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Don’t Become A Slave to Your Business

with Jefferson Santos



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Don’t let your business control you. In this episode of Making Bank, Josh gives you need-to-know tips about making time for yourself when you run a business. He goes into detail about what happened to him when he was working 80 hours plus a week. You don’t want to turn into a hermit crab or you’ll drive yourself insane.  This episode will show you how to recharge your battery’s because you become unproductive and lose your innovation when you’re burnt out.   It’s extremely important to dedicate time for yourself to relax and clear your mind to regain focus.  He also interviews Jefferson Santos — Business Speaker and Coach — about his success story and his new book Higher Life Design.  Jeff takes you through his 10 year long struggle of barely making it to the freedom he now has today.  He discusses the importance of a great foundation, which all starts with you!.


You’re watching the Whatever It Takes network. I am Josh Felber. You’re watching Making Bank. One of the things that happens today as entrepreneurs, we start a business, we have all of these great ideas and dreams and thoughts of how our lifestyle is going to be, what’s going to happen, all the vacations and free time and everything that we’re going to have, but it doesn’t happen. Reality sets in and we become a slave to our business.

One of the things that we want to talk about is how we can start to design our own lifestyle around our business, how we can start to determine [inaudible 00:48] process and where we’re going to go and actually stop becoming that slave and having that business, working in that business where we can actually step out of that business, work on that business, and control the business to move forward to support our lifestyle, to support our vision and what we want to do. One of the things that when we become a slave to our business that we miss out on is family time, friends, growing, education, the parts that encompass who we are.

We lose that fun. We lose that excitement that we had when we first were starting it. By designing the lifestyle we want, we can then take those vacations, spend the time with the family, and help us move forward. For me, one of the companies I did start when I was 19 years old is in the merchant services business. I was in Dallas, Texas. For me, I was full force, going in it. I had a business partner. The company grew so quickly, before you know it, I was working over 80 hours a week. Just do it and this is how things have to be.

Putting in those 80 hours every single week day in and day out, you lose your whole lifestyle piece of it, being able to travel, being able to go out, being able to spend that time with those friends. For me, I was single and I was in Dallas. I just did not have that. I was in my early 20s. It was a big piece that I missed out on because I was so focused in the company. For me, I was fortunate, I was able to sell that company when I was 25 and do really well with that, but I lost out on a piece of my life that I’m never going to have back. Then down the road, I invested that money and I ended up losing it all anyway in the crash, so it wasn’t helpful since it did not support my lifestyle.

One of the things moving forward that I did for myself is future businesses and things that I started, I wanted to make sure hey, how can this support my lifestyle? How can this be able to give me that freedom and that time freedom to spend now with my kids and my wife? My wife is an entrepreneur as well. Between both of us, we have to make sure we schedule those times in. I know you’re probably may be feeling overwhelmed, tired, burned out, and you just do not have that direction anymore. You’ve either been in your business so long that it’s just become natural to you or you’re just starting your business and your like, oh that’s not going to happen to me. That’s not going to happen to me.

I want you to if you’re just starting your business, start to design your business around your lifestyle today. If you’re in the business and you’ve been doing it for a while and you’re that slave to the business, take those steps today to start taking back your life, your time, your freedom. Some of the key points that I have, I have six key points that you can utilize to start making that happen. First one is find your vision. You probably either when you first started your business, you had a vision or you’re just starting your business, get your vision dialed in. Find what your massive purpose is. Why are you here? Why are you doing this?

Number two is set lifestyle habits and goals. So many of us, we set goals for our business, where we want to financially be, but we never set our lifestyles and goals and those success habits for that. What we want to do is make habits. Where do we want to go on vacation? What fun things that we want to do on the side? Where do we want to spend time with our kids? Make those activities and schedule them hard into your calendar. Do not let those wait. You have to enjoy life. You have to get out and have fun. As entrepreneurs, we get so busy, we lose that fun play perspective of what we have in business. Get out, play, have fun in what you’re doing, as well as travel.

Set it’s whether you go two hours away, four hours a way, jump on a plane, go to another city. Travel, get out of your current environment, meet some people, go to conferences, go to different events and things, or just go to a beach somewhere and relax. Spend that quiet time by yourself or with your family and really connect with those people. Strive to find balance. You’ve got to really find balance in your life. Like I had mentioned earlier, I was working those 80 hours. The balance was way over to the one side. It’s never going to be perfect 50/50, but strive to find balance in your life so you have that personal time, so you have that fun time as well as moving toward your lifestyle goals, as well as give back.

It’s not just a monetary thing like oh, how can I support this charity, but how can you give back? For me, we’re creating a foundation where we can help kids and mentor them as entrepreneurs. For me, that’s more about time commitment and making sure and helping other kids, as that’s close to me with my family and raising them as entrepreneurs. Work on giving back. Next step, we’re going to talk with Jefferson Santos, and we’re excited to have him on. He’s going to talk to you a little bit about designing lifestyle around your business. We’ll be back.

Welcome back to the Whatever It Takes network. I am Josh Felber. You’re watching Making Bank. I’m excited today. We actually have Jefferson Santos on the phone with me. We were talking a little earlier about creating that lifestyle you want around your business and Jefferson is the epitome of creating that lifestyle. He’s come from nothing and created this massive business and success with himself and his family around. He grew up in Richardson, Texas with his mom and sister, attended the Naval Academy in Texas Christian University and played football.

He has possessed great entrepreneurial ambition for new startup businesses. By the age of 25 though, life had him in a choke hold. He was in the red. He was negative in his bank account and loads and loads of debt to the tune of over 70 thousand dollars. Jefferson realized at that moment, he needed a change. With a newfound commitment, he turned that decision into a reality by discovering Higher Life Design. Over this time, it’s helped him earn over several million dollars and build a team of more than 300 thousand leaders in over 30 different countries in his business.

More importantly, Jefferson has been able to build schools in Guatemala, lead other projects to help those and despite of need and resources. Through his volunteerism, he has invested his time and talent and treasures to those who need a hand up, not a hand down. Jefferson, I’m excited to have you on today and welcome to Making Bank.

Jefferson:        Thanks Josh. I’m excited as well. It’s always fun to be able to help people design the life that they want, you know?

Josh:                Definitely, Jefferson. Ever since I met you, you are happy. You’re traveling. You have kids and a beautiful caring wife. You guys just have that ultimate lifestyle. I know it wasn’t always like that. Maybe you could explain to our audience a little bit more detail maybe on your background and what was going through your head and what made that shift for you, and then we’ll get into later on that path that you went down to start creating that lifestyle and what those pieces were that our listeners, our audience can actually take and utilize to design their own lifestyle.

Jefferson:        Sure. First of all, thank you for having me on the show here. I’m just grateful and honored that you invited me on. I grew up in the Dallas, Texas area, Richardson to be exact, with my mother and my sister. She was raising us. She had three jobs and I always heard her verbally profess that making money was hard. My mother worked, really, really, really hard. My parents are from Brazil. They divorced when I was four years old. As a little kid, I thought in my head, making money was hard. After I went to the Naval Academy in TCU, I got started 19 years ago as an entrepreneur in the business because I really got excited about making money because we didn’t have any.

The first thing in my head was making money is hard. I had that internal GPS program pretty deep there, so I had to go to a lot of seminars and trainings and listen to MP3s and CDs and actually tapes back then. [crosstalk 10:32] tape, because I had to get that good stuff in my brain. It took me literally almost ten years of pretty much doing everything wrong. For me, I always had this idea in my head is that the world and the universe wants me to successful, I just need to get with the program. I know there’s other people successful. I know that other people are making it happen. It’s just not me yet.

I never had the victim mentality. I always let the future pull me, like my good coach Dan always said, figure out what from the past gets to come with you, what are the learning lessons from the past that you can use in the present to propel you into that future that we create? Anyways, ten years struggling. Never made more than 30 thousand in a year, spent more than I made, but we always say character is what you get when you don’t get what you want. Those were like ten years of character building years for me, right?

Josh:                Yes, that happens.

Jefferson:        That’s what it was, but I met a lot of great people. I learned a lot of great stuff, but if I may, I’ll talk about the turning point.

Josh:                Oh yeah, for sure.

Jefferson:        It was 2004. It was January 23rd. I was in a seminar in New York. It was the blizzard outside and the seminar speaker was on stage and they were holding their hands out, two hands out in clenched fist like you were holding the steering wheel really tight. She was like, okay everybody stand out and put your hands out like you’re gripping the steering wheel really, really, really hard. She goes everyone of you in here, you’re trying to grip your business, you’re trying to control so much, you’re losing it and you need to let go, and she just opened both of her hands vigorously. That just hit me like a ton of bricks, but for me, I’m a type A personality.

I really didn’t have a lot of stuff when I was growing up obviously, so I wanted to control my future, obviously tell God your plans and he’ll laugh at you or whatever or if that’s your thing or the universe, whatever. That’s where I was at. I turned the corner there because I realized that I was actually deep rooted in, I think I was actually afraid of success because I didn’t know what was going to happen. What if I started making all this money? What kind of person was I going to be? Was I going to go to spend it on drugs and strip clubs and do stupid things like some people out there do or was I actually going to be a good person?

One of the things in that seminar I learned is there’s a book out there called, God At Work. I’m not trying to push anything on anybody, it’s just a really good book, and it was talking about those people that are anointed to be priests and kings and people can go preach on the stage, but there’s these business people that are anointed to be kings in the marketplace. Everything they touch turns to gold and it’s just crazy stuff. You know what? Maybe God has put this desire in my heart to go make a bunch of money because I’m supposed to go do good things with it. At the same time, I was so uneducated and ignorant about just all this personal development stuff.

I was like what am I going to do with this? That’s what was happening. I didn’t know how to articulate why I wanted to be successful. I guess that’s why it wasn’t because if you don’t have the target, you’re obviously going to end up no where.

Josh:                That’s just an eye opener with what, ten years of the character building and just going through all those different pieces that you really had to start to, before you would realize where you were and what was happening to take those next steps forward. When we come back, we’ll get into a little bit more detail. I’m Josh Felber. You’re watching Making Bank on the Whatever It Takes network. We’ll be right back.

Welcome back to the Whatever It Takes network. You’re watching Making Bank and I’m Josh Felber. We were speaking with Jefferson Santos. He was giving us what he has gone through to come to the realization of what he really wanted in life. A couple of the key points, Jefferson, I was really impressed with, that you took advantage of at such a young age, is coaching and mentorship, huge piece. So many people just do not ever take that step of getting coaching and mentorship as well as educating yourself, ten years worth of a really great education.

Even though it was hard and you weren’t making money yet, you were educating yourself and preparing yourself for that next step of where things were going to take you. That’s what I want to get into next is where did we go from leaving off and in those steps to moving forward, what are those additional steps that you took that in addition to the coaching and mentorship and education side of things that took you to that next level?

Jefferson:        I think that to jump off here with the education part is like with anything, with any tall tree, it’s got to have deeper roots. Any type of tall skyscraper, it’s going to have a deep foundation, and I didn’t know it at the time, but I was building that foundation. Those that are listening right now, hey, you might be in this foundation building years right now. The longer you’ve got to build that foundation, no matter how long it takes, you need it because if your building or your tree is going to be tall, you’ve got to have those deep roots.

Now looking back, I see that. That’s what it was for me and the other thing too is if I would have quit anytime along the way, I would not be where I’m at. I had to go through that. The only way through is through. It was just crazy, but I had to really change my story. One of my chapters in my book that’s coming out is I talk about change your story. One of my short stories here is when I went to the Naval Academy, one of the biggest things for the people in the United States for young men when they play college football is they want a bowl ring. When you win a championship, you want that big old bowl ring on your finger because it’s a sign of victory, right?

I went to the Naval Academy. The year that I left the Naval Academy, they won a bowl game. I didn’t get the ring. Then the year, at TCU and that’s where I played football with Ladainian Tomlinson, who is one of the top running backs of the NFL. Now he’s on the NFL network or whatever. The year I left TCU, they won a bowl game.

Josh:                It’s just avoiding you.

Jefferson:        I didn’t get that ring either. My story in my head was man, I’m a loser. In junior high, I was part of a losing football team. In high school, elementary school, junior high, and high school, now college. I had nothing to show for it, but the other way I could have looked at it, and this is the way I look at it now because I change my story is I’m a foundation builder. I built the foundation so the year that I left, guess what? They won a bowl game. That’s a different way of looking at it. There’s things that happen in our life that we can change our story …

Josh:                That’s awesome.

Jefferson:        … and look at it from the other perspective because it takes no talent to have a past. Everybody has a past. You’ve got a past. I’ve got a past. We all have a past, but it takes talent and diligence and hard work to have a future. If we all want to have a bright future, we have to do like the name of the show, whatever it takes, right?

Josh:                Yeah.

Jefferson:        That’s what we have to do. This book that I put together was basically 19 years of experience of my intents and perspective of over a half a million dollars of personal development that I’ve invested in myself, some skills that I put in the book. Anyways, I’m excited about it and I think that it’s going to shorten a lot of people’s learning curve.

Josh:                That’s awesome, Jefferson, is just that changing your story. That’s excellent. I think some of the people get hung up on where they are at and this is what happened to me and this is my past and that’s dictating my future. You’re saying hey look, you can change your story. I did it. I know you can too. That’s a huge takeaway for our audience.

I know you have a book coming out some time in the next 45 days or so. I’d love just to share some insights of that 500 thousand dollars in education that you’re putting into it, I know I’ve spent that as well, and just give our audience a little bit of that information of what they can take away and what they’re looking forward to in Higher Life Design. I’d love to hear that from you.

Jefferson:        One of them that I just shared was changing your story. Another one is you’ve got to know your hunger, show your hunger, and grow your hunger. That’s one thing I talk about is you’ve got to know a lot of people plateau. Some of you that are listening right now might be plateauing. Number one, you’ve got to know what your hunger is. Know what what’s your why. What’s your purpose? Why are you doing certain things? Then you’ve got to be able to show that hunger and display and get into action, but you’ve got to be able to grow your hunger too because if you don’t grow your hunger, you’re going to be complacent.

You’re not going to be able to break through your plateau. I think that if you’re in a position of leadership, which I think all entrepreneurs are, anybody that is, that’s what you have to be to be successful in today’s world. In economies, you’ve got to be a leader. I don’t care if a leader of what, yourself? You’re leading a team of three or 500 thousand, whatever, but in order for people to follow you, you have to move your feet. If they’ve got to follow in your footsteps, you have to move your feet. In order to move your feet, you have to grow. You’ve got to grow your hunger because guess what? The world is moving. Everything is moving forward and if you’re not growing, you’re actually moving backwards.

Josh:                Oh yeah. No, that’s the truth. That’s awesome, man, growing your hunger.

Jefferson:        It’s huge, you know? There’s just so much more. I wish we had more time. There’s so much more to it. I want to be able to when I look at the life that I did have and now the life that I have now, me and my wife take an exotic vacation somewhere around the world once a month. Sometimes we bring our kids. Sometimes we don’t. We have a one and a three-year-old and we bring some help with us if we bring the kids or whatever. We want it to be fun for everyone, but you know? It always hasn’t been that way. You heard the story earlier about the struggle that we went through, but we designed it because we wanted it.

There’s things that we need, but there’s things that we want, and it’s okay to want things. That’s what makes the world go around. Steve Jobs, his why wasn’t he wanted to go change the world. He wanted to get market share. He wanted to create the coolest products, but guess what? The byproduct is he did change the world.

Josh:                For sure, yeah.

Jefferson:        The way we use cell phones and technology and the way that things go, so it’s okay to want what you want. Don’t feel guilty about it because we’re part of whatever it takes. It’s the show. Don’t feel guilty about it. Keep on going after your passions and getting after it.

Josh:                That’s awesome. I think those are some great insights that you were able to share with our audience today is changing your story, staying hungry, finding that passion of really what, that why of where you want to go with all this, and then designing, like you said, design that lifestyle. I know people may be watching and be like oh well, he’s just lucky. He just can go on vacations all the time based on what he does and everything, but the great thing about it is you designed your lifestyle that way. You’ve designed your future for your kids and your wife that way.

With this is guys, I want you to look at what you’re doing today in your business, look at what you’re doing today in your personal life, and start designing your life around what you want because so many of us become a slave to our business and we’re never able to break free. We want to give you the tools to start being able to break free in your business. Go out, grab Higher Life Design by Jefferson Santos. It’s chocked full, over a half a million dollars worth of insight in there from Jefferson. Jefferson, I was really excited and honored that you were able to be on the show today with us. I know you took some time out of your busy day and I’m really fortunate to have you here today and appreciate you with us.

Jefferson:        Yeah, you bet, you bet. I look forward to adding value to everybody. Go to and I’m looking forward to serving each and every one of you and all the free stuff I have out there as well as the book. At, I have a lot of free stuff for you, but I look forward to in the future, adding more value and it’s been a pleasure, Josh. I’ve always enjoyed chatting with you and I know we’re going to see each other here in a few weeks. It’s going to be great and we’ll get to talk about the future more.

Josh:    Awesome. Thanks everyone for watching the Whatever It Takes network and Making Bank. I am Josh Felber. i

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