Pursuing Your Passion and Serving Your Community with Juan Mejia

Juan Mejia  2:16  

Thank you for having me.

Luis Scott  2:18  

Absolutely, I’m really excited about, you know, just kind of diving into your story. Because I think a lot of people use negative things in their in their past to really set limitations on themselves. And you didn’t do that, you know, coming from Colombia in 2001. I’d love to hear about how that transition happened for you and kind of your road to success over the last 20 years.

Juan Mejia  2:41  

Well, let’s start with the journey to getting to the land of opportunities. My mother and I left Colombia under not the best of circumstances, we lost my father. We came to see my dad’s side of the family here before moving to Costa Rica. We had all our stuff shipped to Costa Rica. They encouraged us to stay here, America was the land of opportunities. She was with an eight year old at the time. And this is the place he needed to grow up. So she made the decision and laid roots here. I don’t know whatever happened to our stuff, I guess I never did ask. But grew up in Gwinnett County, did middle school, elementary school, middle school, and high school in Gwinnett, so I’m a Gwinetian through and through. parents are still up in Gwinnett but my mother and I are, you know, together. We came here with, I think it was two or $3,000 and a bag of clothes. And she gave it all. I mean, all her family was back in Colombia. And we pursued I mean, we did everything together. She owned her own hair salon. We have a good life. We had people that will help out the house over there. And it was a total 180 She came here and she started to learn how to cook. She would make you know typical small dishes or dessert there. But she had to learn how to cook here. And then not only that, but be the nanny or be the cleaning lady. So it really put a perspective on never know what the world’s gonna do. So I think that really gave me a perspective of never burning a bridge because the world could flip just like that.

Luis Scott  4:24  

Absolutely. I do agree with that. You know, it’s interesting. You come from a family of entrepreneurs. I didn’t come from a family like that. You know, my mom didn’t work. She stayed at home and my dad was he was a pastor of a church. And so going in and starting my own business was very challenging. So I’m curious, like, what did you hear growing up from your mom that really inspired you to be an entrepreneur yourself?

Juan Mejia  4:46  

I don’t think she ever considered it entrepreneurship. She was with one family. I mean, she nannied for them forever. And the kid got to a point where he didn’t need a nanny, you know, he was in school age. So she transitioned into leaving childcare part and cleaning the house. But she was the best at what she did, I mean, to the point where the family did not want to let her go. So she was always be the best of what you’re going to be. I mean, it doesn’t matter what you do. But just be good at it because that shows your determination. be hungry for more. And don’t be afraid to raise your hand. Don’t be afraid to take the opportunity, you may not know it all. However, leveraging your network and that support system we all are surrounded by can allow you to learn on the job and get to the next level.

Luis Scott  5:39  

Absolutely. You know, the thing is that a lot of times, we don’t know how the road is going to take us to where we’re supposed to be. And you just have to keep working hard along the way. Now I know that you have a finance background, but yet you do commercial real estate. So I’m curious how you made that transition from finance to commercial real estate and what got you really excited about real estate.

Juan Mejia  5:59  

My background has been all over the place. My first job was actually in the legal world. So a lot of my friends are okay. Then it worked into politics. And then it worked into managing different offices. And before real estate was overseeing restaurant chains that I was in charge of creating and expanding the brand. And my last project with that client was opening 20,000 square foot facility. If your listeners are in Atlanta think Ponce City Market. So wow opened up Ponce City Market with six different food and beverage restaurants. And I saw how we went from floorplan vision to up and running operation by the time I left. But I saw the need for a Spanish speaking commercial agent. I know a lot of people that have a great vision and get taken advantage of because they did not use a broker. And they just didn’t know they thought they could just negotiate the rent price they’re going to pay every month. And that was the only thing that it entailed. But I just I’m a big, I have a soft spot for what you said the entrepreneur and making sure that they have their foundation steady, because that’s the only way they can really grow. And I couldn’t do my consulting part and go in to a business when I knew that lease was faulty to begin with, and how could I grow with not a good foundation. So I embarked on getting a license on the commercial real estate realm. And that’s how I got into commercial real estate. So I’ve been in there for about two years on the brokerage side. And obviously for about seven years on that expansion for food and beverage restaurants. You know,

Luis Scott  7:53  

you bring up an interesting point it’s like entrepreneurship lesson number one and that’s find specialists to help you with whatever problem you may be having. Like it’s so amazing how many people try to do everything on their own I I know that it’s it’s enticing as a young entrepreneur as a new entrepreneur to really focus on doing all the work, you know, doing the paperwork, doing the finance work, doing the accounting, doing the the you know, the the butcher, the baker doing everything. But really the more you can leverage people that are specialists, the the faster you can grow. In what ways do you provide that leverage for people in the real estate market and just in consulting in general,

Juan Mejia  8:30  

it’s more than the consulting side. On the real estate market, I bring in I deal with at least I deal with negotiations, you make the decision. I could advise you, hey, you’re overpaying for the lease. But as you know, the CEO entrepreneur, if you told me to move forward, I will go forward with your advice. On the consulting side is where you really get to be hands on. Just most recently, my newest client is a nonprofit. The CEO is an attorney, practicing attorney, but he’s also the executive director of this organization. He has a lot on his plate. So why go in? Luckily, it’s a nonprofit. So p&l is not the priority. But we analyze what processes are in place. And most of the time, there is no process in place everything sort of goes to the executive director’s inbox, and he’s trying to test everything. But he has a team. He has staff, he has contractors, but they weren’t being used to the maximum. So we see I sit down with each sort of head of the curriculum, the funding, the PR and marketing and say, What can we create, so it’s not ongoing to this individual we’ll have touch bases. So what I do is I’m creating a new role that I leave, and some it could be an admin assistant or director role, but that person can oversee all these four people without bogging down the Executive Directors. So it’s creating those processes.

Luis Scott  10:03  

Yeah. And the thing is creating the process, creating the system where things operate, even when you’re not around, you know, go moving into your consulting business. What’s your approach to consulting? Because I know before we got on the show, you had mentioned that there are different stages of entrepreneurship. And, you know, you, you said some words. And so I’d love you to talk on that a little bit like, what are the stages of entrepreneurship? And then what’s your approach to consulting? You know, as it relates to an entrepreneur or a business.

Juan Mejia  10:31  

Let’s start with my approach, my approach is learning about not only the industry, not only the business, but also the individual, the mastermind behind it all. Because personalities have a lot to do with it. And what I could tell you may work may not work for your business partner, right? Oh, that’s where we use people’s strengths and weaknesses. And, as you mentioned, I’m not here to do everything for you. So my firm has a great team of attorneys, accountants, financial advisors. So I am that sort of third person that’s able to introduce bring experts on, make sure they know what they’re talking about, because I think we can all agree that everyone’s an expert in everything. But having worked with businesses from start to finish, I can pick up within the first meeting or so if they’re just blabbing or if they actually know what they’re talking about. Right, right. On the different stages. Part of after learning who they are, what they are, what their goals are, we figure out how to accomplish that. And then we see what stage of the business, is it in the infancy? Have they even filed and created a legal entity? Or is it just one of those businesses that they got inundated with the work and they’re killing it and accomplishing whatever service or product or providing but they never had the time to even open a bank account, much less incorporate or create an LLC, whatever that may be. So we work with those infancy makes sure they checked all the boxes? their licenses are correct. Some municipalities require specific licenses for specific things, some do not. Then we go into growth stage. You’re operating, you’re good, but you’ve plateaued. Why did you plateau? Do we need to make an investment? Do we need to bring a CRM for you to really be able to track? And then past growth? Once they’re established? Then how do we really take you to the next level? How do we make you the leading whatever service or product you may be? How are you giving back, personally speaking, giving back and community the big part of me, part of my proceeds go to specific organizations. And I let the client sort of pick which one I give them a list. It’s two sided one, it’s allowing me to educate this client that may not give back to the community about great organizations that are doing amazing work. And two, it allows me to continue supporting the organizations that I am passionate about.

Luis Scott  13:11  

Right? Yeah, absolutely. Now one of the things that that you work on, and I’m assuming that as a consultant, you can help people in all these stages of their business, whether if they’re just getting started to creating their vision to even helping them through all the stages of growth. But one of the things that you really focus on is creating brand consistency. And I’d love for the listeners to hear about the importance of brand consistency and and how does that help them develop the the the business that they really want for themselves and for their clients.

Juan Mejia  13:44  

Brand consistency, and just personal branding as it’s essential. That does not mean you cannot change it, you cannot adapt, you cannot evolve. That is actually a must. Because if you don’t adapt and you don’t evolve, you’re gonna burn and crash. That being said, you don’t want to be scattered all over the place. If you are a law firm that handles personal injury, then you may want to be involved in that world, there is no reason for you to try to do something with the EPA, or get into a zone. And I don’t know, have an office in Tennessee when you don’t have any of your staff personnel there to support that case. So you want to make sure that your branding is consistent, and it could be as simple as the logo and making sure that you’re using that same sort of font lettering image. So people start recognizing, because people will recognize more about you than what you offer. They may not know you, Luis, personally but they know that 8 Figure, you know, Law Firm. So right, it’s about getting people to know you, before you even have a conversation. A lot of my clients are referrals, I do zero ad spend for my clientele. And I love that, because when they call me up, it’s not a sales pitch, we can really get to know each other. And they are the sales pitch has already happened with the client, I helped out they love the work, they referred me to their good ones. And I value that so much. I spend my ad dollars on making sure I am treating my past clients how they need to be treated, if I need to go in one day, a quarter and make sure all the processes are doing good, I go in, a lot of my teaching is not to stay on your payroll. My fees are more expensive than you having someone in house. But I am here to create it. So you can bring in someone in house, whether it be your partner, whether it be an associate, whether it be an employee, but we teach them and give them the tools so they can continue. That doesn’t mean that once I leave, that person can’t reach out to me and be like, Hey, I’m lost, or I can’t follow up with them, let me see what you’ve been working on. Because while I may not bill you for that follow up, that’s what takes it to the next level.

Luis Scott  16:20  

Now, you mentioned something about fees that the fees may be more expensive than having somebody in house but in reality, the only reason that would happen is because you’re adding more value than the person would have in house because you’re creating the system. So in essence, you’re you know, you get what you pay for. It’s just it may cost up front a little bit more. But I think that that’s something that entrepreneurs need to be used to it and that is paying for it goes back to entrepreneurship, lesson number one, which is paying for the specialists who can come in and save you time. You know, I remember when I first started out in my career, I literally had no idea what I was doing, whether it was in the courtroom, or even operating my own business, when I started my own law firm, I didn’t know what I was doing. And if I would have reached out to people who were specialists and paid them a portion of what I was earning, in order to develop that skill set, I would have completely missed out on growing my business and growing myself as a professional. And so we have to be committed in to that investment into ourselves into the preparation because that’s the only way to really, you know, achieve and have high level success in the future. You know, as it relates to brand, the brand is not just the words on the paper, the logo and so forth. And I think some people only focus on that part of the brand, whether it’s the logo or the messaging, but it’s also how you are as an individual. It’s also how you you people, identify your business people identify your employees, what is the brand that that you have, as a company like what is the brand that you’re trying to achieve for your company, as it relates to your clients, community and empowerment. 

Juan Mejia  17:53  

Like being involved in the community. That’s where my clients come out of an empowerment of not only the clients on helping out, but those in the community. I grew up in community work. As you mentioned before I was involved Ser Familia for 10 years on a volunteer basis. Now I’m helping in the development side of their board. However, I went in there. Oh, gosh, what was that? 2008 2009 2007. I was probably 13-14 years old when I started volunteering. And I just grew up in that space. I think you and I have a lot of mutual friends. But they’re like you’re so young. How does you know? Everyone know you? How have you been involved so long. And I’ve been in the community space for about 15 years. And I grew up there. And I was not afraid of raising my hand and being I want to learn more about this or I want to volunteer with this other organization. And that has allowed me to really create an amazing friendships network. And just I hate using the word network because I think people just associate it with an exchange of business cards and calling them when you need something. But right that was let’s go get some tacos. And just really get to know what’s next on your list. What are your next goals? And how how can I leverage my network? Who do I know in my Rolodex? Well, I don’t think we use Rolodex nowadays, my contact list and how can I help you achieve that? I was having a great conversation with a good friend. He’s a DJ and he wanted to accomplish something in the community. Had I not known what His goal was long term I would not have been able to make a really cool intro. But people think oh he’s a DJ he doesn’t know goes to nightlife plays. Music goes home the end, but you still have goals. You still have aspirations and it’s getting to know people pass the hey I’m here. Can you Get me in the door for free. That’s not how you want to get to know your data. You want to get some What do you like? What do you like to eat? Let’s go to drinks, you know, they have a life outside of the nightlife.

Luis Scott  20:10  

No, absolutely. I mean, those are all good points about networking. You know, for a long time, I thought networking was just a transactional exchange. I, I felt like I felt weird, like networking, because I was like, this is just so you know, it’s not. What’s it called? It’s it’s not relational. But really, networking is relational. And I can just tell, you know, the audience, whoever’s listening, everyone does know him, like, Everywhere I go, somebody knows, Juan so it’s incredible. How much of an impact you’ve already made in the community. And I think that when you change the way that you view networking, and you view it more as a relationship building approach, like you do, it it really changes the way that that you approach networking and community events, and so forth. I think this is an important point. And I’d love for you to talk about this. How has networking or let’s call it relationship building, how has relationship building really propelled you personally and professionally, not not just professionally, but also personally.

Juan Mejia  21:10  

Um, let’s go back a lot of years. I, my first job was at a law firm, interning. I was in high school, I managed to get into this program that allowed me to leave high school two hours early to go work, or intern. I interned with a great man by the name of Norman Cuadra. He still has this firm. And he’s also chief judge in Suwanee, one of those ranks in his office. And he got to a point where he wanted to run for office. He had me run the campaign. I don’t know what he was on that day, or how it happened. But he made a decision. And I took it. And when I take something I’d give it my all, there’s been many times where relationship building has offered me an opportunity, but so not now, I don’t mean No. But I, I don’t want to ruin my brand, my reputation of having this fancy title or being in this fancy organization and not being able to really give it all. So part of that relationship building is being able to bring value on both sides. When you meet someone giving your cart and you ask for the favor, they’re not even going to call you back, you really want to get to know that individual bring value to them. And you know, you don’t go in with expectations. You may not even need them, they may not even need you for years till down the road. Right. But like I mentioned, so working in politics allowed me to meet a lot of people. And I was the youngest person in every room politics in 2012 was not what politics in 2020 is no young people. And you just have to own it. And I think I grew up in a space where I was always the youngest. And instead of being intimidated by it, I sort of leveraged with it. And I was like, Hey, I’m young, I’m hungry, teach me. Let me learn. Let me watch. And I asked questions. And when I saw a new opportunity, I said, Can I watch? Can I join? Can I be involved? And I worked and I worked hard. And I made sure that I gave it my all and people saw it. And they provided me with that sort of next opportunity. And from there, I helped another campaign. I’m currently managing a campaign as we speak. So politics has been important. And I realized that it’s cliche, I think you may have heard it. But if you’re not involved in politics, if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu. Hmm.

Luis Scott  23:54  

Wow, I’ve actually never heard that. It’s pretty scary to think about actually, you know,

Juan Mejia  23:59  

not my saying, Don’t quote me. I don’t know who actually came up with that thing, but it’s true, whether you ignore it or not politics does have a say in your day to day life.

Luis Scott  24:10  

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. No, it’s interesting, because you said a word opportunity. And I didn’t ask you this question before we got started. So I’m glad that you actually hit that point. I think what what relationship building really does, it creates opportunities, personally and professionally. And, you know, when when people ask you, how have you achieved this high level of success at a young age? Really, the answer is, I have create opportunity for myself. And I think that a lot of entrepreneurs believe that they need the next big idea. They need the next Facebook idea, they need the next big idea and everything’s gonna fall into place. And really what they need to focus on is, is relationship building and looking for those opportunities to to get to the next level. In the midst of your success, though, I’m sure there has been struggles I mean, there’s been struggles in the in the midst of success. Of all entrepreneurs. And so I’m curious, what is a struggle that you have faced as an entrepreneur? In your business? And what what did you do to overcome it? And what like, what’s the lesson you learned from that?

Juan Mejia  25:15  

I think you and I can both agree there’s more hurdles along the way than what people see. I think people portray only the highlights to the external world. They don’t see the sacrifices of family, of dating, of the hours and the money. And I’ve lost lots and lots of money. So I think, right, I appreciate losing lots and lots of money, because it let me not be so channeled into money, money, money, I’ve learned that money comes and money goes, I prefer when money’s coming in, and not when money’s leaving, but it’s not the say all end all of it all. And I use the word all a lot in that phrase. However, a perfect example of a big hurdle was I started a marketing agency. Right after the consulting firm, I was trying to think entrepreneur hat, vertical expansion, what other services can I provide that integrate with what I’m already doing? I had someone that was a good friend, is a friend, and was studying marketing and was good at it. And I was like, let’s do this, let’s create the company, we created the company, work was great. Everyone wanted to hire us. And they were doing well. I got tied up into growing the consulting firm. And they were doing great on the operational side. But the admin day to day sales funnel was lacking. That’s a big part of what I was doing. But I was not able to handle both. And I think that was part of me growing up and learning that I can’t do it all at once. So it was starting to affect our friendship, and I value relationship more than the end goal of the money. So we decided to either close the company, or I would buy her out. And I started looking to see what I could do to not lose the momentum we had created. But she knew she wanted to leave. And I think it was the best for our relationship for her to leave the company. So, you know, bought her out, decided what I was going to do, found someone that was already working in that field. They did a lot of the website, but not so much the digital part of it. And we did a merger 50-50 merger, which I’m not a fan of 50-50’s for the record. However, we grew that and two new marketing agency and that also did well, we grew, we had clients actually abroad all over the states. And I sold that agency, maybe two years ago. And with the funds of selling the company, I was able to invest into some real estate and take some time off working to get my license and practice commercial real estate.

Luis Scott  28:33  

Wow, that’s awesome. You know, you mentioned two things that you talked about going into partnership with a friend and then you said I’m not all about the 50-50. Now, before you answer this question, I do want to make a disclaimer that you are not advising anyone on whether they should form a partnership or not, or whether they should get into a partnership or not. But I am curious to hear what your your belief is on on partnerships and with friends and on partnerships. in general. It’s 50-50 partners, like what’s your take on that?

Juan Mejia  29:00  

Partnerships can be good. So long as people are bringing different assets to the team. You want to make sure you go into partnership with someone that complements you. So that’s my take on partnerships. Leave it really vague. I don’t want to advise people to do yes or no. With friendships. Just have a conversation. And it’s a lot easier to write that agreement down when you’re best friends than it is when you’re trying to get out of the partnership. So go very into detail on that partnership agreement, what each person’s responsibility is. Who is doing what, what happens if you don’t agree. And that’s a big reason why I’m not a big fan of 50-50’s when you’re at a stalemate and There’s only two people involved in it for 50-50. How do we move forward? And it’s not a thing of I have more of the company than you do. But it’s like, Okay, how do we move forward from this, and really do stuff that’s for the longevity of the organization, keep in mind a lot of what I do, and all the processes I create are not for me or not for the CEO or the executive director, they’re there. So they outlive me, you, them. And we’re creating things that will be there way past our working age, or living age. But we’re creating stuff for the long run. I tell a lot of nonprofits that, you know, once you created that nonprofit, it’s no longer yours. And I think this can be a whole different topic for another podcast, but the founders founder syndrome is a real thing. So it’s not your baby, it’s the board’s you have to listen to your board, you have to present stuff to your board, you can’t just be making decisions left and right. You should, to a certain extent, but you need to have that communication with the governing entity of your organization, which is the board of directors.

Luis Scott  31:12  

I agree with you, you know when so I have a business partner. And we took almost one year to craft our partnership agreement, because of what you just said. And that is that you got to make sure you spell everything out. I mean, our partnership agreement is probably 70 pages long. I mean, everything is, you know what happens when there’s a disagreement what happens in this situation, who’s responsible for what what happens if one of us are injured, what happens if one of us die like, we wanted to make sure that that the partnership was spelled out on the front end, so that if anything happened on the back end, plus, we were friends, too, so we were friends before that, so we wanted to make sure you said it’s easy to write that agreement when you’re still best friends. And when you’re in the midst of a you know, trying to get separated.

Juan Mejia  31:56  

And I’m not trying to scare anyone, if you have a great idea with your best friend, I think it’s amazing to work people you love. I think it brings a great dynamic into the workspace. And I think your employees, and the rest of your team really feels it and it feels like a family because it’s not just a nine to five kind of thing. But it’s a thing you take on after hours as well. So I’m not trying to scare anyone into not doing it. But it’s some it’s a serious matter that needs to have a lot of thought and discussion before jumping into.

Luis Scott  32:26  

Yeah, I agree. And that’s one of the reasons that you know, like I piggyback on what you’re saying, like, if you’re going to get into it, absolutely plan for it. Because the thing is, you want your business to survive you you want your business, because people are depending on it, you know, we’re getting ready to approach close to 200 employees, that’s 200 families that depend on our business, the last thing they need is the insecurity, that the business is not going to survive one of us or is not going to survive an agreement. And so I think that it’s it’s your responsibility, if you’re an entrepreneur, and you’re getting ready to start a partnership with someone else, it’s your responsibility to really hash out all the details of your agreement, before there is an issue. And I think if you do that you’re going to be better off in the long run. Now, what’s one piece of advice if you had to narrow down your consultative approach to one piece of advice that you would give a person starting a business? What would that advice be?

Juan Mejia  33:19  

Do something you’re passionate about? Because while doing X can bring you a lot of money, and you’re good at doing x, you’re gonna burn yourself out, if it’s not your passion. And there’s a lot of times in the entrepreneur mindset of why am I doing this? What did I get myself into? I can’t survive. There’s been moments that I’ve had very little funds in my account. And it’s like, what am I getting into, but then you remind yourself is like, I’m not here for the money. I’m here because I love what I’m doing. Yeah,

Luis Scott  33:59  

it’s it’s funny reminds me of a meme you just mentioned about having low funds and having to do all this work. It reminds me of a meme that said that an entrepreneur is the person willing to work 80 hours so that they don’t have to work 40 hours, you know, it’s a, it totally is like that, you know, you you you’re willing to risk everything for yourself. But you’re willing to risk very little for someone else. So that’s so true. And I love that, that concept. I that kind of makes me think of something else that I’ve had a conversation with my wife in the past about passion and what how do you find your passion because you said you know, do something that you’re passionate about. And I find that a lot of young people are not in your camp where you are passionate about community involvement and you are passionate about helping other people in the business context. But what do you say to that person who has that like inner desire to do something but they don’t know what they’re passionate about? They don’t know what what to do with their life. What what would what advice would you give them,

Juan Mejia  34:54  

try it out. Try everything out, I think The millennial mindset, I used to do a lot of HR for my clients set up all these processes. But how would you see my age group just jump around from company to company. And it’s not attractive when you’re hiring to be quite honest. But you have to try things. And the only way to really understand if you like it or not, is to try I mean, I don’t say get in a job and leave it six months from there, because you’re not even going to learn about your job, you’re sort of just managing what your workload is understanding what you’re going to do the first three months, three to six months, you’re starting to learn how to do it, you’re not really going to enjoy all the legwork you’re putting in. But before you accept the job, make sure it’s something that you did your research on, do an internship, you know, shadow someone, for a day or a week. But when you do something go in and don’t just jump around either. So it’s a two part, try everything and anything under the sun that may interest you. But also, don’t waste people’s time. If you say you’re gonna try something out, commit to it. You know, a sport, you can’t know if you like the sport when you just do training and training, right, the nasty part of it all? Yeah, I guess I don’t know if that answered your question.

Luis Scott  36:17  

No, absolutely. I mean, I think that that that’s a great advice. I mean, I as a person who hires a lot of people, I, I hate when somebody like leaves me after a year or something like that. But at the same time, I understand that when you’re young, I want you to find your passion, I want you to find the thing that really excites you every day, because who wants an employee who is not excited about coming to work, right. And so what I hope is that they find their their passion, I always say, if you’re gonna leave our firm, I want you to leave for something better not for some lateral move, because you’re just, you know, you’re not sure what you’re going to do with your life. So I think that’s great advice. And if you think about if a 20 year old, if you’re 20 years old, and you spend one year at a job, and you did that 10 years in a row, you would have 10 one year experiences. And hopefully in that process, you’ll find at least one place that you can you can be passionate about. So I think that that’s a great approach. Now, I want to end with with a question I ask a lot of people because I think that resources are important for people to have, do you have a favorite book, article, poem, or some writing that that really has inspired you? And what would be that lesson that that our listeners could take home with today?

Juan Mejia  37:30  

I just changed it. For the record, Luis had asked me this before the interview, and I always give a very standard business book that is very valuable. However, that’s not the one I’m gonna say now. A friend of mine wrote a book, it’s called The AmerIcan Dream: HisStory in the Making, like history put together, right? It’s a book about his life. And it shares how he was arrested 10 plus times before he was 18. And how he is now a practicing attorney in Georgia and Florida. Wow, not only that. But in those arrests, he was a gang member and all the other stuff. But now he’s created a program to help those people so they don’t go into the system. And because once you’re in the system, you get targeted and you know, your friends, parents don’t want you to hang out with the person that’s been arrested kind of thing, right? You go down this path. But the reason I’m going off on that is the lesson there was You can’t let your past dictate your future. And I think you can agree that you have to be fit to sit for the bar and how are you fit when you have all those arrests in your record. But it takes people believing in you and putting their hand in the fire for you. And he was hungry. He knew he wanted to become an attorney and he didn’t let his past dictate his future.

Luis Scott  39:11  

That’s a great lesson. I mean, the thing is that we can always change our our future. We can always change who we are. And it’s really a decision and I love to hear that in the books called an AmerIcan dream. And what was subtitle. It’s called

Juan Mejia  39:24  

The AmerIcan dream, HisStory together In the Making and the author’s name, David Windecher. He’s actually Latino. Awesome.

Luis Scott  39:35  

Awesome. Well, thank you for that book recommendation. Thank you so much for being on the show today. It was a treat having you on. For those of you guys who joined us late in the show. We’ve been talking to Juan Mejia he’s a real estate entrepreneur and consultant. Juan, where can people find you

Juan Mejia  39:51  

on? social media channels are usually JCM Ventures. website is jcmvpro.com. LinkedIn, Facebook Instagram, I’m always happy to reach out and talk to new people so don’t be and if you’re in the Atlanta

Luis Scott  40:07  

if you’re in the Atlanta area you can absolutely find him at an event I promise you that you can find him somewhere in Atlanta Yeah, not a not an COVID time so there you have it guys, Juan Mejia. He came from nothing and now a successful entrepreneur. But you know what it takes its guts, courage and hard work. And remember, if you love this episode, be sure to subscribe, so you don’t miss a show. You’ve been listening to The Guts and Glory Show.

Outro  40:33 

 You’ve been listening to The Guts and Glory Show with Luis Scott. If you enjoyed the show, be sure to share. For more information on this episode, please see the show notes at www.gutsandgloryshow.com and join us next time as we talk to another leader in business that had the guts to overcome all odds for the glory of success.