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Welcome to episode #77 of the Morning Upgrade Podcast. In this week’s episode, I spoke with Scott Raven, owner of Premier Martial Arts Sandy Springs and East Lake.

Top Talking Points

  • You can overcome anything life throws at you as long as you have the right mindset.
  • You have to bring in people that not only have the right skills, but are also the right fit for your work culture.
  • If the corporate world is stifling your abilities, then it’s not the path for you.

Resources & Links

Connect With Scott at premiermartialarts.com/eastlake/ and premiermartialarts.com/sandysprings/

Thinking in Bets by Annie Duke

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Episode Transcript

Ryan 

Hey guys, it’s Ryan real quick. So my mission with the Morning Upgrade blog and podcast is to raise the awareness of morning routines and personal development. And I now have two products that also helped me with this mission. The first product helps you start a 20-minute morning routine. And the second product is a book that outlines how to use personal development to upgrade your life and business. You can get full details on both products over at morningupgrade.com. Thanks for letting me share and now on to the show.

Announcer 

Welcome to the Morning Upgrade podcast with Ryan Cote where we featured casual conversations with entrepreneurs about personal development and growth.

Ryan  

Hey, Scott, welcome to the Morning Upgrade podcast. How are you?

Scott 

Hello, Ryan, how are you?

Ryan  

I’m doing great. Really great. Excited to speak with you. So my audience of Morning Upgraders know who they’re listening to? Why don’t we kick this conversation off with you telling everyone who you are, what you do for a living, and then give us one thing that’s going really well in your life right now?

Scott 

My name is Scott Raven. I am currently a multilocation, owner of a franchise called Premier Martial Arts. Premier Martial Arts is a rapidly expanding martial arts franchise dedicated to teaching students of all ages, the benefits of physical, mental, and emotional aspects that martial arts bring with it. I have been doing that for the last couple of years, after a long career in large corporate America, doing what we essentially know down here as the Atlanta rotation hopping from large company to large company to large company and their titles, bigger responsibilities, more money etcetera. In the latter part of the 2010s, there were a number of things that occurred to me professionally, and I decided that I wanted to choose an alternate path in terms of not only what I wanted to do with my life, but also how I would be fulfilled by it and leave a legacy. And it was at that time that two other things were happening. Number one, my son was beginning martial arts at an independent location. At the same time, Premier Martial Arts approached me in terms of being a multi-territory owner with them. So everything just kind of came together. And I have been on this phenomenal journey for the last couple of years. Obviously, I probably would have picked better timing in terms of starting this. Right as COVID launched. I’ll put it that way. So I certainly have had my fair share of challenges and learnings and things that have not gone the way that I have expected. But if anything, I feel like this journey has really developed my perseverance, my resolve my belief that regardless of whatever life throws at me, I can overcome it. And I can achieve so long as I have the right mindset and skillset to do so. And that’s a great confidence to have. It’s a great internal confidence to have. So I hope that answers the question.

Ryan 

It does. And I want to talk about use that you’ve learned some lessons going through COVID Or we’re still going through but and yeah, the attitude and the perseverance you’ve dealt with and everything you’ve pulled from this experience, I want to talk about that for sure. Just give us one thing that’s going really well in your life as well.

Scott  

Well, things go really well in my life is that the family life is incredibly strong. Oftentimes you hear about folks who get into franchise business ownership. And suddenly, they are in a position where their entire life is sucked up by the business and they can’t escape being in the business for lack of a better term. And what I’ve been able to do, particularly with a lot of the changes I’ve made recently, I’ve been able to start to move from being in the business to being able to work on the business and ensure that I’m prioritizing myself in terms of my health, my wealth, my happiness, but I’m also prioritizing my family in terms of having those moments or being there particularly for my son and daughter to be able to help them grow and succeed in life.

Ryan  

Are they in your karate school?

Scott  

They are actually, all three of us are so my son just recently became the first-ever brown belt If you’re at my locations, I actually am a student myself, I’m one rank behind him with my green belt. And my daughter just got her orange belt, all this past December. So one big martial arts family.

Ryan 

That’s amazing. My daughter does tae kwon do, my youngest daughter, she loves it, it’s it must be a very fulfilling career because at least I look at the taekwondo school that she goes to and, you know, their family-run, I could tell they care about the kids. You could tell they take the development of the kids very seriously beyond just self-defense, but just who they are, you know, how they take care of themselves, how much they read, must be very compelling.

Scott  

It is very fulfilling. Obviously, there is a financial consideration to doing this, that I’m placing a big financial bet on myself that everything that I’ve invested will see a monetary return for years to come. But if that were the sole reason that I was doing this, I would probably be doing something else. I needed something where the stories from the people I interacted with, were such that they felt through interfacing with me or my business, that I was able to make their life a little bit better. And that’s something that is deeply personal to me. And that’s something that I enjoy being able to deliver on.

Ryan

Great, Scott. Let’s talk about the business and challenges you meant. You know what I love that you took a crappy situation and you’re like, Well, yes, it’s crappy. But here’s what I’m learning. And here’s the person I’m growing into. And so I love that you pull the positive things from this in this situation. But what have you learned beyond that? What have you learned? What has helped you navigate your mindset and all that? What can you share with us?

Scott  

Sure, absolutely. These past couple of years, being a business owner, you have your pro forma as your forecasts in terms of what you thought was going to happen. And I remember vividly putting my pro forma together in October 2019, which is when I made the decision to go on this journey right before COVID hit. And I figured to myself, 2020 was going to be an investment year, it was not going to look pretty from a financial standpoint. But and 21 tides would turn. And that would be the start of my pathway to success. 2020 played out, generally speaking exactly how I thought 2021 did not. And a number of reasons why some the circumstantial, some of them based on things that I was not doing correctly from an operational standpoint, some of them simply because I did not bring the right people is not that they weren’t skilled, but they didn’t have the right fit for the culture that I was trying to produce. And through it all, it was the case that if I wasn’t stronger-willed, I probably would have left, I probably would have said, You know what? I’ve done, I’ve tried this, it’s not working. Let me go ahead and let me cut my losses now. Right. But with what I have learned in life, and the perseverance that I had, in this particular year, I took all of those, you can call them failures if you want. And I turned them into learnings I turned them into, okay, something went wrong. That’s not the point. The point is twofold. Number one, did you make a good decision at the time you could there’s a great book out there by a poker player and now consultant at Duke called Thinking in bets. And one of the key mantras in the book is not to confuse a good result with a good decision. Because decisions and results can be different. So I’d go back and take a look at all of my bad results and say, knowing what I know now, did I make a good decision at the time that I could and if I didn’t, what did I learn so I can improve my decision-making process. The second was then to take what I learned and apply it to my future decisions. So that the things that I knew needed to be addressed in order to for me to fulfill my charge and the legacy that I acted upon. There’s another great book by John Madden, Tommy Breedlove. I know that you know him well. And his very first chapter is called take action. And it’s one thing to be able to learn from bad experiences. It’s a completely different one in order to be able to act on them in order to do better. So that’s something that I definitely put into place toward the end of 21. Into now, and I’m happy to say that I’m starting to see the benefits of those, it’s still a long journey for me it’s a marathon, not a sprint. But I’m starting to see the benefits.

Ryan 

A little methodically or with just analyzing the situation and, and pulling from resources like Tommy’s book? And I know we’re part of his mastermind community, Legendary Life Community, sort of like a board of directors to bounce ideas off of and learn from books it sounds like you were very strategic and analyzing the situation. And just working your way through it. Were you that way, in the corporate world?

Scott 

I would say I was into corporate politics got the better of me. And one thing I learned in my journey in things that did not go right for me was that I have a complete disdain for politics, for lack of a better term. And it was something that ended up putting me into poor positions that I started to elevate up the ranks. And I realized from that, that I have one of two choices in life, either one, get better at politics, and could you do the same thing that you’re doing. But at the end of the day, I don’t feel I would have been true to myself, I would have been highly successful from a resume standpoint, from a wealth standpoint, etc. But I would not like the person I looked at in the mirror every single morning, or to find an environment that was more befitting who I was, like this environment that I’m in now.

Ryan

What you’re describing with a lot of people live their whole career going through that feeling of not making any, any change, because it’s hard. It’s scary. It’s you know, and so, how’d you develop the courage to take that action? And we talked about the first chapter of Tommy’s book like taking action, but how did you get the courage to do that?

Scott 

The courage, I believe, started in late 2017, after the first of the two periods, one in 2017, and one in 2019, when I was laid off in a reduction in force. And at that time, I did not have any of the self-management tools that I have. Now, I was depressed, I was borderline alcoholic, I was somebody who just for lack of a better word, hated himself. And my body responded to that by elevating blood pressure to the point that it was 180 over 110, when I landed in the hospital, with chest pains, back and neck pains, etc. I literally thought that I was having a heart attack. Fortunately, unfortunately, I was not, it started a journey for me that took most of 2018 to put the right personal systems in place for me to better manage myself and to truly appreciate what I wanted in life. And I thought that that was a reentry into the large corporate environment to play in the same sandbox, but be smarter and wiser in terms of what I wanted from it. So when the same thing happened again, to me in 2019, I realized that I had learned a lot, I was completely different from how I was, and that the one thing I had not learned was, that wasn’t the sandbox that I wanted to play anymore. And that allowed me to have the courage to make the leap. When you become self-aware of a particular aspect of your life. It is very hard to unring that bell. And I would say that when the second of the two production forces came my way, I became very self-aware that that was not the sandbox, a lot of play.

Ryan 

Thanks for being so vulnerable and sharing your struggles. Yeah, it’s really appreciated. Scott, I’ve got one last question for you. It’s actually the question I usually start with so trying to mix things up here in the Morning Upgrade podcast. So in a couple of minutes, and then we’ll wrap up with you and tell everyone how they can learn more about you. Give us a couple of minutes. You mentioned before we start recording, you got your morning routine, but you also have a nighttime or nighttime routine. So a couple of minutes just give us a rundown of what that looks like.

Scott  

Sure. So let me start with a nighttime routine first. The nighttime routine is once my kids are in bed, right? I’ll do about 15 minutes tops. In terms of taking a look at my task management system, I use a combination of technologies including Slack and Trello, in order to organize both my personal and my professional life, and say, These are the ones that I want to prioritize when I wake up the next morning, we’re going to get them done. morning comes, I tend to wake up like 5:25-5:30, you know, get some coffee, get water start to just want the slumber to like Bear term. My kids also wake up at that time because their buses are at 6:30 in the morning. So my first routines are really just making sure I got them fed, they’re all dressed up that he thinks I need to sign or sign, etc, I really just focus on them for the first hour. Once I get them on the bus, I go back, and I’ll turn on my comm app, highly recommend it for those people who believe meditation great app, I’ll do the daily calm listening for about 10 minutes where I will just ground myself and bring myself to centering for the rest of the day. And then I will go through what I call my power task list hour. So all of that work that I had done at the end of the previous day, sets me up for that one hour the next morning, in terms of knocking out the big things work setting up the remainder of my day. So that get breakfast in the system, get some exercise, and then just work through the remainder of the day. So that’s my routine.

Ryan  

I love the book and approach, morning and nighttime because there’s a lot to take away from that. I was like, Hey, you mix your family with the routine. You know, it sounds like you’re a big family guy. And so I appreciate the fact that you’re mixing them together. I’m sure they’re learning from you whether you see it or not, or realize it or not.

Scott  

I hope so. There are many dimensions to what I would consider being a successful life. One of the biggest ones is that my son and daughter find their way to having a fulfilling life. And that myself and my wife in some small way, we’re doing that.

Ryan  

I’m in the same boat so I can agree more. Well, this was a great Scott, really appreciate the time you took and everything you shared with us. If someone wants to connect with you to learn more, where should we send them?

Scott 

So if you are in the Atlanta area, and you want to learn more or check out my locations, you may look us up as Premier Martial Arts Sandy Springs or Premier Martial Arts East Lake which is the section of Marietta that we are in. We are accessible through Facebook, we are accessible through Google My Business. We also have our websites, PMAEastlake.com and PMASandysprings.com. And we’d love to see if particularly if you’re in the Atlanta area and you want to talk more in terms of your goals and how we may be of service through our curriculum and our philosophy.

Ryan

Perfect. Thanks, Scott. And thanks to everyone for listening.

Ryan  

Thanks for listening to the Morning Upgrade podcast. Please subscribe and review. And don’t forget to visit us at morningupgrade.com for more content.

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