growth. We have 25 years of experience, seen a lot of patterns. So we're well equipped to do this. We propose solutions that give the best opportunity for success. And then finally, the works got to get done. So we bring a private marketplace of vetted world-class talent to execute the plan. Of course, we manage this entire process. If you want to learn more go to Juhll.com that's juhll.com or you can email me directly. Chris@juhll.com that's C H R I S @Juhll.com. Joining me today I have Jon Ham. Jon is a bootstrapped and extremely experienced serial entrepreneur. Jon has a demonstrated track record of building businesses from scratch, those businesses are primarily focused on the health, wellness, and fitness industries. Ultimately, Jon has been able to tie his service components in product sales and branding on leading e-commerce platforms like Amazon, and even Airbnb. I'm super excited to have you here today. Welcome, Jon.

Jon Ham 2:22

Thank you, Chris. It's amazing to be here. Thank you.   

Chris Snyder 2:27

Great to have you. So, I think you and I go back to about 2008 working together in some cases, but in most cases being on the ocean on paddleboards. during the financial crisis, yes. during the financial crisis, I think I was gainfully unemployed and I spent about six or seven hours a day in Malibu paddling a paddleboard? Yep. And I think that's where we met. I think you had some clients out there. But it's, it's been a long time. And you know, we do catch up quarterly, but it's great to have you on the show? And I'd like for the audience to learn a little bit more about you because you have a lot to offer. So why don't you give us a rundown of what you've been up to?

Jon Ham 3:09

Well, you know, where we find ourselves in history right now. I think my, my story is very unconventional and relevant to what's going on right now. Because basically, I started from nothing. And now I have three businesses that I run along with other great other passions and things that are a lot of fun to be doing. So hopefully this journey of mine, I can share, it gives people hope to go out and make something happen and keep their eyes open for opportunity - to see how they can fit in and, and learn new skills that might lead to new businesses. So I guess to begin, I grew up in the valley in Northridge, California. I grew up doing gymnastics my mom did to me are six and I got pretty good at it. And when I was 16, I fell off the high bar and broke my neck. And lucky to be walking like you'd be alive. turn that into three months of, you know, rehab neck braces after that. And a year later, I actually went back to gymnastics and got a scholarship to compete for the University of Illinois where I competed for four years. I met my wife there, I graduated in food science and human nutrition. And I wanted to become a personal trainer. So from Illinois, I moved back to California, my wife and I, and we started our own little business where we go to people's homes and get them in shape. So that's where I met you. I was in between appointments, paddle surfing in Malibu, and developed a great clientele all throughout Southern California and In between appointments, I actually would listen to books in the car. And I learned real quick that when you're selling time for money and you're out of time, you have a big problem. So I immediately was literally overwhelmed with too many appointments and not enough time. So you raise prices and you get people more geographically closer to optimize your time. But still, I'm a personal trainer, and there's only so much people are gonna pay for that hour of working out. I don't care how rich they are. There's only so much value you're able to provide. So you're kind of capped at your income, right, so this was 2008- 2009. Sorry, maybe a little bit before that. The booksellers led me to start building websites and tinkering around with internet stuff. I put up a few videos on YouTube. Next thing you know YouTube gives me an email says hey, we want you to apply for this program. They were running this YouTube NextUp program. And they applied. I got it. 660 other traders in the world got this scholarship from YouTube and they put us through boot camp, how to create better videos, how to do lighting, how to do SEO for videos. And I took this little YouTube channel to about 20 to 25,000 subscribers. And then there was an email complication with my AdSense account and they blackballed my Adsense account.

Chris Snyder 6:41

Oh, you learned the hard way.

Jon Ham 6:44

Yeah. So there was five years of work there that went down the tube.

Chris Snyder 6:48

Wait a second, wait a second. So let's, let's unpack that a little bit. So you're a personal trainer, you're listening to a lot of things that basically would suggest that if you trade time for money, it's just not gonna work because you're eventually going to run out of time. And your time is more valuable than anything. Right? There's no, there's no real asset value in service-based businesses. Trust me, I run one on one and operate one. And if you want to make more money, you have to work more. You literally have to work more or less. Right.

Jon Ham 7:19

And I did that.

Chris Snyder 7:21

Yeah, so got all those quick. So you had this brilliant idea, which was a brilliant idea. Hey, let me start using YouTube as a way to effectively promote my content and material and YouTube liked it so much that they were like, hey, join this program.

Jon Ham 7:42

Right?

Chris Snyder 7:42

Spend all your time learning about YouTube and put all your content on our channel. And then what? What was the deal with the email like what happened there? That's so bizarre.

Jon Ham 7:55

I petitioned like five times to get this reversed. But basically what happened was I had a spam email that I use for all these, like never-ending emails from YouTube and everyone, right? Like, you get a comment, you got a like, so I just went put it all into the spam email account. I never checked it. Well, I got picked up by this is getting into the weeds are a YouTube network that put me under their wing. And then all of a sudden, I never got those emails anymore. They got all the checks, and then they would pay me. Oh, that network went under, and they therefore got rid of me. And when I went back to my spam email address that I haven't checked for three years. They said we don't know who you are. 

Chris Snyder 8:45

And you're like, Dude, look at the videos. What do you think? I am? So was that your first real kind of entrepreneurial, bootstrap, scrappy, let me figure out this YouTube thing? Was your first four weigh-in, you know, foray into trying to figure this internet stuff out?

Jon Ham 9:05

I have one other failed partnership that I just don't want to talk about. But right before that...

Chris Snyder 9:12

I know it's painful, it's painful, it hurts so so you spend a lot of time doing all this stuff in the cash flow business is still really you know, personal training with pay my bills, really high-end clients, though. I know some of your clients are really high-end CEOs of very large companies and people that are are you're definitely which has been awesome.

Jon Ham 9:35

I don't want to minimize that. Like I learned more from my clients than then they get value out of me, believe me. Yeah, I went through the financial crisis with big CEOs - train them to three days a week while they were trying to save their companies - and I helped them hold it together physically, emotionally. They were able to blow some steam off a few days a week. It helped them a lot.

Chris Snyder 10:01

Yeah, in the process, you probably got to ask them some questions that, you know, regular people would not be able to ask them. What would you say? I'm going to put you on the spot here a little bit. If you had to think back to all those conversations with a couple of those clients, if you had to wrap it all up and give us a couple of words of advice about what those people would have said to you, you know, emotionally dealing with people saving money, cutting people to early cutting people to lay, like, what all of it really amounts to, if you could summarize it?

Jon Ham 10:38

These things are going to happen. They're always going to happen. Always plan for a rainy day and live below your means and be ready for catastrophe because it happens.

Chris Snyder 10:51

Yeah.

Jon Ham 10:52

They're all somewhat expecting it. Like they all were. They all knew that something was gonna go down. So you know these risks. They, they expected it and they came out ahead for it. 

Chris Snyder 11:06

Yeah, no, it's gonna happen now. It's interesting as you look at our, at the macro environment, you know, companies that have, you know, 500 employees as an example. And I don't really want to get into the politics of it. But what I will say is if you run a company that has 300 400 500 employees, you should have enough sophistication and where with all with your finance team and your strategic planners and the people that you surround yourself by, to have a little bit more resilience than only like a couple of months worth of cash in your bank account. That's just my opinion. I mean, I run a relatively small business, a couple of relatively small businesses, relatively speaking, we're talking in the millions of dollars, not the time. 10s to hundreds of billions of dollars we don't have access to the same kinds of resources guys like you and I other entrepreneurs out there we don't have this kind of access in so I guess really it always is like the top you know 1% or however many the points go are going to really be responsible and take care of their businesses the way they're supposed to.

Jon Ham 12:24

I saw a lot of them unload stuff right away they just right away knew it was coming and they unloaded rental properties before it got really, really bad. And they want to, in particular, I'm thinking about just sold everything you could including his personal home. Wow. And he had to start over with and but he put all his money into his business to keep it going.

Chris Snyder 12:49

Wow. Yeah, that's bold. is this so? Um, do you still do the kind of trading time for money thing and stay close to Some of these executives, how does that work?

Jon Ham 13:01

I do, I keep in touch with all of them. And I still train quite a few of them. I don't pay as much as I used to. I got other stuff going on, but I actually still try to pay all my bills from that business.

Chris Snyder 13:15

That's interesting. So you cash flow and then anything extra goes into probably investing into these other manufacturers, which we're going to discuss.

Jon Ham 13:24

That's right. What we've always kept our expenses really low, as you know. Scaled up. And, and to me, there is no better joy than investing in new businesses and trying to create something really awesome. So that's, that's what brings me joy. So driving a different car or whatever, ain't gonna do anything for me. Ya know, it's interesting.

Chris Snyder 13:51

There's people that play status games, I listen to a lot of podcasts myself, and you never win. You never win playing a status game. And I think you'll find that the people that are playing status games if they have the bigger house, they have the better car. You know, if you're a kid, you got to have the best mountain bike if you're a surfer, you got to have the best surfboard. Like, it's never about any of that really well, it's never been about that for me. And I know it hasn't been about that for you. But I think the people that play those status games, I think they've got some underlying issues in their life that probably you're not going to be resolved by buying more stuff.

Jon Ham 14:31

That's right.

Chris Snyder 14:32

Right. Yeah. So so let's move along to let's move away from the YouTube pain. Um, yeah, you still, I'm sure you still do a lot on that platform. We buy a lot of media from Google, Facebook, you know, YouTube, you know, the list goes on Amazon. So what was your next for way, you know, foray into entrepreneurialism after the YouTube thing kind of imploded.

Jon Ham 15:00

Yeah, YouTube imploded. And at the same time, I was talking to one of my buddies who homeschools his kids, and he's part of a network of homeschool kids. And he was teaching a class about entrepreneurial, an entrepreneurial class for the 12-year-olds, and he was listening to a podcast about Amazon FBA. So he took these 12-year-olds instead, okay, each one of you is going to start an Amazon FBA account. And we're going to go to Target and Home Depot. And we're going to buy clearance items 60% off, you're going to send it into FBA fulfilled by Amazon. And when you sell it for retail, you get to capture the difference there and margin. And at the end of the semester, all these kids are buying new iPods. And my little 12-year-olds were rich, and I'm like, dude, they're making more money on Amazon than I ever made on YouTube. Like in five years. Give me a break. So, that spurred my interest. And I immediately had to learn everything I could about it. So I went to all my clients and said, Hey, do you have any extra books? They said books. Yeah, I'm like, I want all your books. Just give me your books. I said, Okay, yeah. So I took all their books and learned how to sell on Amazon with their books. I basically had free inventory to sell. So that was my beginning on Amazon FBA. And then I went and contacted all my fitness equipment contacts that I've been promoting on YouTube, and said, Hey, can I sell your stuff on Amazon? And I learned this platform really well. And five months later, I had sold $200,000 of product. Just and then I got cut off. That's a whole nother story. 

Chris Snyder 16:53

So what year was this? What year was this for you early on Amazon or what are we talking? What was that - seven years ago? 2013 Oh my God, that's super early.

Jon Ham 17:05

Yeah.

Chris Snyder 17:07

Yeah. So the clients - so you basically arbitrage your ability to move quickly, you know, learn more recognize the trend. And then just went out and hustled and said, hey, look, give me all your books. Hey, do you have a store on Amazon? No, what the hell is that? Okay, give me your products. I'll hook it up for you. And then how was what was the compensation model for you, as an affiliate, I guess is what no ship would have been actually?

Jon Ham 17:48

I'm not an affiliate. I'm actually a distributor. So I Buy Wholesale and sell retail. So technically, I have a resale license. I set up a whole deal here. And I actually went to other clients of mine who had businesses end up doing Amazon consulting for them is going into a very big operation and it's just my wife and I. But we, you know, I'd be driving down the street, and I'll stop at a local business and ask them "Do you sell online?" And next thing, you know, I pick up a new brand to sell. The bigger brands are tough because they end up stealing the business for themselves. They end up starting their own store. They want to capture that margin for themselves. Yeah, that I still work with them on occasion, and help them do better in series.

Chris Snyder 18:27

So how much life does this have left? Because when you're early on this stuff, people start to get hip to the fact that it's possible and they start feeling and I know how you feel about well, it is do this ourselves, we'll cut Jon out, right? Or we don't need these guys anymore, because people are hip enough to it. And the platform has come along far enough that it's easier than it used to be. And Jon's expertise is not as valuable as it used to be because everybody's doing it now. So how much life does this have you kind of knocking on doors and saying Hey, do you want me to put this stuff online? You know, maybe 10 people would have said yes. And what is it now?

Jon Ham 19:10

Well, the people I'm working with mostly are people I have relationships with. Yep. So that's keeping me in the game with them. And I provide value in other ways, not just on Amazon. But the other people that don't have large businesses, there's always going to be a ton of them out there. I found one of my best sellers right now is a car care brand for car wash, soaps, leather conditioner, tire dressing, and I was just driving down the street in Oxford, and I saw this little wholesale outlet where there's literally an 18-year-old dude, and his wife and their son had been mixing up stuff for local detailers for like 20 years. And they don't sell online or they didn't sell online until I helped them bring it to Amazon. And now it's blown up there. Business has been huge for them. It's really helped them get a name in the industry. And now they sell drums, drums or containers. I'm selling little gallons on Amazon. They're selling drums to Ohio drums to all over the country to does this directly attributed to your effort to platform then and pull them into the 21st century.

Chris Snyder 20:16

Do you feel like that's the case?

Jon Ham 20:25

Yeah, it is. I run ads, I do CPC on Amazon, and I bid against their competitors and you know, they're not too technically savvy. So it's my job to go through each listing and do the best I can with SEO and images. And you know, I haven't gotten to all their products yet, believe it or not. Like, they have so much stuff that I just haven't had time to go through all of it. 

Chris Snyder 20:51

But with this company, would this company be around - do you think if you had not put them on Amazon when you did?

Jon Ham 20:58

I think they would because, you know, they sell to all their local detailers that go to all the homes, the personal trainers of the car detailing business they, you know, yeah. So I think they still be around. But what I've been doing is instead of them selling one gallon at a time, I'll buy three pallets of four or five pallets of product at a time. And the great thing is, I don't have to touch it. So for me, it works. It's a win-win. I email them an order. A week later, it's shipped off to Amazon, I'll touch it. Amazon picks packs and ships it and I get paid when it sells

Chris Snyder 21:36

Yeah. And that's FBA stands for fulfilled by Amazon. Right. So we probably are, I suspect, we'll see close to 30 million people unemployed, but I mean, basically what you're saying is like, Okay, take a class, get off your ass, walk around to a few people who you think are not sophisticated enough to do what you've talked about doing? Go pay your dues and go build your own business - does that sound like what you're saying?

Jon Ham 22:05

That's exactly what I'm saying. That's exactly what I did. You know what I have a great anecdote that one of my most valuable clients told me during right before the financial crisis, actually, I was trying to put together this idea about selling some supplements to my clients. And I asked him what he thought and he said, Well, you know what, why don't you do it? You say you might only make a couple hundred dollars a year doing it. I said, Yeah, is it really worth my time? He says, so what you dumb shit. You might learn something.

Chris Snyder 22:38

Yeah. Oh, interesting.

Jon Ham 22:40

So what you dumb shit you might learn something by doing and that has been so true. When you dive into something and you put yourself into it and you get fully invested into something. Before long, you're an expert if people are asking you questions about it because they haven't done it and I find myself there. Amazon, with Airbnb, with Homeaway. You know, all these different platforms that I've learned. YouTube. Even now, learning Shopify and all this other stuff that I'm doing right now,

you might learn something.

Chris Snyder 23:15

Yeah. So so let's move along to it feels like you're getting bigger and bigger and bigger. And I want to get to the big one right now, which is required a very serious investment, some attention to detail, and all the little steps that you took to get here. Let's talk about your Airbnb business. Let's talk about that.

Jon Ham 23:38

Well, to remind you I, at this point, is 2016 2014. I'll tell you a story. One of my clients said, Hey, we have a home in Palm Springs. Why don't you go stay there for the weekend? And I'm like, Okay, great. So we took the family out there and stayed at this woman's house for the weekend. And I'm like, you know, there's product pages or video pay a page or a video has to be optimized. An Amazon product page has to be optimized. I wonder if like an Airbnb or a Homeaway page needs to be optimized. Is there a way to manipulate search with better practices on a property and play real estate that way? So for the next couple of years, my wife and I were kicking it around, we looked at houses in Palm Springs, looked at the regulations in Palm Springs, and they weren't very favorable for landowners and doing short term rentals in particular. So my brother lives in Phoenix, and he said, Come out for my 40th birthday. So my wife and kids and I, we rented a house on Homeaway and became clients and learned about it ourselves, did the whole process as customers, and learned a lot. We wrote notes down about what we liked what we didn't like and how we could do it better. And we formulated a game plan. I got my brother's realtor. We looked at 50 houses and we did a buying one. We named it the turquoise house, turquoise house Scottsdale. A play on the desert rock as well as the color theme for the whole house. So all the furniture has a theme of teal turquoise colors. Everything is sort of cohesive with a brand. I made a logo for turquoise house Scottsdale. And we've made our own brand of vacation rental experience in Scottsdale, Arizona. After doing this for a year, the house directly behind our house went for sale. My realtor actually was driving by and saw a dumpster and they were flipping it. So she went and called the gun holder contractor and said I've got buyer for you, the people behind this house wanted and then she told me I should buy it after the fact. And we didn't have the cash at the time but good thing we had Amazon revenue coming in. We got a loan and we figured it out. So we now have two homes that are back to back. We get large families that rent both houses at the same time for family reunions, girls trips, golf outings, all sorts of stuff, but again that's branded A Turquoise House we have it set up those north and south. So there's a north house in the south house. But it's been a lot of fun. We have now 170-something five-star reviews on Airbnb. We have a perfect score pretty much is what I'm saying. We're a super host and we have both houses in Airbnb Plus program. And the Plus Program is a set of houses that have been or just houses but condos or casinos or other rooms in a house that are rented out that have been inspected and verified by Airbnb. In all of Phoenix and Scottsdale, there's about 150 of these plus houses or properties and we have two of them so Wow, you're looking for like different filters because we had the great reviews were coming up very high in search.

Chris Snyder 27:32

So these buying houses I mean, look, we both live in LA I think the medium home price in LA is gotta be four or 500 grand depending where you live, it's minimum a million. Other places further east are probably two or 300 grand so there's a varying range. But making an investment in a home no matter where it is. These houses got to be a couple hundred grand apiece, right?

Jon Ham 28:00

Yeah, more than that. They were. And they've gone up a lot since we did this. But we bought our first one for 430,000 in our sizes for 450,000.

Chris Snyder 28:11

So you've got, you know, you've got, you know, three-quarters of a million dollar in properties, not you know, $800,000. 

Jon Ham 28:22

Plus, we redid the backyards at both houses to make it an experience that's consistent with each house. So we put in patios and putting greens and like the places are gorgeous, right? We had to put in like automated pool equipment so that I can manage from my phone, a pool here in the wintertime. We put in ring cameras in the front yards to buy people's identities. You know, there's and then all the furniture we had to put in so each box is a million bucks. 

Chris Snyder 28:54

Yeah, yeah, but the interesting part about spending a million bucks on property versus spending a million bucks on a problem - If that might not work, if the property doesn't work, you can sell the property. Hopefully they carry their value. And if you do a good job with research, you probably know that they're going to, you're at least going to break even once you get the tax deduction. And then with Airbnb specifically, so there's no way without Airbnb or Homeaway, you would have been able to pull this off. No way. No way. You'd have to hire a property manager. They would have been trying to hustle to get you renters.

Jon Ham 29:30

No, we actually started with a property manager and he lasted about eight months. Yeah, every time we went there to visit, we just found things were dirty. And you know, I just said, you know what I need to take over control of this experience for the guests. handle all communications manage a set of cleaners. So I have a crew that comes in, they're fantastic to work with. They are they make the places spotless every time we've been back. I was just back last week, the places look amazing. Just like when I left it the last time I was there, that's great clean, and they know what they're supposed to do. They had their responsibilities of what I expect. 

Chris Snyder 30:11

So, are you even on these investments? Or are you still? Are you under even making money? What's the deal?

Jon Ham 30:20

So there's money in real estate and rental properties. A good rule of thumb is you want to get 1% rent to value. So if you put $100,000 into a home, you want to be able to rent that thing for 10 grand a year, right? So or something close to that, you know, 1% rent to value. My theory was that in with doing short term rentals and in Scottsdale in particular, you could buy a home for pretty inexpensive relative to LA, right. So you put 400 500,000 into a home. I think I could get, you know, 550 grand a year out of that thing. Yep. And that's proven to be the case. We have been last year we collected About 130,000 between two houses. March is always our biggest, busiest month. We did like 22,000 I think in March last year. So yeah, the springtime has been always a very, very busy time. Summertime we eat it. We take a loss usually or, or try to run close to breakeven.

Chris Snyder 31:22

Because it's 140 degrees in that godforsaken state during those months.

Jon Ham 31:27

We love it though.

Chris Snyder 31:30

I'm being sarcastic, but I've been to Arizona when it's literally like 120 degrees. Like and that's not even a joke. 

Jon Ham 31:36

Yeah. Oh, it's crazy. We got the solar panels on the roof, their cache blast. And you swim in the pool. You drink a Coors Light. You know, you have light beer in the pool as long as the water is great. 

Chris Snyder 31:49

So how has the global shutdown impacted your business? Because I would think Airbnb I mean, I've been reading about them in the news. They're having major lay-offs, there's just a lot of trouble over there. They did secure some financing. But what how is this impacted your business?

Jon Ham 32:11

So as soon as the WHO announced that this is a global pandemic, Airbnb took the stance, love it or hate it, that we're going to be on the side of the guest, not the house owner, not the property manager, we're gonna get behind the guest. And I actually agree with that decision that they made. I think it was a really tough decision to make. But I've taken that stance always - whether it's an Amazon return or a guest that has a problem. I've always taken that. We've had problems - one time that air conditioning broke, and so I do whatever I can for my guests. That's part of the name of the game right? Nothing's gonna go perfect, like all the time, but It's how you handle it. That's most important, you know. And I always told my guests I will be behind you, you need a refund for the night. I gotcha. And they, they love that they get so many repeat guests because they know I have their back. So if people wanted to cancel, I said, no problem. I'll give you a 100% refund there. That's Airbnb's new policy. And I agree with that. So I just want you to come back next year when this thing all blows over. Just like with Amazon, and others other things that we have going on, we've never taken a paycheck from these businesses like we don't need to pay ourselves we have our personal training business that we live off of. And so our balance sheet is very strong with these properties and we can take a hit for a while here. If it's a year or two Then it might be a problem, but I don't think that's gonna be the case. I think, yeah, come fall. We're going to have a very busy calendar with our properties.

Chris Snyder 34:10

Yeah, so your bookings might be down by 50%. But that just means you break even. Right.

Jon Ham 34:17

So to that point, actually, so April in May, basically got completely decimated, yep, gone. People that have been booked for eight months, we had a fantastic April scheduled and repeat guests that were paying five $600 a night canceled and it was like, first panic, right? But then I just got scrappy and slashed all my prices. And because we have these great reviews, it's hitting the filters. People that want to bring a dog for three weeks all of a sudden start booking at this inexpensive rate. We've been able to fill the calendar - all of April and half into May. Yeah, at lower rates, but I don't care. I just want people in there.

Chris Snyder 35:11

Yeah, you just gotta you know, this is what I've been telling everybody. Now's the time to hold the line right now is not the time to talk about growth. Think about growth, think about profit, now's the time to hold the line. Take care of what you have, take care of the customers you have, get what you can, and just lose less if that's possible. If that's possible. Even though you're probably going to be down a little bit. It sounds like you'll still be even at the end of the year, though, is what it sounds like to me.

Jon Ham 35:46

I think so. Each year we've had to make further investments into each house. I just replaced the roof on the house last week. I was out there because yeah, we had multiple roof leaks in one spot in the garage and finally the guy's like "look dude, we put band-aids on this thing three times now ain't gonna last another monsoon season so you need to replace the whole roof." So it's good that we got that done. We'll be ready for this summer and fall. 

Chris Snyder 36:16

All right, well look I'm gonna give a plug right now we've never done this on the show because we haven't had anybody that has an Airbnb on the show or maybe they just haven't been smart enough to promote their business in such a way that felt comfortable but it's Turquoise Houses. turquoisehousescottsdale.com and I will put this in the show notes. All right, go to Airbnb. I'm sure you can find Turquoise Houses.

Jon Ham 36:42

You can spy on our Instagram as well - it has all the links on there. So @turquoisehouseScottsdale is our Instagram handle. You can check them out there. That's awesome. Well, we will definitely put this in the show notes and this is obviously super important to take care of everyone during this time. So if you're going somewhere, head on over there. Okay. I love beer. And one more thing, one more thing about the houses, I just gotta say. It's been, like, the most probably personally rewarding thing as a family to do. My wife did all the interior design, all the buying for the houses. We go there we set it up as a family. There's a lot of work to do when you do that. The first house took us six weeks to set up and get ready. So I think those three trips driving back and forth from LA is a major time commitment. The second house we're able to do in less than two weeks because we had our list of things that needed to be done. And we got it done. But we did it as a family with my two little daughters. They can't wait to go back to Arizona in another month to go swimming in the hot water. I mean, it's good. The pools are 92 and they love it right oh my God taught them to swim like it's been awesome. So much. Yeah.

Chris Snyder 38:00

So it's not the 58-degree ocean water here, which is a little chilly for the kiddos. But there's another thing on our list that we got to talk about. And you and I haven't talked about it that much, but I do want to talk about it because I'm madly in love with beer. And I think you are too so I did a little beer brewing back in the day A long time ago. Pre 2005 So, so probably 2000 to 2004 ish I learned and brewed my own beer. But let's talk about your experience with the Tarantula Hill Brewery.

Jon Ham 38:42

Okay, here we go. Yeah, so when I moved to this house I'm at right now in 2008 during the financial crisis. We have a bunch of neighbors that are on the same street as ours, basically that we get together and watch fights, you know, on Saturday Night Watch UFC and one of the guys started brewing beer. Next thing you know, like these two dudes are brewing beer and those two dudes are brewing beer and I have a buddy down the street that I'm brewing beer with. And then Saturday night comes along and we try each other's beer. And it was a blast. Spent six hours on a weekend, cleaning, cooking, making beer, transferring carboys, the whole thing. We have yeast exposures on our ceilings in the bathroom still. Yep, all that stuff has been a blast. And we did that for a good probably four years or so regularly. Until one of the guys said, you know, there's a lot of great beer out there. We can just buy now. It doesn't take so much time. And so we started buying great beer. And that guy started a little bottle shop in Newbury Park here called Bottle & Pint. And he was then collecting all the great beers and porno For the local community, blah, blah, blah. Well, fast forward to about two years ago, two and a half years ago, the city of Thousand Oaks has never had a brewery, they it's always been against their city ordinance to brew beer. So there's no breweries around here at all. And they came to my buddy and said, Hey, do you want to start a brewery? We know a landlord that wants to put it there. And he came to me and said, Hey, you got rich clients? Let's raise some money. Let's do this, right. So I invested I got some of my clients to invest. And we got some motion the bank we put on we have 22 investors in this place, I think something like that. But we got all the neighbors that used to brew together to now be small investors in this very large brewery.

Chris Snyder 40:52

Well, that's excellent. That's an excellent idea.

Jon Ham 40:55

From there, we hired the best brewmasters we could find - we actually found through Ali's connection through his Bottle & Pint shop. The brewmasters from Stone Brewing grew up in Thousand Oaks. And we got them to move back and be our brewmasters. So we are now making some of the best beer I've ever had in my life. No joke. Our second batch of double IPA won a silver medal at the California Brew Festival with a couple hundred breweries, 90 blind taste testers. Yeah, we're onto something amazing. And if you live in California, you can order the beer online, and they will get delivered to you through the post office right now.

Chris Snyder 41:42

It's Tarantula Hill Brewery, right?

Jon Ham 41:45

That's right. Tarantula Hill is a local landmark in Thousand Oaks. So they shoot fireworks off of Tarantula Hill and the breweries right underneath that. So, Fourth of July, you can just sit on our patio and watch the fireworks. 

Chris Snyder 42:01

That's amazing.  Are there plans to expand this like Nifty Dog did? And there's a few of these unique kinds of breweries that have expanded and are pretty big businesses. Now, what do you think about expansion?

Jon Ham 42:15

Well, before the COVID crisis happened, we were actively looking to expand our amount of tanks that we can ferment in and store in because we would get 2,000 people on a Saturday. There's the brewery and we were basically at capacity just from pouring beers in the local brewery. So the plans were to add a couple more fermenters, more tanks just to start distributing locally, just to the local community. So now we are fast-tracking that process. Have cannon kegging getting the beer out to restaurants and even shipping to individual houses. We're doing a little Doordash for the food. And we're doing some local deliveries for larger orders for houses. This is a time where if you want to get a kegerator at your house, you can get some really great beer from your local craft beer brewery. So there's that. But once this whole thing blows over, we're going to be getting a large warehouse just for distribution. And we will be distributing nationally. We have some amazing, amazing beer.

Chris Snyder 43:42

Yeah, no, that's great that's a great story. And I'm ashamed of myself. I know you've invited me on a number of occasions. I'm ashamed publicly now and admit it. 

Jon Ham 43:58

So this is a, you know, I'm just a small investor - we haven't you know, they haven't done any distributions yet. I don't know if I'll ever get paid. I think I will. But to me, I'm kind of looking like it's looking at like it's a country club without tennis or golf that I can go bring my friends that really liked me that show up.

Chris Snyder 44:18

Yeah.

Jon Ham 44:18

You know, guys that I invited anyway.

Chris Snyder 44:21

Yeah, I got that.

Jon Ham 44:23

It's a fun place to hang out and get to drink some amazing beer that's all fresh and it's a big, big 22,000 square foot facility.

Chris Snyder 44:33

Wow.

Jon Ham 44:34

Yeah. 

Chris Snyder 44:35

That's massive.

Jon Ham 44:36

We got this local artist named Risk. He's a graffiti artist. He's been around forever. He's doing our labels now. He's gonna paint the entire side of the brewery. It's really cool, creative artwork. 

Chris Snyder 44:51

But yeah, no, that's a great story. So I know we've covered a lot - but wait, there's more. Okay, last but not least, through all of these experiences and all the things you're doing, you're also starting to innovate and create your own wellness brand. And you mentioned Shopify a little bit at the beginning, we already know you know your shit as it relates to Amazon and YouTube, like So tell me about your wellness brand. Let's talk about that.

Jon Ham 45:24

Sure. Um, this is something that I didn't know you knew. My journey on Amazon has led to me getting cut off by other brands that I sell, I end up growing a brand and then they say we can do it on our own. Yeah, and I mean many times, Turquoise House Scottsdale is a brand that I own that I have control over, that I can set the tone in and have, you know, full creative license to use. So I've been wanting to start my own brand of things that I can sell on Amazon, and I just hadn't thought of anything. So I did the houses in Arizona. And branded those but hadn't given up on that thought. And last July I was at SellerCon in Vegas and one of the speakers, you know, many of the speakers were very inspirational. I left that weekend saying all right, it's go-time. We got to figure something out. My main takeaway from that weekend was focus on your who not your what - not what you're going to sell but who you're selling it to. So my drive home from Vegas, I just began brainstorming. I'm like - who is my client I've been selling personal training services to for, you know, 18 years? Those are the people that I care about. And as I was thinking about it, they all have aches and pains. I have aches and pains. My neck is still an issue. It feels great, but if I don't do my homework of physical therapy exercises that I do three days a week if I don't do that and I sit computer, my neck is a mess. So, searching around, I thought I'd start making a brand for arthritis sufferers older, maybe not even older 40 plus active people that have a sore shoulder sore neck, sore low back knees. And that's my home. They're the people I care about and I'm going to be making products for them. Specifically, I found a chemist that I've been working with for since basically August to help me formulate some pain relief oils and rollers and creams that can be put on topically to relieve pain. So production begins in the next few weeks. We have one product up already. But the brand is called Second Springs. And it is like representing moving forward is our tagline you know, new beginning and starting fresh, putting your best foot forward with giving it your all. And that's what the brand is going to be about.

Chris Snyder 48:12

Well, that's amazing. So let me ask you a question and you have to answer right away. And I'm going to make a point here to our audience. How much TV do you watch?

Jon Ham 48:26

Yeah, I don't. Zero is probably the answer.

Chris Snyder 48:28

That's what I thought. How many video games do you play? Zero? I gotta tell you like that, after this show, listening to all the things that Jon's been able to do. He doesn't have a degree in computer science, right? Um, you know, you are a very bright guy. Obviously, you went to a great school and you've had some great experiences, but, at the end of the day, this is all been done by you and your desire to do these things. And nothing's been given to you not a single thing. Your parents have computer science degrees. Are they entrepreneurs?

Jon Ham 49:15

No. No. In fact, you know, when we left college, we got married and we didn't have gas money to buy gas to get home from the wedding. So we opened up the cards from the wedding and just like, anyway, we restarted with nothing. And my wife and I had been doing this as a team and, you know, she was a gymnast also. And we both have a mentality of delayed gratification. And you know, we don't even need to need millions of dollars like we don't care. It's about doing and enjoying and seeing what, what we can do in this short time. We're here in this world, right? Like that's the mentality I have. I don't need a million bucks. I just like to create and do and try to see what I can do and push myself. What do I listen to? Podcasts? I listen to you. I listen to all my mentors. Robert Kiyosaki, Rich Dad, Poor Dad. I listen to all those podcasts. Ryan Daniel Moran, capitalism.com, Jason Hartman for Real Estate. Mollie Pittman for Facebook ads, right, like all those great leaders are what they do are, we've never had a time in this, in this world where we have so much information that is out there to get exactly what we need. It's free.

Chris Snyder 50:47

It's free. Can I just mention that - it's fucking free. Like I don't understand the bitching in the self-entitlement. Now more than ever, you have more tools at your disposal and more opportunities than ever before to pull yourself up and do something now. You know, you get back to your athletic background. There's a lot of pain involved with playing college sports, whether it's gymnastics, football, basketball, baseball, it doesn't matter. It requires a certain amount of drive a certain discipline because you got to do your schoolwork. You got to be at the gym, you got to do got to play the games you got to do at a high level. And I think a lot of that transfers into business. But I also think that, look, if you're not passionate about this stuff, don't do it. I don't get it. Don't be a pretend entrepreneur because you want to drive a Ferrari. You're getting back to the consumerism stuff that you were mentioning, and I've mentioned this to a couple of my friends and people I work with surrounding banks.com. We're not building banks.com so so we can own multi-million dollar houses on the strand and drive Ferraris. I hate that shit. Like, if everyone kind of lives within their means and they build themselves for long term and resilience, then the planet wouldn't be ruined.

Jon Ham 52:21

Yeah, imagine if the airlines optimized for resiliency instead of for efficiency. And they took every penny that they had and bought stock back with it, right? They put that money away for a rainy day, which they knew was going to come they all know these days are gonna come. Yep, no one could have predicted it. I mean, some might have but COVID right. It will be something. Yeah, it will be something

Chris Snyder 52:47

Well, I hope you know, I hope what comes out of this and I've had a few guests on since this whole thing broke. And what I'm hearing from multiple people are, you know, they want to get back To spending more time with their families, they don't need to spend three hours a day on the 405 driving to an office to have a meeting that doesn't matter to meet with people they don't care about to deliver results that don't matter to anybody but fat-cat investors and fat cat CEOs who want to drive Ferraris. Nobody gives a shit about that. Yeah, or the people that do give a shit about that. I'm not so I'm not sure how much longer they will give a shit about that because I just don't think it matters as much as people think. So.

Jon Ham 53:31

What about you? Are you enjoy spending time with your kids? You ready to rip their heads off?

Chris Snyder 53:36

Well, as my wife would say, everything is always both. So um, no. You know what's interesting about us like you, my wife and I have built businesses together. We've worked together for the better part of the last 15 years. Yeah. And we are at home a lot and have been at home a lot. Anyway, yeah. So you know when I go coach little kids football, or I go help out with the baseball team, I am at the park with my kids, people in the community see me spending a lot of time with my family because I understand that my 15 years sacrifice while they're toddlers, you know, from zero until about 15, where the tables are going to be turned, they're not going to stand me probably. So, at the end of the day, these you know, the folks who are putting their business in front of their family or putting their business in front of their life or putting their business in front of the dent that they should be making, in this very small window of time that we have to do something good. Yeah, you know, I'm not saying you got to, you know, give all your money away and I'm not saying you have to give all your time away. And I'm not saying you always have to walk around. Like you're happy because that's not real. That's not reality. But if you're just going to sit on your ass all day long and literally watch Netflix and complain that the government hasn't given you anything recently, when there are multiple opportunities for you to be successful. Yeah, that's a pretty wide smear there. So don't take it out of context and don't be political about it. But there are opportunities. The point is that during this time is a time to better yourself right?

Jon Ham 55:22

And read up and take care of yourself exercise, take care of your health, take care of your family, and learn something new that might change the direction of your career. So, to that point, I actually started a YouTube channel with my daughters during this whole lockdown. Alright, my girls are going to learn something here. And here's the camera. Here's how it works. You're going to be in charge of filming, you're going to be the subject and then I'm gonna teach you to edit and we're going to put it on YouTube. So anyway, there's that like, there's always something to do as a family, right?

Chris Snyder 55:55

Well, I've got an I've got a lot of links to put in the show notes. Holy shit.

Jon Ham 56:01

Aren't they lucky

Chris Snyder 56:04

So let's do this - let's put a wrap on this thing I know I could go on forever and we do need to have a couple more of these. We also need to get to the brewpub we also need to go paddling there's a lot of things you and I used to do together we don't do anymore, but I'm so glad that we can be friends and get on this thing and, and talk about these issues and hopefully share some of our positive experiences with the people that are listening hopefully, it'll motivate them to do something that maybe they thought was impossible. Jon, why don't you tell our audience how to find you give us a URL to your website or give us an email address and I'll include the rest in the show notes.

Jon Ham 56:48

Wow. You can find me at turquoisehousescottsdale.com you can find my Amazon store at Fitnessontherun.com that forwards to my Amazon store. My Personal Training business is fitnesstrainingbyjon.com J O N is jon@jonham.com JONHAM.com and @trainerJonHam and on Instagram, J O N H A M.

Chris Snyder 57:15

Awesome. Awesome. I really appreciate your time. No, I'm Hey, mark my words all those links are going in the show notes. So everyone will be able to find you any which way but Tuesday so thanks a lot for your time, Jon. We got a jam here. It's been great.

Jon Ham 57:31

Thanks, Chris. Appreciate it. Alright.

Unknown Speaker 57:35

Thanks for listening to Snyder showdown. We'll see you again next time and be sure to click subscribe to get future episodes.


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