This post is an interview transcript. Click here to listen to Brian’s interview with Antonio Centeno over at The Real Brian Show.
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Brian: So you know that I've done some tests to see how people respond to us between dressing well for success and to accurately represent who we are, our personal brand so to speak, versus not dressing well and looking like everyone else does or not looking all that well, if you know what I mean, not right. So today, I get to chance to chat with a guy who does this specifically for men although I know women will learn a lot from this as we will be discussing much that I guarantee can be applied to both. Let's rock it.
I'm the real Brian, and thank you for joining me here on The Real Brian Show. So it's interesting. Starbucks did this little free thing on Friday where they were doing their free tea infusions, iced tea infusions. And I got the peach white tea. I'm a big fan of white tea, and of course they infuse it with the peach. It's not sweetened, by the way. I don't know if any of you got a chance to go over there. They did it for one hour on Friday. And I was expecting a super, super sweet drink, and it wasn't. I was like, “Oh, great. That's actually what I want.” I don't like sugar in my tea usually.
It was interesting though because I'm sitting here going, “Okay. This is supposed to be some amazing thing.” And I've had their Tazo tea before. Tazo is fine. It's kind of like any teabag for that matter, it's fine. But as I was drinking this I'm going, “Well, it's good. The white tea is probably a little overextracted, a little brewed.” I tell you what. It's no Happy Lucky's. It's no quality loose leaf tea by any means but it was fun and it was free and it was a good time.
So would I buy it? Yes, I guess people were going to Starbucks and hanging out. And iced tea sounds refreshing. Why not? But man, I tell you what. Either my taste buds are starting to develop, which means I'm becoming a snob because I've been introduced to some of the best stuff out there, or I don't know. Hey, we're not here to talk about tea.
We're here to talk about personal brand. I like that because when I came across Antonio Centeno — he does a thing called Real Men Real Style. And I found him a while ago, and I was looking into this stuff, and I thought this is kind of cool. It's about clothing but now I realized it's actually more about the personal brand. But it goes beyond because each person, of course, has a different reason for wanting to either look their best and/or be the best them on the outside, if that makes sense, which, of course, helps them to be the best them on the inside.
We're not talking superficial looks here, by the way. This goes deeper than that. It's like, “Yes. Well, that person dresses nice so he must be cool.” No. Hold on. There's more to that, and we'll get into that as we talk to Antonio. Guys may be saying, “Well, I want to look my best so that I am attractive to women or I want to look my best so that I can impress in a job interview or that I can be respected in a job or in a career or in an entrepreneurial setting or just in general.”
You know I've done experiments, I talked about this. I went into a Best Buy. I had just come from basketball so I was in gym clothes, but I was looking at a new monitor. And I shared is before that there were at least six sales associates. They saw me, they looked at me, they did not acknowledge me, nobody said hi to me, nobody asked me for help. I was actually trying to get their attention. I stood there for about 30 minutes trying to get their attention. And finally, I just walked out.
And then I went in again, and I went in Sarah, and I was dressed nicely. Oh, man, we got plenty of attention then. There were three people coming after us. I know this is not true all of the time but I can tell you in that scenario that dressing nicely got attention and not dressing nicely got nothing. And I was willing to spend the same amount of money regardless of how I was dressed. So that was one experience.
Another experience is — Sarah works with some very important people here in our community, and they're all great people, but if we're out, and especially if we're out biking or we're just walking around, I'm not going to be dressed in a suit. Of course, I'm probably going to be in shorts and a T-shirt especially if it's warm. But the reality is that we run into like the mayor or some other very important people here in the community — and, of course, they're very gracious but I couldn't help, but wonder if those people respected me as much, and here I am looking like a college student or some jobless bomb bum. I hate to say it but it kind of looked like that.
So I thought I probably need to kind of upgrade my wardrobe. I think I actually had some clothes from college or I had some clothes that just didn't fit me correctly anymore. I'm kind of embarrassed to wear that because it makes me look not good, let's put it that way. But I need to upgrade my wardrobe, and I need to make sure that I am representing myself in the best manner possible. And again, I'll share a little bit more here in a minute because there were more reasons for this.
So I found Antonio, I went into Real Men Real Style, I read his blog over and over, I ended up buying one of his courses. And I finally got to go through my closet, I finally got to get rid of stuff that I haven't worn in years, it's just been sitting there taking up space, and upgrading some of the style a little bit and looking a little nicer. And the results have been fantastic.
But again, it's not just about looks but let's be honest — in fact, I even tested myself on this one. I love to get to know somebody but if I never have the benefit of having a conversation with that person, then my only judgment of that person is how they look and how they carry themselves. And it was so funny because I thought it's not about looks, and that's superficial. Oh, my gosh. Brian, what an idiot. I was doing this as a test, and I realized that's all I can judge them on, is looks and how they carry themselves, how they present themselves. I didn't talk to them, I don't know who they are, I don't know if they're this most amazing person or not, but that's all I see.
And immediately I started to realize that I would give people those instant judgments. I would say, “Wow. That person must be successful or that person must be confident or that person must be cool.” And then on the flipside I'd be like, “Wow. That person must be a bum or must be in college or must be poor.” How do I know? I have no idea. But that's how they carried themselves, that's how they presented themselves. I know I've gotten that kind of judgment as well.
So why not present myself in an accurate way? I know who I am. Why not physically present myself? This is how I carry myself. This is my confidence, how I present myself. But also dress the part, dress myself, be who I am, represent myself to the best of my ability. Why not do that? That's something that I've taken very seriously recently. I've haven't talked about it much in the show but I think it's important. And there's something else that I'll be talking about here in a couple of weeks as well that I think is important as well.
And I thought why not start really talking about this here on The Real Brian Show because whether you're a guy or a girl it does matter, it really does. And a friend of mine said this in college, and I loved this, I've never forgotten it. When we would go on for finals in college he would dress up. Sometimes he would wear a full suit, sometimes he would just put on a tie, sometimes he would wear a coat. And I would be like, “Dude, why are you dressing up for a final? I don't get this.” And he said, “If I take care of myself from a physical standpoint, then I feel better and I have more confidence.” And evidence had shown — at least for him anyway — that he always scored better on his tests.
There's something to be said about that. I've never forgotten that. And so to me, I think it's a very important aspect to who we are, but that's just me, that's my thought but that's why I wanted to bring Antonio on because this is what he does. He's the founder of Real Men Real Style. He's a cofounder of MENfluential which is a men's lifestyle and business conference. He's created thousands of articles and videos on men's style.
Antonio studied clothing design in London, Hong Kong, Bangkok. He's a former US Marine with an MBA from University of Texas, Austin, and a BA from Cornell College. And, of course, he loves to hear from old friends and make new ones. Antonio, welcome to The Real Brian Show.
Antonio: Hey, thank you, Brian. Glad to be here.
Brian: I found you about a year ago, I want to say, now. And two years ago I was getting ready to go to New Media Expo and also Podcast Movement was coming up, and I'm looking at my dress wardrobe and I'm going, “I think I need a little update here.” So this was before finding you two years ago. I went over to one of local stores and everything and I thought I'm just going to get some stuff. It's the 11th hour. Man, it looks nice but I realized after wearing these shirts that I have a skin reaction to synthetic material. And I went, “I need to do a little more research into this. I need to find clothes that fit, that are comfortable.”
And that's when I came across what you're doing over at Real Men Real Style. And I got into reading your blog and all of that. And all of a sudden I'm realizing I need to kind of redo my wardrobe. I got clothes from 10-15 years ago because they've held up. I have since done that. And I tell you what. Even as a podcaster, though I don't spend a whole lot of time out in the public where I need to be in a suit, per se, but still, there is that image, there is that professional courtesy, there's the respect of others. And so I thought, man, I got to bring you on the show because I love what you're doing and I love how it's changed so many lives.
Antonio: Well, I love it. I love the fact that you actually followed — that's my plan, is I get you in with a useful piece of information, and then I hit you with the philosophical question of why aren't you actually caring about this because most guys say, “Well, I don't really think about style too much.” Well, they're not walking around naked. They're not in their underwear, they're not in their — they do care to a degree.
It's not about suits. In fact, people are surprised when I say, “I don't care, actually, that much about the clothing. It's about the man inside the clothing and how he's using this to convey to the world who he is, what he stands for” because I think so many guys just go out there, and instead of their clothing enhancing their natural style of masculinity and their message, it actually detracts.
And that's what is the sad. These people wonder, “Why didn't I get a call back?” For some guys it's simply maybe dating. Other people, it's an interview for a new job. Other guys, they may be getting up on stage. And they wonder, “My message was great. Why wasn't I invited back to speak?” And there's research out there. It shows — and these are concert musicians. They would walk out properly dressed for the event or not properly dressed. In fact, it was a recording. There was no chance that the music the judge was listening to was different. Yet, if they were not properly dressed — and it took him about a minute to walk on stage, sit down, get everything set up, and then start to play. The judge had already made the decision based off of appearance. And these are professional judges. And you think about.
And I just see so many guys that when they start to realize this, they realize it's just simply another tool in your arsenal. And that's when I get excited, when a man starts to make the changes he then sees results and he's able to go out there to get what he wants out of life.
Brian: It's interesting that you brought that up because I've been on stage too, and recently I was on stage with actors. They were not dressed professionally in a suit or anything like that but they were dressed in clothes that fit them properly, and I was not, plus they also have the six-pack abs and perfect bodies. So that's a little bit of a comparison but I did actually look at that. You look back at pictures and you say, “I need to dress a little bit more me,” if that makes sense.
And then also I did an experiment, in fact, I've done this on the show quite a few times where I'll walk into different stores — the same exact store. I'll go in in gym clothes and then I'll go in in a nice outfit. And it is amazing how people will react to you when you're in nice clothes. They talk to you, they'll ask you how you're doing, “Hello, sir. How can I help?” You go in gym clothes, they ignore you.
Antonio: Sometimes. It depends on where you're at. If you actually go into some of the high-end stores let's say in Southern California — and we're talking one's in which just a hoodie is going to be $1,000. They talk about — I think it was Neil Patel. I don't know if you're familiar. He's a conversions expert. He was talking about how he sees a group of young men come in, they're all in their basketball — they're very tall, they're in their basketball attire. They look like they actually play basketball professionally, and they did, and they walk in. But because of that status — what's interesting is Neil talked about how they looked at the hoodie he was looking at which was almost $1,000. They're asked him, actually, how he matches it. And he just pointed out, “Oh, I just wear this to go jogging.” And instantly they're like, “Who is this guy wearing $1,000 hoodies out just jogging?” And that led to an interesting, actually, business transaction for him.
The thing is sometimes you can transcend it. And people see those extreme examples like Mark Zuckerberg. Well, he doesn't wear suits. He's the owner of Facebook. But he does actually pay attention to what he wears. He actually pointed out when he was coming back from paternity leave — he showed that his closet — and it was all the same shirts, all the same hoodies. Basically his thought was, “Well, I don't want to think about what I'm going to wear. I have a uniform.” And I advise men to actually have their uniform.
But there was something you did say a few minutes ago that a lot of men never take the time to actually figure out what their style is. Everyone says, “Oh, I'm a T-shirt, jeans, running shoes, baseball cap kind of guy.” Well, look around. You're in a fashion trend because everyone else is wearing that. That's not the kind of guy you are. You just haven't thought about it and you haven't curated and perfected your image.
I'm not saying you got to be a suit guy but I am saying think about that message you want to send to the world, and then just simply own it. Suits can be comfortable if they fit you properly or made from the right material. As you know, you don't want synthetic material next to your skin. It's just simply luxury materials, they can feel really nice or even low-cost materials but you find a good deal and maybe you make sure that it's got the right type of weave or basically the nap on — that's the surface of the fabric — suits your skin type, how you're going to react to it. But all these things, if you actually start to get into it, it's kind of fun, and you realize that it's just another part of personal branding.
Brian: I like that you're talking about the personal branding thing because I think that is very true. I look at dress shoes. And it's funny because I definitely looked — I read very, very much in depth all of the stuff that you talked about with dress shoes, for example. Of course, listeners on the show, they know the story already. But basically I had ruptured my disk years ago, went in for surgery, and they messed up my nerves, and it has never fully healed since and so I have a little bit of limp because some muscles have no signal. And wearing a shoe that has any heel raised at all feels like somebody's stabbing a knife in my calf and in my back. And so I thought I can't wear this dress shoes, and not to mention I have size 14 super narrow.
I think I shopped for over 100 pairs of dress shoes, and it was the most uncomfortable experience I've ever had. And I remember going — I love Chuck Taylors. They're zero millimeters, there's no heel. I can wear this Converse. I wish they made a dress shoe. And they really don't but I was able to find that you can custom a leather brown Converse that actually works as a casual semiformal type shoe. You can't necessarily wear it with suit or anything like that but I thought I'm going to make a statement, and it worked. I love it.
Antonio: When I see something like that and you got a story, it's a great start for conversation. And as long as you know it and you own it, I think it's perfect — it's actually great. It's a great way to kind of put yourself out there without — and in your case, you got a medical reason but there's actually a company called the Primal Professional you should check out.
Brian: I have one of those shoes too. That is my dress shoe. That's my suit shoe.
Antonio: And Mountain is a great friend. That is a true entrepreneur. The guy heard I was in Vegas speaking at New Media Experience, I believe. And he actually said, “Oh. Well, can we meet for dinner?” I didn't realize he was talking to me on the phone. He was in Los Angeles. And he just jumps in his car, bought my audiobook, listened to the audiobook the entire way out with his girlfriend, Cherry — yes, Mountain and Cherry — and they just met me.
Brian: That's awesome.
Antonio: I didn't even know. And we met him. Of course, what am I going to do? This guy just drove four hours to hand me a pair shoes to get just my opinion.
Brian: He's awesome.
Antonio: He is.
Brian: What did you think of him?
Antonio: I think that they're good. He's gone through a number of manufacturers. He doesn't want to compromise. It's a little bit slow. This isn't one of those Kickstarters that you see, they raise $1 million and they're off and running. He's had some hiccups. But the guy is transparent, he stands behind his product, and he's really passionate about what he's doing.
Brian: When I ordered the shoe — and again, this is one of those things. That shoe is fantastic. For me anyway, it doesn't look good with jeans so I needed something less formal.
Antonio: Don't they have some boots now?
Brian: Maybe he does now. I'm not sure. I was actually looking for a brown shoe, and he said, “No, I don't have one yet. I have the oxblood.” And so I said, “Well, it wasn't quite what I was looking for. I was looking for something.” He said, “Well, I'll let you know,” and I haven't heard anything since, but that's why I went after the Converse. But yes, I remember getting that shoe. And it was, you're right, it was a slow process but he wanted to get it right, but he kept me very informed the whole way through. He's just a great guy. I've enjoyed the shoe.
Antonio: Good. Well, I'm going to have to point him towards this podcast now because hey, he's getting featured in it.
Brian: I know. Look at this. What started this whole thing? How did you get into this? What created the passion behind all of this?
Antonio: Like many things, it doesn't have a direct story. Everyone would like something that's really nice and tied up. But out of business school I got hired by a manufacturing company. I was promptly fired. So I found myself living in a place — I wanted to start my own company. I just moved my wife from Ukraine and my young son, and my wife was pregnant with our second child. And I thought this is a great time to start my own company which may sound kind of funny but it actually is true because you're never going to have, really, less kids. There is never a perfect time.
So I started my first company, and I was an online custom clothier, and that one did not succeed as well. But in that failure which took me probably four to five years to realize — I learned a lot. But one thing I did learn is I can't sell suits but I can get people to read my content. And I had a guy, Brett McKay, at the Art of Manliness, he loved the articles I put out, my early blog. He said, “Come right for me.” So I saw from him the power of online marketing and how you can build an audience.
So from the Art of Manliness I was able to reach a lot more people. Then I realized people ask me to go deeper on what I'm talking about but I don't like types. So how about we try to video? Because video is very light for me. For some people talking on a podcast, it's very light, it's very easy to do. For me, getting in front of a camera, I don't have a problem with it.
So I started putting out these videos. That's, I think, what separated us from everyone else out there. Most of our videos were not great. We just simply went into a lot of detail. My wife did the edits but the edits were relatively at the beginning, at the end and bringing the audio with the video. And that's what built me up on YouTube. Everything else is benefited. We continue to have a blog that gets like 70,000 people a day to it so it does pretty well.
We have an app that's been downloaded almost 100,000 times. We've got Facebook groups, Facebook pages with 40,000, 100,000. Our Pinterest page actually does incredibly well. But it's really the video that I find that has a huge impact on people because now we've reinvested in the company, and we've really become information marketers. And so the clothier is now shut down. It's been shut down for about five years now. And I really focus in on promoting brands and promoting companies and putting out that timeless information so that men can dress better.
Brian: That's so interesting that it was the trajectory, I guess if you want to call it that, where you start off with, “Here are my ideas, here's what I'm going to do,” and then you realize that by just basically talking about the information — like you said, the content, you could really get people to read your content and then eventually going to the video and promoting other brands. It's interesting. I think that that's such a great lesson to be learned because so many people want to go and do their own thing, and I know I'm one of those people too or I want to be original, I want to be the one who creates the original content, but there really is something to be said about pointing people to other wonderful brands and creating your opinion and your voice around that.
Antonio: The brands, they have an issue and they can't reach the customer base. They want to create more sales. They want better customers. And again, usually I find the successful companies we create are the ones that are really solving a problem, not what we think to be a problem or what we hypothesize in a business plan to be a problem, but a problem that is actually we either have ourselves or we develop a deep sense of empathy with the customer or with the people looking to get these problems solved, and we better understand it.
One of the ones I dealt with was I was just getting so many people wanting me to promote their stuff, and initially I did it for free. The problem with that is that that's not a business model and it doesn't scale. I have a good friend and mentor, his name is Aaron Marino. He said, “Antonio, you have to charge.” I was hesitant at first. But I remember getting that first $3, 000. I just sent him an invoice and said, “Sorry, guys,” because we've just done one for free. And I'm like, “I cannot talk about this product again.” It took me almost a year to get the review done, video, film and everything out because I just had other things going on. I would spend ten minutes here, an hour here. And then they kept pressuring us. “Hey, we sent you those shoes. You need to do it.” And I sent him an invoice. I said, “I'll do another one but it's $3,000.” And they paid within 30 minutes. I was like, “Wait a minute. They will really pay me for this?”
Now we have an entire media company that is a separate business called MENfluential Media. Terry and his brother, Bryan, and my other partner on it, Aaron Marino, we send all of our leads through this, and we're able to quickly evaluate who's serious, who's not. We actually get the products sent to us. We have time to review them. Every business has different terms. So we get it streamlined through ours that way it fits because sometimes people want you to basically do an infomercial, other times people don't really give you any direction but after the video they're like, “Well, why didn't it perform the way we wanted?”
So we try to be really clear with expectations, what we're going to do. But, really, I want to be able to test that product, make sure it's really good. And it's a win-win because my audience learns about a new business or a company they're reminded of that basically they can go buy from with high level of trust. And we're actually paid for that, and it's a win-win scenario.
Brian: I'm so glad you talked about that too because I know a lot of people right now who are having products sent to them and they're promoting it for free. I really hate that because so much with the free media right now, with YouTube, with podcasting and everything, everybody expects everything to be for free but the reality is people don't value it the same. I'm reading a book, Jeff Goins, Real Artists Don't Starve. And I just started it but I was very fascinated because as an artist myself, there's something to be said about having people to pay you for your art, for your talent, for your work. And I think it's a great idea because you're getting paid to do it, you're having the products sent to you, you're actually making sure they're good so you know that if you're promoting it that it's a fantastic product otherwise you wouldn't promote it. So there's something to be said about that. I appreciate that.
Antonio: A lot of people just have an issue with anyone having success because maybe they're not having success and they want to tear down others. Somehow making money has become a bad thing. And I definitely understand the rap. I grew up without money. I grew up in a trailer park in West Texas. We had a limited amount of food on our table.
I remember my stepdad used to basically say, “You got one gallon of milk.” We've got six people in this house. “And this has got to last us a week, guys.” Literally, we had a limit on the amount of milk that can go into our cereal for breakfast. That scarcity mentality is so common, I think I still have it in many ways, and it's something that people struggle with.
And when they see someone else taking too much milk they're like, “No, no, wait, stop. That's going to affect me.” What they don't realize is that you could go out there and create something, and we could go buy not only another gallon of milk, we could buy a whole another — I got two fridges in my house now because I never will run out of milk. My wife thinks I'm like a prepper or something because we literally have more food in our house than — and I rotate it. Maybe that scarcity mentality still sits with me.
They have this fear that somehow your success is going to take away from their possible success. And it doesn't work that way. You need to have an abundance mentality where we can all grow and succeed because you can build up more of what's out there.
Brian: You are so right about that. Everybody has an opportunity. I actually had conversations with people recently who have said there are people in this world who do not have the opportunity to succeed and to have that abundance. And I don't agree with that. I feel like everybody has the opportunity. But somebody didn't lend a hand to that person. Well, maybe that's our responsibility to get out there and lend a hand to people who need it. But I firmly believe — because I know a lot of people who are successful today who grew up with nothing and with no opportunities whatsoever, and they made a decision and said, “I'm going to go do something, and I'm going to be the first in my family to do this so I can take care of my family,” and they've all succeeded.
Antonio: I don't know who said it but it was whether or not you think you can or you can't, you're probably right. And I find that optimist and pessimist, we all find examples that will prove our point. I simply in life had chosen to be an optimist. I do believe that anyone can have success. Not everyone will, in fact, the vast majority will not ever fully reach their goals. At least, I think, we can see upward mobility in general if you're consistent, if you put in the time. Of course, people are always going to be held back. There's always going to be that negative. If you want to be the richest man in the world or the woman with the most material, there's only one room for one winner there. But if you look at what you start with and where you end up, and if you're given a life even if it's 50 years, 60 years, you can make so much progress in that life.
Maybe because I was a philosophy major — and it's funny. I read those books. They didn't mean much to me when I was 19, 20, 21. I was an officer of the Marines. When you see a 19-year-old — that's it, that was his last, he just bled right in front of you — you realize that we don't have too much time. I don't do negative reviews. If I get some product and I don't like it honestly, I'd give the company a feedback but I don't take their money, I send the product back, and I try to tell it straight up with people.
And that's one thing I do like about business in general, it's very light. When it comes to it, we're dealing with money, I always give great respect to police officers, to firemen, to emergency medical technicians, to the Coast Guard, to the nurses out there, the people that, really, they've got the tough job. My stuff here, it's fun, it's light. At the end of the day I may put out some bad advice but we're not talking about something that's going to really put someone in danger.
Brian: That's true, but you are helping people. And that's what I love, is that each — it's amazing how many people are saying there are so many problems in this world, and we couldn't solve them. I agree with that but I also love how people like you are saying, “And we're helping to solve those problems in our one little corner of the world.” But what you're doing is you're helping men. I think you're giving them more than just a personal image. You're giving them confidence, you're giving them an opportunity for success so that they can also succeed and impact the world around them, and I think it's incredible.
What is it that keeps you going every day that you just say, “This is why I do what I do?” A story or what?
Antonio: That's actually a great question because it was something that you start to reach a level of success, you start to do okay, and you're like, “Okay. Should I pull back, step off the gas?” All of the men we help and the women as well — I get a lot of them that reach out and talk about how they're husband has new confidence, how she's attracted to him. I didn't prevent the divorce but it was something that hey, they started spending a little bit more time together, and that led to other things which you would like to think would prevent that relationship from falling apart.
So it definitely is, meeting the people in person, that's why I do a live event out in Atlanta. It's called Conference. I initially called it StyleCon. We changed the name to MENfluential because it was lot more than style. I bring in lifestyle, men's fitness, we have, of course, style guys popping as well but it's about guys getting outside of their comfort zone and starting that journey to becoming the man they know themselves to be. And when I meet these guys in person or when I have someone approach me — occasionally I get recognized, that's always kind of interesting — no one comes up to you and says something nontrivial. They're always about these life-changing stories. And you're just like, “Wow. That is awesome.” So that's probably what keeps me motivated.
Brian: That's awesome. That's great to hear. I'm sorry I don't have any life-changing stories for you right now. I would honestly say that even being able to find —
Antonio: When you walk you're more comfortable in the type of shoes, right?
Brian: I was just going to say that. Yes, exactly.
Antonio: There it is. We take hundreds of thousands of steps. I think that's key because so many guys, they've got something, it's small but it all works together. I talked to my buddy. His carrier just came in. They're out for six months. You may be in charge of air-conditioning on an aircraft carrier which doesn't sound too important compared to a pilot of an F-18. But that AC goes out and that pilot isn't able to sleep and they've got mission, that's a key thing when guys need to be able to get sleep. It affects the entire ship.
Brian: That's so true. You're right. There are all these little pieces that come together. I just did a conference in Vegas recently. You walk a lot of miles there because everything's so large. And I was actually hosting 42 different episodes for their radio show in three days. You got to keep your body in shape for that sort of thing. It was fantastic. Yes, I had to be comfortable but I had to be professional because we were in front of people. And there's really something to be said about that because every little piece works together just like that air conditioner that — if you're not sleeping well, if you're in pain, if you're doing something like that, it's going to affect your game one way or the other. So you're right, every little piece — well, I appreciate this.
Antonio: Brian, are you going to ask me about what I'm geeking out about?
Brian: I'd love to hear about that. What are you geeking and what are you nerding out about right now?
Antonio: Right now I am geeking out about understanding mindset. I know that sounds so high level and kind of hokey. I used to always be the guy that needs tactical advice, tactical advice. As I went back and I spent time examining my business, we are doing so many things the wrong way because of a limiting belief that I had when I created that part of my business maybe two years ago or three years ago.
I think initially I talk with my team — my time is worth $500 an hour, and don't bother me with question that you guys can handle. But what I realized, gosh, honestly, my time is worth $2,000 an hour, and you guys should be handling all problems below the $2,000 point. That may sound crazy to somebody out there who's like, “What do you mean $2,000 an hour? You're not worth that.” And that's a limiting belief because it's like, “Yes, I am.”
And my business has grown to a point where that limiting belief I had earlier when I said that price three years ago — and I keep getting these $500-$750 an hour problems and I'm realizing — so for me it's very interesting to go back and look at where your mindset was just two years ago or just a year ago, and to see how anyone in any walk of life continues to move up. And you've got to constantly take that step back and recheck yourself to make sure that you're not holding yourself back.
Brian: I used to do Audiobooks.com podcast. I interviewed the CEO for that. And he was talking about something very similar to that — a very successful company. And he sat there in his office and he would take care of those $2,000 type dollar problems only. That's what he focused on. He had a team that would take care of the stuff that other people could take care of, but only he could take care of these certain things, and that's why they were successful. If he was taking care of the other things that other people could do, he would never have had the time to get to the things that only he could do.
Antonio: But the thing is there are some people that want to start at that level. It's like, “No, no. You got to earn your way up there.” So those of you coming in from corporate maybe that want to start your own business here, it doesn't that way.
Brian: So what's your advice on that? Because I think that's a great point. With the limiting belief in general, let's talk about that. What's your advice on a limiting belief?
Antonio: Surround yourself with people very quickly that are at a higher level. I was just out at Nathan Barry's Convertkit conference, Craft and Commerce. He puts me in a mastermind. And I'm sitting next to a guy named Brian Moran. He runs a company called SamCart. And I'm around all these other great entrepreneurs and people that are having just great success. You want people that are going to challenge you, people that aren't afraid to tell you straight up they think you're going down the wrong path. So I put together masterminds as well, people that I can spend the time getting with on a monthly basis for a couple hours, and we just meet regularly. You don't want to surround yourself with people that are always telling you yes.
Brian: That's so true. I like that. We talked about that a lot here, is you're the sum of the five around you. So somebody that's wanting to upgrade their personal image, take themselves to the next level, they want to redo their closet, if you know what I mean, they're wanting to have some success, what's your advice, how do they get started?
Antonio: The easiest thing is simply figure out why you're doing it — steal that from Simon Sinek — and define why — it's like a sandwich. If you're hungry, you're going to find a way to go feed yourself. You're either going to buy a sandwich, you're going to buy a pizza, you will find a way to make it happen. It's just like the mindset. Really, you go to figure out why do you want to dress better. You want to make more money. Why do you want to make more money? Well, because I want to be able to provide for my family. Why do you want to provide for your family? Because my dad wasn't around when I was a kid.
I'm getting tired of missing out on these dates with my little girl who's already five. I blinked and she's now five. So when you realize that I'm getting dressed and I'm dressing not for that money but, really, because I want to create and I want to send the image, I want to close bigger deals so that I can spend more time with my little girl, that's going to motivate you quite a bit more to take action.
Brian: I love that. I have to share one hilarious short story. I dressed up based on what you recommended, and I started doing the pocket square, by the way, which I love. I don't do the tide just because I want to keep the neck healthy for the vocal cords. But I went and I had a meeting. And somebody said, “Wow. You must be successful.” “Why?” “Well, look at the way you're dressed.”
Antonio: Everyone's got a vision of success.
Brian: I love that.
Antonio: A successful jet pilot, what does he look like? Is he wearing Tommy Bahama shirts and shorts? Is he wearing a suit? No. He's wearing a flight suit. And so dress for that success. Look at how you're at the top of your game in five to ten years. Dress for that man. Dress like that now.
Brian: Well, thank you very much, Antonio. This is amazing. And I love the mindset stuff, by the way. In glad you're nerding and geeking out about that because people blow that off way too much, and it is so important. Like you said, limiting beliefs, they can prevent you from any level of success. I'm so glad you're doing that. Where can we find you and how can we get in touch with you and your company and all that?
Antonio: There's this little thing called the internet. And if you type in Real Men Real Style and use the Google or the Facebook, you'll find it's there. Go visit Real Men Real Style. I got so much content out there. I think sometimes it's impossible. The worst is when I'm looking for advice and I find my own stuff. I'm like, “Well, I don't want to take advice from that guy.”
Brian: It's great, it's a wealth of knowledge, and I definitely go there a lot. I'm always learning something new. So RealMenRealStyle.com. I love it, Awesome.
Antonio: All right, Brian.
Brian: Thank you so much, Antonio. I really appreciate your time today. All right. Great stuff there, Antonio. Thank you so much, RealMenRealStyle.com, go check it out. It definitely helped me out quite a bit. It's great to be able to use.
So I'd love to hear your feedback on this. And I know, guys, you're definitely going to get a feel for this and go, “Man, this is going to really help me out.” But women, I know there are definitely some things in there that we talked about that can really be beneficial to you as well. But I would love to hear a feedback on this one, men and women. I'd like to hear both sides of the feedback. What do you think about this? How important do you think this is? How important is it to you currently or are you in that place where it's like, “Hey, I got to do something about this”?
Thanks for joining me today. I really appreciate it. And you know what the music means. It's time to head on out of here. Friday, we are going to rock it up. Time to nerd out, time to have some fun. Of course the Nightfox will be joining me. But I want you to go over to RealMenRealStyle.com, check it out, and also go to RealBrianShow.com. I'd love to hear from you anything, anything at all that's on your mind. Talk to me. Let's have some fun here. Have a great rest of your week. I'm the real Brian, singing off.
Female: The Real Brian Show is a production of 514 Media at 514MediaEmpire.com.
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This post is an interview transcript. Click here to listen to Brian’s interview with Antonio Centeno over at The Real Brian Show.