Welcome to this edition of the Productive Business Magazine Blog – The power of collaboration. It’s an honor and a pleasure to bring to you the best and the brightest from all around the world as we talk productivity in business. Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to a good friend of mine, Steve Down.
Steve Down is a man with a cause. Many causes, in fact. He has an unwavering commitment to building businesses that change our lives and communities for the better. His companies are a force for good. Steve is an entrepreneur, cause capitalist and cause leader. Helping his community and running successful businesses are not mutually exclusive. Rather than simply donating money to the causes he believes in, he has set up a business model that turns his customers into benefactors of their own communities. Many of his businesses are built on a 1:1 giving model—buy one, give one.
Steve Down: How are you doing Dr. Vernet, what a privilege and pleasure being with you on your show.
PBM: I know you are extremely productive. Your time is precious, but I had to give the people an opportunity to hear about the magnificent things that you and your team are doing all across the globe. Steve, let’s talk about the process and principle that you have come up with, called “Cause Capitalism.
Steve Down: Dr. Vernet, Cause Capitalism is the new capitalism. It’s a kinder, gentler, more compassionate form of capitalism. I trademarked the words cause capitalism so that I could control the definition. The definition of Cause Capitalism, is when a for profit such as Even Steven Sandwiches, one of our companies chooses as its partner, a non-profit not as a gimmick, but as a true sustainable partner. To those who are reading this blog right now, Dr. Vern, if they don’t catch the vision and participate in cause capitalism, they’re going to miss out on one of the greatest trends we’ve seen in the market marketplace in many years.
PBM: I hope that everyone is catching this already. I need you to rewind and play that back in your head. He said that cause capitalism is when a for profit business takes a non-profit business as its partner, not for gimmick, game or scheme, but for sustainability. Steve, I know what you’re talking about when you mentioned one of your companies, Even Stevens Sandwiched, but before we get completely into that, tell us the story about how that concept came about.
Steve Down: Well, that’s a good question Dr. Vern. It’s actually a very simple story. I was travelling in Denver and had my personal assistant Lincoln with me. We were rushing through the airport and my blood sugar drops, so we stopped at a sandwich shop that delivered great service and a good product. As I’m sitting down, I have half the sandwich in my mouth and I asked my assistant, Lincoln, how do you improve upon this? His reply to my surprise was Steve, you’re the so called serial entrepreneur. He said, I challenge you to improve upon this before I’m done with my lunch. So, I sat my sandwich down, thinking… I’ve worn my wife and children out years ago with all my business ideas and now I have this willing audience, Dr. Vern! I thought for a couple of minutes and then I said, Lincoln I tell you what, we’ll build a sandwich shop near the University of Utah, our home state, and for every sandwich that we serve will provide a sandwich of equal nutritional value to the community’s hungry sandwich for sandwich! He looked a little startled, so I asked him Lincoln, did I offend you? He said, Steve, did you offend me… I would drive past Quiznos, Jimmy John’s and Subway every day of the week to buy a sandwich from a sandwich shop like that. I said to him really, he said, well, wouldn’t you? I said, well, maybe I just never thought of it before; I would if the sandwich was good perhaps. I’ll never forget this Dr. Vern, he said, well Steve, you don’t pay me enough money where I have money leftover at the end of the month where I have the privilege of giving. He said you’re established in life and you have that privilege. I thought, well, fair enough. He then asked me what would I call it and I thought for a second and I said, what about Even Stevens? I asked him, do you get it? He said, well, of course I get it, the privileged and the hungry, are on an even playing field. I said, well, I couldn’t have said that better! Then he told me that there was a television show, that began with a Disney movie. Then it became a weekly Sitcom called Even Stevens. So, I thought, that’s perfect! It’s already been branded in the psyche of the millennial generation.
PBM: What I want to point out is how productivity can be found in every area of your life. Steve and Lincoln, we’re traveling in an airport and presented with an issue. Well, the issue was met with a need by a sandwich shop that was providing exceptional service and from that exceptional service, a challenge arose. This is where I want people to get it. When challenges in life come, you have a choice, either you’re gonna meet the challenge or you’re going to cower down. What I love about what Steve said was, you know, I never thought of that, but if you give me a moment, let me think about it and come up with a concept. Not just come up with a concept, but Lincoln said, before we finish lunch. Do you have people in your life that are willing to challenge you and bring the best out of you? Now, many of them don’t know Steve that Even Stevens is one of the fastest growing restaurant concepts on the planet. Let’s talk a little bit about Even Stevens from that point to bringing it to fruition.
Steve Down: Well, you know, as an entrepreneur, I’m kind of lazy. I always tell my team members, Dr. Vern that it’s my job to come up with a vision and have the fun and they do the work. It sounds even steven to me, but it’s really that simple. If you can come up with an exciting vision or dream, you’re going to attract the team. In this case, I knew that I had a millennial concept. Now the millennials are very socially conscious, they’re not that fond of capitalism. You might have noticed Dr. Vern and in fact, I believe that capitalism is at risk. It may not be sustainable for another generation or two if it doesn’t change. The win-lose mentality of a dog-eat-dog philosophy where capitalism is poorly exemplified; it must stop. It will change and the future is caused capitalism! I sought out a handful of millennials that wanted to change the world. I told them, if you share my sincerity in feeding the world, then we’re going to build a profitable concept. The problem with socialism is that it’s been proven not to work. It’s unsustainable because it’s true, you do eventually run out of other people’s money. So, I said, if you want to be able to build something sustainable where we truly change the world, let’s demonstrate how capitalism really ought to operate around the world. Cause Capitalism is where we’re profitable, so that we also attract other people’s money and give them a fair return on their money so that the influx of capital becomes sustainable as well. You have to be able to compete in the marketplace for capital and then if we can actually create a sustainable, profitable model, we can literally feed millions of people. As you know Dr. Vern, we’ve demonstrated in the marketplace that the viability of cause capitalism was inspired in part by Toms Shoes and the buy one give one model. What’s different about the Evens Stevens concept is that the food that they give back remains in the neighborhood where you bought the sandwich. Whereas, Toms Shoes, it’s a pair of shoes given to a very deserving person in a third world country. For example: I’ve noticed that when people have the choice they like to impact their own neighborhood.
PBM: Absolutely, that is a phenomenal concept and we are appreciative of the work that’s being done now. I know that to date there are at least 20 Even Stevens, nationally and each of those Even Stevens have four charitable partners associated with them. Is that correct?
Steve Down: Dr. Vern, that’s correct. At each location, we contract with four non-profit partners in that neighborhood. It could be the Boys and Girls Club of America, maybe the Food Bank of that city or the WCA. There are many qualified and very worthy non-profits out there that are ideal choices to be a non-profit partner for that restaurant. So, when you purchase a sandwich, Even Stevens once its serve, we hold ourselves strictly accountable. As you know, Dr. Vern, we have a computer screen inside our restaurants that shows in real-time the number of sandwiches sold by that particular location and another screen that shows the number of sandwiches sold enterprise-wide. We provide these four non-profit partners each month a cash credit. Once we tally the sandwiches, they then are able to go online and order the food from our wholesaler; in most cases Cisco. The food is delivered from Cisco’s freezer to the freezer of the non-profit partner with free delivery and it’s very efficient and sustainable. Over 80 non-profit partners are raving about this service. One thing that we emphasize is that we are a for profit. We’re not going to compete with those great non-profits out there. It’s our job to support them and to make their job easier because they have a tough job. Feeding the hungry, is a tough enough job already without, knowing where you’re going to get the food to provide for those whom are hungry.
PBM: That is one of the things that I hope people are understanding. Think about it from this perspective, when you are able to go to an establishment, and by you simply eating there, you are helping the neighborhood around you. Who doesn’t want to do that? Just as Lincoln said, you know, Steve, I would pass every sandwich shop, even if it was a few miles away, to be able to partake in something of this magnitude. Everybody wants to be and do good. You have a quote that talks about being a force of good. Help us out with that. Talk to us a little bit more about that quote perse. Be a force of good!
Steve Down: Well, I believe that each one of us can choose. What makes us different from the animal kingdom is that we have the ability to make a conscious choice. I truly believe that when it comes to capitalism, that wealth, true, sustainable wealth is a byproduct of serving others and doing good.
PBM: Creating a sustainable model is what we’ve been talking about! It all boils down to the power of collaboration, at its core that’s cause capitalism! Here are a few questions that I pose to you the reader. What have you been exposed to? Are you willing to pay it forward? Are we teaching it to our future generations? My friends, are we truly doing that which is necessary for us to be working with a sustainable model? Right here on productive business blog, magazine and radio, I bring you the best and the brightest from all around the world who are making a productive impact. Steve has multiple companies in the Steve Down Companies family, well over six companies that he has started with the same exact model of the one for one. Even Stevens is really just the beginning of our conversation. I believe the world would be a better place if we had the mindset of cause capitalism. Think about it, there would be no famine, there would be no hunger and we would literally be able to have a self-sustaining world with nothing but love and honor. You can’t beat this type of information, wisdom and knowledge. Lets talk about being a force of good and how that truly changes lives.
Steve Down: Yes, I think individually, the question is, can we change the world? Absolutely, because one individual can then influence another person. If you get two people, like a Steve Down and a Dr. Vern together on the same note and the same sheet of music… give me one credible person like Dr. Vern and we can change the world together! Because we then attract others, and I know that cause capitalism and caused companies truly become a revolution. Dr. Vern, I know you were asking the question, since you are here in the Phoenix area, where I am visiting right now. here as well. Imagine if every business in Phoenix, Arizona became a cause capital company, and the influence that would have in the state of Arizona, but it wouldn’t stop there. It would become viral. I am here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be at the sacrifice of the success of the business. In fact, I’m here to tell your readers that it will actually improve your bottom line. The basic premise of Even Steven Sandwiches is that we decided to take that 10% that would typically go to advertising and marketing and rechanneled those dollars into the mouths of the hungry, and then rely on social consciousness and the media to do our advertising for us. It’s truly exceeded my imagination. Well, a good example would be you Dr. Vern and your great publication, Productive Business Magazine. It has gotten behind us and given us advertising that perhaps we couldn’t afford to buy. Then multiply that, by literally thousands of radio and television stations. Thanks to your influence in Arizona, I have the privilege of being interviewed on, on a major television station this Wednesday morning, Good Morning Arizona an advertising that we really couldn’t afford to buy. So, cause capitalism is not going to cost you money, but if it’s done right and efficiently, then it will actually make you money. In the process, we are truly coming together to provide the unmet needs of those who are hungry, could not dress warm or properly. We live in a world of abundance Dr. Vern, and there’s no reason for any child to go hungry or go to bed hungry or any a widow or single mother not to be able to provide for her own. We live in a world of abundance and there’s no one who exemplifies that better than Dr. Vern. I know you well enough to know, the love that you show other people in so many different ways truly exemplify the abundance that we should all participate.
PBM: Thank you for that, Steve. That means a lot coming from you and it really does touch my heart. Our goal in life is to be the best version of ourselves that we possibly can and to help as many people while we’re here on this earth. Which brings me to another thing that I really love to talk about. You have another quote that has been etched in my mind since the first time that I heard it. You said, wealth is not earned; It’s created. Can we talk a little bit about that?
Steve Down: I am convinced Dr. Vern, that wealth is not earned. You can’t work long enough and hard enough to earn wealth; wealth is created. Once you understand the principles of wealth creation, you can create wealth again, and again. Perhaps my favorite company that I founded, is called Financially Fit, found at www.financiallyfit.com. It’s a company with the ultimate give back because our basic financial education program, our online community is free. I’ve discovered that the more people that I help, the more hope is inspired. I love to inspire hope, and in this world, one thing that’s lacking is financial hope. If we can teach people what I refer to as principle centered wealth, and in doing so, change the way you feel, think, and act about money; that’s when we will have truly made a difference. It’s wonderful being a part of Even Stevens where we feed the hungry. Once you change the way people feel, think and act about money, then you participate in cause capitalism. It is so much easier to be on the giving end than the receiving end. It takes a tremendous amount of humility often to receive. I believe that we are all, sometime in our life, in a place where we should be willing to receive. I’ve shared with my children that any one of us are only two or three unfortunate events away from being homeless and hungry. So Financially Fit, is a company that really takes an inside out approach, changing the way you feel, think and act about money. It’s a Cause Capital Company that provides free financial education, with the vision of illuminating the planet with this knowledge. It’s fun to apply the Cause Capitalism Philosophy to each and every company in the marketplace or each company that you have. I know you’re a diverse individual with several companies and projects, Dr. Vern.
PBM: Yes Sir, and it’s a beautiful thing! What I love about it is how you have illuminated your companies and have become that guiding light when it comes to Cause Capitalism. You are a cause leader, cause entrepreneur, and cause author; everything about Steve Down, is about cause. That makes a statement and a big difference. I’ve always heard the statement that, no one wants to do business with anyone who they don’t know, like, and trust. The moment that you meet Steve, you can’t help but to like him and the moment that you hear him speak, you feel as if you already know him. So, knowing, liking and trusting someone when you’re dealing with cause capitalism or a cause mindset, it’s inevitable folks! What I want everyone to know about Financially Fit, it’s a free community. When you’re talking to someone who has built multiple businesses, and I’m talking about successful businesses and they are telling you, that they want everyone to be on an even playing field when it comes to the knowledge of finances; that is phenomenal. Trust me you do not want to pass up the opportunity. If you are reading the words on this blog or magazine, you need to go check out www.financiallyfit.com Why? Because your life, business and future will thank you for taking that step. Get with like-minded individuals who desire to do better, be better so that they can reach more people on this earth. That’s what the Financially Fit community is all about. Another thing that I love about it, is that there are so many different principles that you teach in the financially fit community. Let’s talk a little bit about the actual wealth compass? I don’t want to give too much away, but I want people to know about the wealth compass.
Steve Down: Well, it’s such a simple principle that it’s easy and fun to give away. The wealth compass, Dr. Vern is built based on the premise that you can spend your money only one of four ways. Your money is either going east, west, north, or south. It can’t go any other direction. East expenditures, for example: are those things that appreciate in value. Stocks, bonds, real estate education, attending one of Dr. Vern’s Productive Business seminar or summit, that’s money going true east, and going true east towards the rising sun. The rising sun would be your wealth vision. The rising sun sustains life and brings warmth and happiness to you and your family’s future. In direct opposition of east expenditures, or east spending would be west expenditures or west spending. West spending are what I refer to as those things that depreciate in value, the depreciating liabilities, in opposition to your east expenditures. A good example perhaps of a west expenditure would be the motorhome sitting in your driveway that might be bigger than your house. It’s covered with plastic and dust and you haven’t moved it in quite some time. You financed it with money you didn’t have, paying a high interest, high maintenance costs, and the high insurance and it depreciates in value. You only use it once every three years when you recharge the battery. Now, by the way, if you love motorhomes and you use it every weekend or once a month, then that’s great just to understand that it’s a nice expenditure. I don’t have a problem with it, I just want you to know and understand where your money is going. If you use that motorhome for your business, then it might be actually an east expenditure. Now north expenditures, by the way, the west expenditures places on what we refer to as the financial treadmill. The financial treadmill works like this Dr. Vern, it’s where income + available credit = out go. What you earn and what you can borrow from what you spend. That treadmill accelerates each and every month until it finally snaps coming to a screeching halt in bankruptcy court. This year, more bankruptcies have been granted in America than college diplomas. North expenditures are the financial leaks. If you’re standing at the corner gas station and there’s that lottery ticket that’s screaming at you, Dr. Vern buy me, it’s your lucky day; after all, someone has to win. Well, you know, if you find that losing your money is entertaining, just understand that type of entertainment is an expenditure. It’s ok, but what about that latte on a daily basis? Did you know that if you were 30 years old and you took that $5 expenditure for the Latte or the Starbucks coffee and you rechanneled those dollars going east, you will retire as a millionaire? So, if you can afford to buy a daily cup of coffee, you can afford to retire as a multi-millionaire. So, it’s the financial leaks that are the north expenditures that’s dark and cold, you know like excessive alcohol, drugs and tobacco is what I think could be categorized into north expenditures. The south expenditures on the other hand, are what we refer to as your living expenses. This is your mortgage payment, the car insurance, the dog food, cat food, monthly haircut, these are the necessary living expenses. The philosophy of the wealth compass is for you to get what you truly want. Most people will go through their lives not even knowing what they want. They never crystallize their financial desires into what I refer to as your wealth vision. Your wealth vision becomes the rising sun. Now the reason why you must begin with your wealth vision is because there’s two very powerful spindles on the wealth campus. There’s the emotional spindle and there the logical spindle. Now Dr. Vern, you know, which one rules the day and the night that is 90% of all spending, like eating is emotional. So, if your accountant tells you logically that you need to go on a budget, but you want to buy that new sports car before you can afford to buy it, or lease it; we all know that the emotional one will win. So, the key is to get both spindles going in the same direction at the same time. Hopefully going true east towards exactly what you want, your financial, your wealth vision and dreams. So, the philosophy of the spending compass is to simply help you get what you truly desire, it’s not to put you on a budget. Budgets like diets don’t work. Tracking expenses are like counting calories, its wasted time! What truly works is to literally spend your way to wealth through the wealth compass.
PBM: Steve, that wealth compass is amazing my friend. That is something that you will learn in the financially fit. There is enough stuff in the online community for professional as well as personal financial growth. So, there’s no excuse. It doesn’t matter where you are in the financial side of the house, there’s always a tool that you can use and learn from in financially fit. This is years of information that has truly been used to maximize life, to maximize fulfillment, and to teach people how to obtain and keep wealth. So, if you want to learn more about that, you already know where you need to go, which is www.financiallyfit.com. Now, Steve, there’s so much that we can talk about, but I want to talk about another concept that you have called The Falls Event Centers. I fell in love with the Falls Event Center here in Gilbert Arizona. Talk to us a little bit about how that got started and the concept behind it?
Steve Down: Well, you know, when you experience frustration in the marketplace, don’t get mad; create a new company. I’ve done seminars across the country, there were times, many times where I would feel frustrated. I would leave my projector behind and I would be charged, $800 to rent a project, when I could have bought one for $400 in the community. Not having the flexibility on the catering where, you know, sometimes you just want to order a pizza because you’re on a budget. You don’t have that flexibility in conference centers, hotels and so forth. So, I developed what we referred to as a small event center concept. It’s an elegant yet affordable destination for family, business and community events. What’s cool about it is that you’re not sacrificing quality and experience, but you can have the event your way. For example: if you’re having a wedding, you can hire the most expensive catering service in Phoenix or you could have your aunt Mary cater the wedding; you have that kind of flexibility. So, it’s an elegant, yet affordable destination for family, business and community events. It’s basically, you having your event, your way and having more choices/options. The give back, is when there’s space available, based on availability. Inventory that isn’t used expires and there are very worthy non-profit partners that we contract with that they may have to have some flexibility. We’re not going to let that inventory expire without it being used, when it can be used by one of our non-profit partners.
PBM: Here is another great concept that is helping the community. Everywhere, one of the cause capitalism or cause minded concepts avail, you will find a win-win situation for the community. You can’t beat that with a bat, and that’s exactly what I’m talking about! So now you have The Falls Event Centers all around the country. Is that not right, Steve?
Steve Down: Yes, we have 14 operating and our most exciting property to date is in Portland, Oregon. It has a space museum, and a world-class waterpark with a 747 airplane, perched on top of the little waterpark. It’s the number one waterpark on the West Coast. We have two centers in Gilbert, Arizona side by side on baseline road. We’re very proud of the, the event centers on the basis that they really do beautify the cities. I love putting people to work in building these centers. The Gilbert project was a $12,000,000 project and it’s literally been a lot of fun.
PBM: I will tell you the flagship of The Falls Event Center is in Oregon. You need to look it up and if you get an opportunity, that’s where you want to go. I live here in sunny Arizona and I love the ones in Gilbert, but I’ve got to get out to the one in Oregon. I hear that it is phenomenal. So here we are, we’re talking about multiple companies and I love the way, that you did this, Steve. There Steve Down companies… Why? Because Steve Down starts companies. Now there’s a difference from starting companies instead of acquiring companies, what’s difference in that Steve?
Steve Down: Well, Warren Buffet, for example, is a smart guy. There’s two things where I’m different from Warren Buffet, number one, he’s a billionaire and I’m not a number. Number two, he buys companies and I create companies. We all have our talents, but his gift is to buy a company that can be improved upon and he does a great job. I love creating companies. I believe as human beings, we all have our gifts and talents. I love to take an idea, began with an idea and trade a company from an idea. I think we’re happiest when we’re in the creative mode and that’s a lot of fun to create a company.
PBM: Well, that is phenomenal and I am just honored, to literally be able to learn from you Steve. It’s one thing to talk about it, but it’s a totally different thing to do it. I want my readers to pick up, your learning from someone who is doing it and on top of that, he’s bringing his team with him. That is another phenomenal philosophy that I love about Steve and his companies; everyone wins. Now, Steve, talk to me a little bit about the miracle of wealth. The miracle of wealth is another concept that you have that is exciting to me, and I’d love to readers to hear about it.
Steve Down: Yes, in fact, you can buy the entire CD, or you can go to www.miracleofwealth.net and download it for FREE. I love sharing this philosophy, the central theme or the core philosophy of the miracle of wealth is what I refer to Dr. Vern as 10 x wealth. The miracle of adding a zero. Take an asset for example, of let’s say $10,000 add a zero, and in five years it’s now $100,000 dollars. Add a second zero five years later, it’s a $1,000,000 and five years later add a zero and that’s 10,000,000 and then a $100,000,000 and so on. The miracle of wealth, I have discovered the greatest wealth in America has not been necessarily created through conventional and traditional ways. When most people think of investing, they think of the stock market or perhaps real estate. Private equity is where Warren Buffett has created his wealth and where he’s achieved that 10 x wealth objective.
He thinks in terms of multiplying as well! He started with $100 cash and he’s given a lot of money away, over the years. He has a net worth of $75,000,000,000. He’s not a doctor like Dr. Vern. You know what I’m telling you is that I know Dr. Vern and he’s a smart guy. if you’re not happy basically with the results, then perhaps you need to change the vehicle. Of the 400 wealthiest people in America, the fortune 400 wealthiest families in America, 398 of them have accomplished that through private equity. So as I create cause capital companies, for example, to execute on small events centers, I can grow the falls event center and you can find us at www.thefallseventcenter.com and take a look at these beautiful events centers. As we grow that company, we attract capital from private equity partners. What’s so cool about the idea economy Dr. Vern, is that you’re just one idea away. We talked about this yesterday. You’re one idea away from creating wealth and becoming wildly successful. What’s so cool about the idea economy is that it doesn’t have to be your idea. You can actually connect your capital, as Warren buffet basically does, to other people’s ideas or companies and accomplish the same thing. I’m here to tell you that the greatest wealth is created before that company goes public and it is publicly traded as a general rule. Those people who invest in a company, either start the company or invest in that company before it becomes an initial public offering, before its acquired by a publicly traded company or before its bought by the billionaire. Yeah, that’s where the real wealth in America has been created since America has been founded.
PBM: That’s one of the things I believe, if I’m not mistaken, Steve, that you are currently in the process of doing. I understand that Even Stevens currently has 20 locations, but you have a desire to bring that number too, I believe it’s about 250 locations. Can we talk a little bit about that or is that not available right now?
Steve Down: Yes, 250 restaurants over the next three years. Our vision was to build Even Stevens at such a rate that it would be the fastest growing restaurant concept in history at the end of three years. McDonald’s had one restaurant at the end of three years, Even Stevens has 20. It took McDonald’s seven and a half years, to reach 1,000,000 sandwiches served. What took McDonald’s seven and a half years to accomplish, we did in two and a half years with Even Stevens. Keep in mind, we didn’t just serve a million sandwiches; we also gave a million sandwiches. If it was my intention to retain 100% of the ownership of the company, Even Stevens, that would be impossible.
I can only accomplish this kind of growth by sharing the wealth with others. So, with even Stevens, we have approximately 200 private equity partners who we’re sharing the wealth with. Our intent is to ultimately take the company public through an IPO, a merger or acquisition, and that’s our exit strategy. That’s when the wealth is shared, where we all share in the American dream by participating as private equity partners. That’s a lot of fun. We are constantly presenting to groups that are looking for an opportunity to invest in a private equity company, meaning that it’s a private company before it becomes a publicly traded company. When I was investing in the stock market, I realized that when a company would go public, we would see based on our sophisticated trading tools that the smart money was typically selling at that IPO.
Whereas the unsophisticated dollars we’re buying, we didn’t see it because of the large orders were selling, the small orders were buying. I would ask my friends; how do you get into a company before it goes public while it’s still private? I could see that for the smart money, that predetermined exit strategy was to take the company public and sell at that point when others are willing to pay for the stock more than was actually even worse. There’s a tremendous demand for publicly traded companies and then their shares. Everyone would go, Steve, that’s the good old boys club. Well now, we’re participating at the same levels as the super wealthy by creating private companies and attracting like-minded individuals like you, Dr. Vern. People are joining with us by investing with their IRA’s or their 401k’s and they can participate in private equity. Most people are unaware of the fact that they can actually tap into their IRA and invest in private equity and still maintain the status of their IRA.
PBM: Steve, that is something that I know people are going to want to know more about. So definitely if you want to learn more about that, you can go to www.stevedown.com. I believe you have a tab on the website where it says invests in Steve’s companies, if I’m not mistaken. There they can learn about how they can take advantage of that opportunity. Mention that you heard about the opportunity on the Productive Business Radio Show or read about it in the Productive Business Magazine. That to me is what life really is all about. When you have information or knowledge that can help someone, the question is what will you do with it? One of the things I love about Steve and his companies. He takes information that he has learned over years and he develops it into a system that you can use in your everyday life. That my friends is what I call a Game Changer! When you have the game changer mentality, you’re able to affect not just you and your community, but multiple communities and abroad. As you already know that’s what I endeavor to bring you each and every edition of Productive Business Magazine. Steve, I want to talk about this now. I know you have several companies. We’ve talked a little bit about Even Stevens, Financially Fit, and The Falls Event Centers, but I want to talk about a new concept that you have with a cause in Steve’s hotel. Tell us a little bit about that concept.
Steve Down: Well, Steve’s hotels are a lot of fun and it’s a buy one get one for every hotel room you book will report, provide a reimbursement to the homeless shelter that does contracted with that particular hotel. It was inspired in part, by a seed planted in my heart, when I had to step over the legs of a homeless person on the sidewalk in Chicago. As I took a few more steps and walked into my four-star hotel. I was feeling bad for that individual because even in the summer, those nights or cold in Chicago. I rationalized and justified in my mind, at least I’ll feed a million hungry people this year. The thought didn’t go away, that seed had been planted in my heart. When we decided to consider building a hotel in our Evergreen Resort, at The Falls Evergreen in Portland, Oregon – a 220-acre resort, with a world-class museum, we were lacking a hotel.
I thought this was my entry into the hotel business. My wife, her response was really Steve, it really doesn’t have to be Steve’s hotel. She said, there’s got to be a condition that you and Donald Trump share where the hotel has to be named after you. I said, honey, I think the name is fun! It’s just, I’m just having fun. Steve’s hotel is a buy one, give one. We believe that it will become the fastest growing hotel concept in history. I never considered going head-to-head in competition with the Hilton, Marriott and Holiday Inn; but I know from experience with Even Stevens, as long as we provide a quality product, we will compete and become the fastest growing hotel in history because Even Stevens has demonstrated that cause capitalism is the future.
PBM: You heard it right here, on Productive Business Radio and Magazine, you heard the concept and you will see it worldwide folks, because this is not going away, it is only building up. Steve, there are so many different things that we can talk about. I know that you’ve written multiple books, and have so much going on. It takes a strong team to help Steve accomplish all the massive dreams that he has. Talk to us, just a tad bit about what it means to you on a daily basis to have such a strong team.
Steve Down: Well, my visions and dreams, Dr. Vern, they wouldn’t be worth a cup of spit without the team to execute on the vision and the dream. In order for me to attract people who will dedicate their lives, after God and family… who will give me just about every ounce of energy that’s left in them. With a big vision and dream, it will attract the team, if you’re willing to treat them the way you would want to be treated. What is it that they want? Well, they want to achieve their dreams as well. So simply share not only the vision and the dream, but share the wealth with your team members because without them, you can’t execute on the vision and dream.
You met Susan, my Chief Investment Officer. She came as a single mother. She’s dedicated and she loves to work. I’ve hired thousands of people, but I’ve never hired anyone that out-worked me until I hired Susan. Over a period of five short years, she’s become a millionaire many times over. She simply executed on the visions as a valuable team member. Which means that she’s eligible for stock options. She’s learned as hard as she works, she can’t earn this kind of wealth, the wealth is created. She understands and applies the principles of wealth creation. That’s where one plus one equals 10. In this case, she’s a very valuable person. Meeting and knowing you Dr. Vern, with your influence it simply multiplies. I know, through that synergy we’re able to help you achieve your vision and dreams, but you’ve have an abundant heart and you do the same for others as you’ve done for us. Again, the one plus one equals 100-fold and ultimately maybe a thousand-fold at least 10 x.
PBM: Well, we definitely appreciate that and I believe in my heart and I have said it all my life, that you’ve got to be the change that you desire to see. When you have a powerful team, it also exudes the principles, the mindset, and the heart of the leader. When you can get people to run behind the vision that you set, you’re doing something right and that is amazing to me in four to five years, the number of things that you and your companies have been able to do, not just for yourself, but for the good of mankind is something to be applauded and saluted. So, I take it personally, for my readers and any influence that I may have to make sure that people know about you, Steve, and your companies. In three to five years, the world is yours! I can honestly see that, and with the type of person that you are, that would mean the world is ours. So, we’re grateful and thankful to have you on this type of interview. Letting the Productive Business world know who you are, what you bring to the table, and how they can even connect to your vision is simply awesome, my friend.
Steve Down: Well, you’re very kind. Dr. Vern and I appreciate everything you’re doing. I’m a happy subscriber of a Productive Business Magazine and you’re an influencer. You’re a community leader, that’s actually impacting a world community. I’m just thrilled to be associated with a Dr. Vern, Productive Business Magazine and all of your team members as well. What a great group, you’ve simply replicated in your likeness and you’ve surrounded yourself with amazing talent and great people.
PBM: Thank you kindly, we definitely appreciate that Steve, any parting thoughts? How can people get in touch with you? I know you have multiple companies, but I know that www.SteveDown.com is probably the key one that they can reach all the other companies from; is that correct?
Steve Down: Absolutely, perhaps we can do some seminars in Arizona and other places that will help people understand how cause capitalism can be applied in a very practical and sustainable way in their business. Also, how they can participate, by investing in a company if they choose to do so.
PBM: Well, we’re definitely looking forward to it. It’s just a matter of time when we start those seminars, getting people acclimated to understanding what it means to be financially fit; whether you’re a professional, doing it on a personal level, you could even be a soccer mom or an independent dad. We want you to be financially fit not only in your company, but also in your life. I hope you’ve been picking up these wonderful nuggets from Steve Down, who took time out to talk to Productive Business Magazine and Radio. We salute you, and thank you for your contribution as we appreciate your existence. As you continue teaching the world that wealth is created, not earned many, many more people will be able to jump onboard and make that productive difference. So, we thank you again. You’ve been reading the Productive Business Magazine, where we teach that the power of collaboration is real. I think that we have exemplified that time and time again to you. Remember that relationships are the new currency and you can have, be, know and do whatever you desire as long as you have the right principles. As I always say, I want you to be innovative, be productive, but let’s all get out there, be the best version of ourselves possible. Until next time, I salute you all; be productive or be replaced.