Welcome to The Smart Biz Show, America's nationally syndicated business show and podcast. Gregariously packed with effective strategies from business experts, strategies you can immediately put to work in your business.
Here are your hosts, Jim Wright and Jeff Arthur.
Jeff: Yeah. By the way, I'm Robin to his Batman. I'm Butch Cassidy to his Sundance. Or Sundance to his Butch Cassidy.
Jim: You're keys to my wine.
Jeff: In a box. In a box. That's how you gregariously pack what we do.
Jim: Folks, welcome to The Smart Biz Show. I'm Jim Wright. That's Jeff Arthur over there. Jeff is the only person I know that's branded for his laugh.
Jeff: That's right.
Jim: That's great.
Jeff: That's right.
Jim: Our guest today is —
Jeff: We have a great guest today.
Jim: Just very interesting. It's Antonio Centeno and Antonio has Real Men Real Style. Antonio, what's that all about and how did you get started?
Antonio: Well, Jeff and Jim, thanks guys for having me on. Really quick, most men don't care about how they dress. You can just look around and see that. It's funny because I think the perception is somehow it's non-masculine or it's not something that they should care about. Society tells us, hey, judge a book not by its cover, a person by his heart.
All that sounds great but when it comes down to it all the science and all experience backs up that we do look at other people and make an immediate judgment. My goal is to help men understand why this matters, how to use it to their advantage so that they can get what they want out of life, whether that be to use it to make more money, to use it to be able to meet people, to improve relationships with their wife, talk to that woman they've been wanting to talk to for years and she just hasn't noticed them.
When I can help a guy understand the why of how this is going to help him, he starts to realize, wow, instead of going off and getting that second MBA or that other degree, he realizes, “If I actually dress better, I can relatively inexpensively look better, my boss is actually going to possibly give me a raise because I'm more useful to the company because I can be customer-basing it.” When you help guys understand those key concepts, they are able to take it and run with it.
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Jeff: It occurs to me, Antonio, what you're talking about, guys don't do it. Of course I think about myself and I think about — I don't know that most guys know what to do with it so I don't know how to… Jim is shaking his head. In other words, I don't know much about it so of course my defense mechanism is going to be: am I going to get involved with it? I'll put clothes on. Somebody gives me a gift, I'll wear it if it fits, whatever, blah, blah, blah. And I'd put more thought into it. Yes, Jim?
Jim: That's what I do. I put clothes on but I don't know what — if my wife says I look good, I feel I look good.
Jeff: Right, right. If she says it's okay then it's okay.
Jeff: That's kind of what I'm hearing you say is that we just don't know so we don't get involved.
Antonio: And it starts with the why. A smart guy named Simon Sinek has talked about this, starting with why. That's actually the first thing that a lot of guys are always surprised because I don't tell them exactly how to dress to start off with. In fact, I truly believe that any man, he needs to figure it out for himself but I give you the tools so that you can run with it.
Kind of like mathematics where if you understand addition, you understand subtraction, you can use that. All of a sudden multiplication, you can take that to trigonometry, to geometry, to calculus and you are able to literally figure out gravity. I'm not saying you can do that with clothing but the idea is if you understand those basic foundations and you understand the why of why you need to do this, then I find it —
If I had to explain to everyone how to make a sandwich, good luck on that. There're infinite ways to make a sandwich. But when a man's hungry, he finds a way to feed himself. So I show guys, hey, if you want to make more — well, let's look at these…
In the School of Economics at the University of Texas, Daniel Hamermesh, really smart economist, he showed in “Beauty Pays” that you will on average make $232,000 more over your career if you're perceived as more attractive.
Antonio: When I can explain that to a person, it doesn't matter if you're a plumber because if you're a plumber or you're a master electrician and you show up to a client's office or you show up to a person's door — and let's say you're 30 minutes early. The woman's at home, her husband hasn't arrived yet and she's there with the babies and kids. She looks at the people and you don't look like a plumber should or like a master electrician should, she doesn't trust you, guess what? She doesn't open the door and you just lost a deal because of the way you presented yourself.
That has nothing to do with suits because I do talk about suits. A lot of people think to dress sharp you got to a wear a suit. It's not true. It comes down to the fit of your clothing, that you're wearing the appropriate clothing, the function of it and that you wear the best you can afford. Whether you're mowing lawns, whether you are closing multimillion dollar deals, the way you present yourself, it's a hidden weapon that you can use to simply create that trust so that you can close the deal so you can be able to mow more lawns and charge more for when you do it.
Jeff: Fit and functionality. How interesting.
Antonio: Fit, functionality, and fabric. I call that my style pyramid and the whole thing with that is if you're focusing on those three things right there you're going to go far. It's like the Pareto Principle. The whole idea, you put in the 20% and you get 80% out because everyone gets focused in on things that don't matter. Is this the right tie? I can't decide on whether or not I'm going to buy this tie or this tie. Yeah, that does matter but it's a 1%.
If anyone plays video games, there are certain things that if you knock them out there were worth a lot more and that's where I try to teach guys in style. If you actually get the fit of your clothing right, you can buy inexpensive clothing. You can go to Target, you can go to Walmart and you can buy things there. If you get them to fit your body, that's a lot better look. Now, they still need to be functional for your job. I mean, if you're wearing a suit and you're doing blue collar work, I'm sorry. It's going to look odd, it's going to be out of place, and you're going to fail in terms of presenting and creating trust. They're going to think you're an imbecile.
But you need to show up and wear the right thing. Eventually, upgrade that fabric. Try to get the best you can afford. But all of that's part of the journey. I've got young men that come in and use my advice. I've got guys in their 60s, in their 70s who are finding, “Hey, I want to start my own company. I want to recreate my image.” Whether they're recently married, recently divorced, recently graduated, they are able to take this stuff and run with it.
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Jeff: Antonio, he asked you earlier then I sidetracked this whole thing about how you got into this to begin with. We've got like two minutes left.
Jeff: Tell us how you got into this.
Antonio: Sure. Well, I have a background in the United States Marine Corps so if anyone ever says that somehow dressing sharp is not manly, go tell that to a Marine.
Antonio: We care about our uniforms. We care about how we look.
Antonio: But actually I started off —
Jim: We thank you for your service.
Jeff: Yeah, absolutely. I was going to say thank you for that.
Antonio: Hey, no problem guys. I loved it. Great experience. But I was living in Ukraine after I got out of Iraq. I went over, ran a nonprofit in Ukraine. I was going to some of these top business schools, I was getting married over there, I needed a suit. All of a sudden, I figured out over there that there's this whole online, this whole custom clothing world.
I started an online custom clothier and from there I realized that actually there was a huge blue ocean, a huge market for information on how to teach guys how to dress well. So we put up a YouTube channel. We've gotten almost 20 million views after about 400 videos. We've also over a thousand articles. We reach about, I don't know, about 70,000 to 100,000 people a day and we help them make that transformation.
Jeff: That's absolutely amazing. I knew you've been in the Marines of course looking at the bio, looking at your background but you're exactly right. If you're a Marine, what is the whole thing about the uniform? That uniform is going to look sharp absolutely so that makes total sense. Who doesn't understand that? I mean, talking about the why, why is this important. Well, it helps you, it gives an impression or whatever just like anybody in the armed services because those uniforms instantly make the impression that they're supposed to make.
Antonio: Exactly. They belong where they're at. We look at rank based off of certain insignia. Believe me, in the civilian world there is a rank. A man in a suit jaywalks, two to three times as many people will follow the man in the suit versus Joe Navarro over at — this guy, he's a former counterintelligence…
Yeah, a guy in a suit can break the law and we will believe him. I mean, we look at everyone —
Jeff: How fascinating.
Antonio: Yeah, people are feeling sad for this guy. You just look at — lawyers understand this. They dress their client in their best because they realize that if you don't look the part, if this guy doesn't look like he should've been beaten up by the police, guess what? We're going to agree with that. So it's about painting images, understanding that that's real and using it to your advantage.
Jeff: Absolutely. Folks, this is Smart Biz Show. This is Antonio. Man, Antonio, we got to take a break. We'll be right back. Thank you so very much.
Welcome back. Send us a tweet at Smart Biz Show, @SmartBizShow. Now here are your hosts, Jim and Jeff.
Jeff: That's never going to change, is it?
Antonio: With a little money perhaps.
Jim: Don't worry about it. We're good.
Antonio: Well, on your side, with a little money on your side, I'll keep that in.
Jeff: Yeah, yeah. He's right in the middle, whichever one will pay me the most money. That's great.
Jim: Hey, we're having a real interesting conversation here with Antonio Centeno. He talks about Real Men Real Style. Antonio, if I may, I have this friend who is around 60 years old. He's short and gray hair and has a belly on that sort of hangs over his belt.
Jeff: Did he have shoulder surgery not too long —
Jim: Yeah, he did.
Jeff: Oh, okay.
Jim: He did.
Jeff: I think I know this guy.
Jim: You're talking about fit a while ago. How do you fit that body?
Antonio: Well, let me ask. What's the name of his tailor?
Jim: Probably —
Jeff: J. C. Penney.
Jim: [0:01:03] [Indiscernible] if you will.
Antonio: The first thing that I always tell anyone that goes through any of my courses, any of my programs is you need to know the name of your tailor and you need to have a relationship in the same way I recommend a man have an accountant, have a mechanic. Having a tailor, having someone that can take the clothing and adjust it to fit your body is the quickest path to getting the right fit. Yeah, it's going to cost a little bit but the value…
There was a company I just read about called zTailors. Just came out. The guy, George Zimmer, the founder of the Men's Wearhouse, have you ever heard? He got kicked out of the Men's Wearhouse at some point. They ousted him and now he's gone off and started this new online where it's like the Uber for a tailor so basically you can go on and you can now select a tailor and they'll come to your door.
Jim: Oh, wow.
Antonio: Yeah, there's going to be a little bit of an expense but you know what? When you think about that, some cost, maybe — and there were guys out there that have spent a couple of thousand dollars building out their wardrobe and then all of a sudden they lose weight or they gain weight and nothing seems to fit them. Well, imagine if a tailor could show up to your door or the more traditional path of you taking that clothing to them and then they adjust it and it actually fits you better.
So most guys, it's simply getting past that hump of taking the action. I've got that from using what I just recommended to I've got courses where a guy who wants to may have to. That's part of the requirement. You've got to take your clothing to a tailor and get that tailor's name and give it to me. That's why I always ask that question: what's the name of your tailor?
Jim: I think that was a great — now, my friend of mine never thought of that. I thought — I mean, my friend thought if you bought off the rack it was going to fit.
Antonio: That probably hasn't — sort of about a hundred years since that's worked because what happened? Everything's kind of conspired against us. It used to be all the clothing was made custom and that's because usually someone in your family made it and that was less expensive. Getting something made off the rack by a company was very expensive so people made their own clothing. Now we've really gone to a whole different shift and the issue is most clothing off the rack is made to fit as many body types as possible. It just makes sense. If you're thinking about it from a business perspective, you want as many people as possible to fit into a large T-shirt. That's why you see people that are 5'9″, 120 pounds wearing a large T-shirt and you see people that are 6'4″, 300 pounds wearing a large T-shirt. That shouldn't happen yet it does and [0:03:37] [Indiscernible] shirt actually fit him.
Jim: Right. I used to wear an extra medium and that changed. You have a book out there. Is it called “7 Deadly Style Sins”? You've written that, is that correct?
Antonio: I do. Yeah. That's a free book. We probably charge money for them. We just give away for free on our website. Of course I've got courses, we've got other books that we sell but I really believe that if I can get a man thinking about this and he takes one or two steps in the right direction, he's going to start getting those compliments. And when he gets a compliment, that feels great.
When you realize that, yeah, you may not think that this matters to you but what about to your family? I've got three daughters and a son and my kids, they don't listen to me much. They try to. They're young. But they do look at what I do. They imitate. The fact that I want to set the example for my family and I represent my business, that is part of my motivation for dressing sharp.
Jim: Antonio, I have to agree with that. I recently did have shoulder surgery so I went out and bought some tennis shoes that have the Velcro on them so I didn't have to tie 'em. I'll never wear those things again. My kids just went nuts about how old mannish those were.
You talked about your website. Can you give us how we can reach you there?
Antonio: Sure. Just go to Google. Type in “real men real style.” You'll find me. We pop up there. We've got over 400 videos. We've got like over a thousand articles. I really try to get specific because I find that that's what people want. They want their problems answered on the web and so we try to get ultra specific in answering people's questions. We've got a Q&A where they can just go and ask us questions. Oftentimes, we'll create a video, we'll create an article based off those questions.
Jeff: Yeah. I was going to ask you the questions so if I go find you on the web, what can I expect? But that's actually fantastic. If you're able to then create an article or obviously better a video off of that question because if you can ask that question you know that how many hundreds of other people are asking that or wondering that question as well. So just go find it and then I can find what I'm looking for within your cadre of opportunities.
Antonio: Yeah, within our website, on YouTube. But, yeah, you'll find that we — some of our videos just crack me up and how much traffic they get. One of them, how to roll your shirt sleeves, it's like well over a million views; how to tuck in your shirt, over a million views which you think that would be pretty simple info but actually I give you some very interesting ways to tuck in a shirt so it stays.
Jeff: Well, that I was going to say, yeah, nobody thinks about it because everybody just tucks their shirt in and —
Jim: Plumbers should. Plumbers should think about that.
Jeff: Right. Plumbers should think about that but nobody actually — I mean, if I was looking at that, I would stop and read that or I would stop and listen to that or watch that because it would never occur to me to ask that question and then go, “Oh, so there's a proper way to roll up the sleeves. Oh, there's a proper way to tuck in your shirt.” How interesting.
Jim: But you even talk about travel skills, how to travel and what kind of suitcase to buy, et cetera, don't you?
Antonio: Yeah, we've got entire videos. In fact, we've got two videos about to come out, how to pack light. Each of those videos are like 15 minutes and I go through exactly everything from how to fold your clothing to what to bring to the thought process that goes through it.
It's funny. A lot of this stuff still comes out of the military. When you would go on what's called a “forced march” or a “hump” in the Marine Corps, you pack everything on your back and you're going to be walking about 20 to 30 miles —
Antonio: — at a very brisk pace so everything that is on your back, you want to make sure it is there. You don't want to be carrying around something just because you've got the room for it. I think that I've always applied to my packing so everything has a purpose, everything has a reason and you start to realize, especially if you travel quite a bit, you realize or you need to look at when you come back that one-third to one-half of the stuff you packed you never use so why are you lugging it around? Why are you making it difficult to be able to stuff that stuff in the overhead when you could simply —
One of the key concepts is start with a smaller bag. If you start with a smaller bag, you will pack light.
Jim: I'll have to teach that to my wife too. Tell us again how we can get ahold of you, Antonio. The last name is spelled C-E-N-T-E-N-O. Is that correct?
Antonio: Yup, just like a single cent.
Antonio: So Antonio Centeno and they can just — yeah. Just go to Google, type us right in, “real men real style,” we'll pop up.
Jeff: We've got like a minute left here, Antonio. Again, I'm thinking about the guy out there listening, going, “Okay, so I'm afraid my question may be really stupid” or whatever so what's — I don't want to say “the number one question.” What's one of the most frequently asked questions you receive?
Antonio: Most guys say that they don't have the money for it. I also hear it's the money and it's actually getting the motivation to care. We talked a little bit about the motivation.
Jeff: Right, and the why. Yeah. Absolutely.
Antonio: Yeah, but let's talk about money. Money is not really an excuse especially if you are in the western world. You look in parts of Africa and you've got guys that are paying attention to the way they present themselves and these guys are making — we're talking $10, $50 at the most a day. Not even that. Maybe a week.
Antonio: Getting $50 a week. How are they able to do it? Well, you know what? They're using second-hand clothing. They're finding things on the cheap. So there is never an excuse. It's not about time; it's not about money. It's is it a priority? When you understand that this literally can change your life, it can bring you more business opportunities, it can bring more personal opportunities — and play off those wins. Go out there.
People ask me, “Antonio, how can I get more compliments so I feel better?” Well, give compliments.
Antonio: When you give compliments, people give them right back.
Antonio: It doesn't matter that you started it. You start feeling good. When you've got that feeling, all of a sudden you get the motivation to explore and to do more.
Jeff: Absolutely. Antonio, unfortunately we have to bring this to a close. Thank you so very much for joining us. Really appreciate it. Great information. Antonio Centeno. Centeno. Holy cow, I screwed up your name. Sorry.
This is Smart Biz Show. Folks, we'll be right back.
This is an interview transcript. Click here to read more about The Smart Biz Show.