26: From Rock Bottom to Sobriety with Russ Perry from Design Pickle and Sober Entrepreneur

May 2, 2018

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Yigal Adato: 00:02 Hey everyone, my name is Yigal Adato and this is the Pawn Leaders Podcast, a podcast to help you make more money, stress less and live an epic life all while working at the pawn shop. Hey pawn family, welcome back to the Pawn Leaders Podcast. Thank you so much for taking the time to listen to another episode. If you haven't joined us in the Facebook group at Pawn Leaders Podcast Community do so today we ask questions, we have conversations about leadership, culture and your pawn business in that group. So with me today, my guest is Russ Perry, who's the founder of Design Pickle, the number one unlimited and flat rate graphic design service in the world. Launched in 2015, Design Pickle has experienced unprecedented success helping small businesses get the creative content they need so the clients can focus on what they do best. Also, and one of the other reasons why I brought Russ on is he's the author of the Sober Entrepreneur, a powerful book and covering his journey from rock bottom and his commitment to the ultimate life hack sobriety. Additionally, Russ is a certified trainer with wake up warrior, the number one training program for [Incomprehensible] and enjoys traveling with his wife Mika and their three beautiful daughters. Russ, welcome to the show man.


Russ Perry: 01:20 Hey Man, thank you so much for having me.


Yigal Adato: 01:22 No, it's a pleasure having you on. So obviously, I've been following you on social media. I know what you do when it comes to Design Pickle and I wanted to bring you in as a resource for that, for the pawnbrokers because I know pawnbrokers are super busy and instead of hiring out stuff on Fiverr or finding some graphic designer locally, you have this incredible service that essentially for a very affordable price allows them to get done a bunch of graphic design work. So let's talk about that first and then I really want to talk about the sober entrepreneur. So give us what Design Pickle is, how it works and how it benefits business owners.


Russ Perry: 02:02 Alright, well thanks for having me Yigal. Like, I think the best thing for people to know about Design Pickle is why I started in the first place. Because we're in our fourth year business, we've been going strong and admittedly I was the creative agency guy prior to Design Pickle and I had all these cool clients, we did all this crazy fun work like trade shows and national branding campaigns working with fortune 1000 companies. But at the end of the day the stuff that our clients loved the most that I hated doing was that small, simple, those marketing things. The ad, the flyer, the pop up banner, the A frame thing. And so when I closed my agencies cause it wasn't a good business

model, kind of as I talked about in my book almost destroyed me personally. I thought like where could I provide value that there's a gap in the market place. And I was actually consulting and now I was on the flip side of design where before I was selling it to others and now I needed it for myself, for my consulting clients. They didn't have any employees and I was like damn it, this is such a pain in the ass. Like, how do I get just like half dozen Facebook ads done in a few days or less without paying 500 a thousand bucks or trying to find some guy who's promises me he can do it and then pieces out for a week. I have no idea where he went. So I created it to scratch my own itch and then found out that, well, hey, maybe a lot of other businesses could use this, but it is really like legitimately exactly as you described it. It's one price. We have two plans. We have a 370 plan, we just launched a 995 plan. One, the work is delivered at nighttime. One, the work is delivered during the day while you're working, so it's a little faster and that's it. So no matter how much you use it, whether you do one thing or 20 things, that's the same price. We have like a really good experience around it because that was another thing is I found a designers kind of suck at running businesses. And so we really wanted like if you have a problem, you actually could talk to somebody and like get help, which you know, we joke about, but think of how many small businesses you roll into and there's an issue and you're like there's no recourse whatsoever. So, that's where it's at and it's been awesome, we just moved into new building, we've thousands of clients around the world our design teams over in the Philippines are really growing a lot there and just doing just like head to the ground, just working hard, providing a good service. That's our MO right now.


Yigal Adato: 04:38 Nice. So what, I mean they can find you at designpickle.com when it comes to that. And I think I've heard such great things about Design Pickle haven't use it myself yet, but we'll talk about that afterwards. And I just know that it's going to be so easy for a pawnbroker to pay the monthly fee and get everything from Facebook ads like you said to artwork for a sale in the store, to anything that they need to get done on a consistent,


Russ Perry: 05:05 Right, and I look at pawnbrokers, you guys, it's a retail, like it's a different kind of retail, but it's retail and hands down. When we see retail businesses use our service, it's often a owner operator. It's often small team doing a lot of things and without a doubt being able to take that off your plate so that you could focus on training, hiring, management, networking, new business, like whatever it is you need to do. Like that's the magic sauce about Design Pickle and then also like the worst

thing that I see in retail is when people aren't doing stuff because they're like, I just don't have time, it's a hassle. Like I should have done, you know, we have a bunch of easter graphics. I don't know if easter right all day to like resurrects your finances, like your cashflow, pawnshop.


Yigal Adato: 06:01 Right now it's tax season. So everyone's saying, hey Yigal get

your tax check, come buy a TV.


Russ Perry: 06:05 Right. Exactly. So, but those seasonal things that we don't end up, you don't like the worst part of a business owners when you're not being proactive with your marketing and communication because you think it's too expensive, it's too much work. And that's what I love. And we have clients that come in and they're like I just think of something and I just send it in and it comes back and I like don't have to worry about it.


Yigal Adato: 06:31 That's awesome man. Very, very cool. And you touched on a point and the other reason why I brought you on the podcast was because of the sober entrepreneur. And for those of you who don't know, the first year that I got married, my wife sat me down, we I was very successful at the pawnshop and she said I didn't get married to be alone. Like, this is a bunch of crap. Go figure it out. And I know that's something similar that happened to you while growing your business. Right?


Russ Perry: 07:01 Right.


Yigal Adato: 07:01 And so, let's talk about that story. Let's talk about where you came from, why you wrote the sober entrepreneur and how addiction affects business owners and what we can do about it.


Russ Perry: 07:15 Well, here's the raw truth is that becoming an entrepreneur, like if you decide you want to own your own business, your already screwed because you have to be addicted to that business. So we're already addicted to something. It's like we want us to eat often. And like the face of adversity. Like if you're launching a pawnshop or you're wanting to expand it's a big market. There's a lot of competition. So you have to be kind of insane and addicted to this division that I'm going to do it better, I'm going to grow it. I'm going to take a different approach. That's why I was no different. And when I was a young kid, I was like 22 watching my first business. I just thought like, okay, it's all about the business I got to make the money, I got married, I was still same idea like, okay, if I grow this and I make more money and I have money to then do stuff and it was always when this happens, then I'll do this. When I achieved this, then I'll do this and like your wife like said to you,

I wish my wife would have called me out a little bit sooner because she didn't say anything. Not say a blamer for from what happened. It's all me. But what ended up happening was I pushed away my family and really got isolated in that. Now what happens when you're isolated, you're stressed, you're by yourself, you feel like you're on this island. Well, I started drinking and that was my medication and that was how I managed stuff. Well, spoiler alert, as we all know, for every vendor we woken up from, the problems are still there when your back. They don't go anywhere were this cocaine, alcohol, drugs, porn, even working out like you're just like, I'm going to go off and [Incomprehensible] just try to get rid of it. So I had no tools. We talked about a program we're both involved in war. I didn't have that. There was nothing and the bad decisions, the isolation led to me looking for connection elsewhere rather than in my own home and I had an affair and it was destructive, it was the lowest point of my life. But I think God because it happened because what it forced me to do was have that hard reset button and look at and evaluate this full circle what had happened and at that point, and this is why I wrote the book cause I made a commitment that I was going to be the chain that broke and do it and come take my family on a different path and not repeat what I had learned because my dad was a workaholic. My Dad was an alcoholic. My Dad had gotten divorced, like the patterns of our past where the patterns of our industry don't have to become our patterns. And so I wrote this book first is like a document, like a testimony to my girls. I have three daughters to say like, look, I made mistakes, but here's how you could learn from them and here's what I've learned. But then I also wrote it to that business owner who may be addicted in the same way I was to a substance, or maybe they're just addicted to a business that's not serving them. And how do you get out of that? How do you confront that? How do you talk to your friends? How do you talk to your family? And then what do you do once you've made that decision to get sober and create a life that's fully in your control rather than you just on the defense the whole time.


Yigal Adato: 10:37 Yeah. When you talk about the industries and the habits of the industries, I remember when I was first in the pawnshop industry we opened up our stores and we'd go to these conventions. I go to the conventions, I get [Incomprehensible]. I would, it was what it was all about. It's how we supposedly connected with the peers. And we worked seven days a week, 14 hours a day, my brother and I, because that's what we saw from my father and my grandfather. And so, although we were successful, you said it right, like we were addicted to working that much and because we were addicted to working that

much, it started destroying different parts of my life. Right? Like you talked about addiction. My wife and I, we went through IVF and at some point I got harshly addicted to porn because I wasn't physically connecting with her. And so at first I was like, oh, you know, it's just my outlet for now and you know, I'm not having sex. And so, but it may became a problem because when I could connect, when the baby happened, it just became so hard to connect physically. So, and I've had clients have issues like this and we've worked them out. What did you do or was it that moment when your wife found out that you had an affair, If you told her that you looked at yourself and you said, I've got to stop these addictions, what happened?


Russ Perry: 12:01 Well, hitting rock bottom never hurts in terms of changing the course of your life. Now I hope that my book and my story and you know, just you being able to be honest and share your story, that we can divert folks from hitting rock bottom and they can make a move now before their world's [Incomprehensible] learn the lesson, the same lesson that I learned without like holding on for dear life. And you know, maybe things don't work out, I mean that a lot of people we know don't work out, I got super lucky that they did so. So when you're there, if you're on that path, I think the first thing to acknowledge is that like you're not alone like that. This is a reality that many men and women suffer with and I think the decision to just turn even one degree in a different direction and go down a different path that over a month, a year, five years, whatever is a life changing decision. And so that's like kind of like a philosophical feel. Good answer. Here's a practical answer too, I had to get really like strategic on how I was going to manage all the stress because that was my biggest reason why I was going out call was because I had all this, I have this like this [Inaudible] didn't like my plans and me and Mika weren't having sex either because she's pregnant. It was just like stressful. So I ended up, after I got sober and I kind of said, look, look, this is a destructive force in my life, but I need a different outlet. I really replaced the habits of drinking with healthy habits that fueled me and filled me up like meditation, exercise, you just travel and creativity and things like that, that I couldn't do if I was hangover or if I was still stuck in the same routines. So I mean this is like a lot of what I talk about in my book is how do you replace that? And I'll add one more thing in too is you got to say like, who cares about what other people think? Who Cares? Because I was drinking with my buddies more because I was like, oh, I got to hangout with them or at the business events and I was destroying my relationship with my wife. Like who is more important? Like an old buddy or an old business colleague you see once a year in Vegas or like your legacy with your family?

Yeah, like come on. But yet people don't want to make that decision because they're just like, I mean, it could be drinking or it could be like a new way of marketing or new way of running your business. You're like, oh, but I don't know what are people going to say? Who Cares? Who Cares? Go about and figure it out and try it. And it either helps you or it doesn't. And then you keep rolling.


Yigal Adato: 15:06 What happened to you when you finally got sober? When you finally started seeing the addictions and you said, I'm done and you got sober a little by little, I'm sure it's a journey, right? It doesn't happen overnight. What happened to you when he came to your business, your family, your personal life? Like what happened to that trajectory that one degree that you took? Where did it take you?


Russ Perry: 15:29 Okay, so like life changing and not just with my relationship like trust me, I love my wife, she's amazing and I wouldn't trade our relationship with the world. Having a kick ass business is really great too and like making money is really great too. And a business that serves you. So when I remove that and I got sober, I was now like, I was like the puppet master, if you will like, I have full control. I did always know what to do. And I had this peace, I had way more energy, I had way more time because I would like wake up early and not feel like ass and then what I would do is rather than investing that in things that don't create or add value, like compound interest in growing. With my energy, I would invest that energy into my business and I would invest it in a system, in a process, in a training and some marketing and that would just be a flywheel that kept growing and growing and growing and growing. And additionally, I was fortunate enough, I had a big transition in my life. Like I got sober 2013 and I launched Design Pickle about 14 months later. So I had this whole year and some change of like thinking about what I wanted in my life and how I wanted to design my life prior to the business I'm choosing. So for a lot of your listeners they're either starting a pawnshop or they'd been in it like you for generations or whatever it might be, but have that conversation with yourself. What do I want in life? And having a clear mind and a clear heart free from the shit that addiction brings, allows you to be really honest with yourself on what you want. And maybe some of your listeners don't want to be in the industry. And that's even more reason why they can work with you is like, how do you evolve? How do you sell your business? How do you move on? How do you create the business that fits your lifestyle, which has doesn't have to be separate at all.


Yigal Adato: 17:44 So then my question is this, the people that are listening, they might say, I have a couple of drinks here and there, I'll get drunk, at some events. How does somebody know that they're an addict?


Russ Perry: 17:58 Good question. I did a live stream show today and I talked about like look at where your time goes and your thoughts around it. So when when I look at identifying the addiction, I today am addicted to stuff I'm having to navigate and circumvent. Just recently I became real aware that I was addicted to micromanaging my calendar and I'm like, I want to know where I want to book my travel, I want to know over details, I want to know the times [Inaudible] and I was like spend time and I calendar like the least possible productive thing for me to be doing. And so I hired an assistant about a couple of months ago and I've just like slowly it's been so hard like relinquished control of this. And guess what? My days are well planned. I'm super organized. I feel really connected. I'm doing more content like this. And so addictions, a lot of it identify where your time is being spent, where your energy is being spent, where your money's being spent and if that time and energy and money is getting you closer to these lifestyle goals and these longterm things that really fulfill you and make you happy then don't worry about it. That's just a good thing to focus on. If these things are taking you away and like distracted you or stressing you out or you got to think about it a lot and try to fit a mean and how am I going to manage that? Well that's just energy and time and emotion. That'd be new and therein lies your indicators with it. Also if you're getting arrested or doing illegal things potentially that's a big sign too that you're addicted update.


Yigal Adato: 19:43 For sure, for sure.


Russ Perry: 19:43 I did my TSA precheck like years ago and I got the global entry, which is the international like background check you have to do probably the most formal background check and I remember sitting with that border patrol agent and it was like, what about this Mr. Perry? Oh Yeah, how about this Mr. Perry, Oh yeah. I went to Arizona State University so I was like [Crosstalk]. And it was like a pun intended, a sobering conversation [Incomprehensible]. So you know if you've got a lot of red flags on your background check, you might be addicted to something.


Yigal Adato: 20:17 And I also think it's important just to sit there and ask yourself, is this getting in the way? Like you said, of what I want to do, is this getting in the way of my family, are other people calling me out? Because at some point you're either hanging out with a

bunch of people who are as addictive as you are. Right. Just really quick story, last night I went to a little men's event for Jewish guys and they were drinking and I was hanging out and one guy just didn't want to drink and they just kept bugging him until I stood at the guys. Enough is enough, we're not 17, 18 anymore. Stop the peer pressure. Done with it. You know?


Russ Perry: 20:57 Why do you find like you end up cutting those things out in your life? Like we've been talking about like professional business events. I don't go to any of those things anymore. I go to a warrior events because I love them and I'm fulfilled and I'm around like-minded men that share the same core values as me. I'm going to have my own events and aside from that, like unless you're paying me to speak or there's some like business transaction, I'm not going to go to these things because there's just like, it's not a value for me any longer. And I was the guy, I was in entrepreneurs organization, EO. I did a different program called accelerator. I did Vistige, I did like all of these things. The business networking, the tech council locally and all it was was like senseless, pointless, blah, blah, blah and free drinks. And that's how I stopped drinking. I was like, well, that's the only value that there was a remaining and I'm not even drinking anymore. So have fun guys and I'll just could see any to work. I'll spend those three hours at night recording content or doing a podcast like this and pushing my business forward while you're all just having a reciprocal conversation, patting each other on the back.


Yigal Adato: 22:12 Yeah. Nice. I agree. Well said, well said. So, the sober entrepreneur after you got sober, let's talk about the family, right? So change the business, you've built Design Pickle, you all over Facebook, your ads are everywhere. I'm sure you're killing it. Once you got sober, what happened family wise?


Russ Perry: 22:36 Well, it wasn't easy at first because there was a lot of damage to repair. But I knew truly for me to build the forever marriage that I desire to build, I had to have a foundation of trust that was unbreakable and alcohol, there was no place for alcohol in my life. And also know that my wife would trust me 100%. So that was a bridge that was burned. And you know, what's crazy is even after the affair, I was still drinking like in denial. Like, well, I'll just have a few drinks, won't get drunk, but this is, you know, I can manage it in that, I realized it was wrong and false. So eliminating that. So there was a level of trust but what ultimately has happened over the four years that now I'm on my fifth year is like I've created an unshakable foundation that I can then build a huge business on top of. And that to me, I've never experienced before. Like right now I could call my wife and say,

Yigal is inviting me to, I'm going to Europe, we're going to go, we're going to go to Israel. We're going to go to do this crazy thing. Trust me babe, it's going to be amazing. And she'd be like, all right, cool.


Yigal Adato: 23:58 Let's go.


Russ Perry: 23:58 No sweat, no pressure because she knows it's for the right reasons. She knows you're not my buddy. We're trying to like pull a fast one or get away or whatever and she's now encourages that kind of like, Hey, do what you need to do. Cause I trust our family is now in really good hands and you have our best interest in mind and that would have, I thought it's not impossible with at least in my life with alcohol. Can't say it couldn't happen. Like one of my closest friends is [Inaudible]have a glass of wine at dinner and it's fine. And like he has no issue with alcohol but there's probably something else in his life that he may have struggled with. So whether it's alcohol like, for your listeners who are like do not have the issues we've talked about there always can be something that you can get sober on meeting you, eliminate the control it has for you.


Yigal Adato: 24:54 Nice. And you have three daughters. I have a two year old

daughter and one on the way.


Russ Perry: 24:59 Oh, congrats. Nice.


Yigal Adato: 25:00 Thank you man. I know for me it was when my daughter was born. I don't know if it was because she was a girl that I said, it's time to sober up, right? Cut The crap because I need to become the man that either she's going to respect and love or that she's going to hate and want to be so far away from, and obviously my choice is I want my daughter to not love me, but a great relationship with her. You know what I mean? You've got three of them. How is that going through that with your daughters and now how do they see you?


Russ Perry: 25:37 Well, God has a funny like joke on my life because I basically was raised by my mom living with my sister. My mom has four sisters and all female cousins with that makeup, except for one male cousin that I'm close to. Then I had my first daughter before I was married in college and then I got married and then I had two other daughters. Nice. So it's like nonstop estrogen, female. No, it's like do whatever it's like I have a sword in my office [Crosstalk] But the point is like you're absolutely right when you start thinking about legacy and you start thinking about what do we want to pass onto the next generation.

Having these women in my life without a doubt has been instrumental in shaping who I am today. And I think that just takes time and maturity. Like you're really rarely having those conversations as a younger man I hope this content can reach a younger generation but I do see it now and and it's probably the easiest way to anchor a sober lifestyle into someone's life is by thinking about those who you are responsible for. And how your actions and behaviors either helps them or takes away. May not hurt them like intentionally but just removes you so you're worthless or a non influencer, whatever the opposite of that is.


Yigal Adato: 27:25 Yeah, that makes sense. And obviously I mean you mentioned that you're a certified trainer and I know about warrior and basically, which means that you went through this coaching, right? You were coached at some point in your life to make that change. How important was coaching to you to create the man you are today?


Russ Perry: 27:46 Well, when I decided, so when you're referencing is like a program we've talked about a few times, it was a men's program and they launched this other like piece of it to become a coach, become a trainer into philosophies and ideas and the methodologies. A lot of guys chose that because that's the business they want to have like they want to go on down that path. I chose it because it was an accountability mechanism for me to level up as a leader, communicator and teacher, which I can do in my own business now or I can work with you one on one or whatever and I guess not to be too, like I don't know, like altruistic about it. Like I'm a lifelong learner, right? So I want to always be growing and developing and everything we've talked about for my business to my sobriety allows me to make those decisions and live in an integrity to work with others. Because if I'm trying to lead somebody and I have this secret life or I have this dark business or this things that aren't working, I'm not being truthful, not living in honesty or integrity, then my leadership can only go so far until it's exposed and questioned. And now I don't have any of those concerns. Not say I have it figured out, but I know from the versions of my past, I'm like light years ed, without a doubt.


Yigal Adato: 29:16 And I say on this podcast all the time, I say leading with baggage is misleading. If you got all that baggage, all that darkness, all that lack of integrity and you're trying to lead. It's one not cool and two you just won't lead as effectively. Guaranteed.


Russ Perry: 29:32 Exactly. And think about the physical weight of baggage that you have, you're just going to get tired over time. Like just

carrying that around you'll eventually, it'll be like unbearable. Where would I have a weight on me now? It's not my own baggage. It's just some problem or challenge or things I need to figure out and then I can solve that and I move on. It's not shackled to my leg.


Yigal Adato: 29:58 Especially because you're a clear mind. Right? As opposed to having a problem saying, man, I just need a couple of drinks to figure this out. Getting foggy and then making a rash decision while you're drunk or you're waking up groggy and might have millions of dollars on the line because of some decisions you made.


Russ Perry: 30:19 You're in a short term or scarcity mindset in those moments. So you might be able to make a decision, but you're most certainly not thinking about the long term in those moments. And that's what I believed at, as managing my longterm vision with clarity and lining it up my short term actions that are taking me there, maybe not perfect, a little bit of a zigzag, but I'm not, I can see there's not this foggy cloud, a hundred meters out, 200 meters out that I can't see beyond because of my haze, my condition, my stress, like I can see to the horizon, can't see beyond the horizon. It's impossible, but I can at least see to the horizon and engage every day where I'm headed and make adjustments and course corrections accordingly.


Yigal Adato: 31:04 Let me ask you this, when you decided to stop drinking, right, what were two or three steps that you took that helped you with that journey to sobriety?


Russ Perry: 31:17 Yeah, so practical, practical steps. One was I hit up a support group. Listen, support groups they suck [Inaudible] they're not designed to be like fun Koombaya places. There's, like alcoholics anonymous, celebrate recovery, which is a Christian one I went to, there's tons, there's all sorts of stuff out there. But the reason I suggest that is because all it is, is opening the doors of possibility that hey, there's other people out there that are having a hard time just like me. And that was a huge relief at that point kind of depending on the situation, I enlisted in professional help with a family counselor therapist that worked with me and my wife, but that could be a coach, that could be a peer accountability partner, just getting someone involved probably someone not personally connected to you [Incomprehensible] done a deep level that you could have a really objective conversation about stuff and if they are professional coach therapists and even better, at that point it was deciding like where I was going to go and what I wanted. Like I was really committed to staying married so I was like

everything I'm going to do I got to figure this out. And it took over two years to recover from the shit I put my wife through. So it's not a quick fix and there was a lot of tears and a lot of I hate you and why did you do this way beyond it now but I was committed to what I wanted, which allowed me to get through that friction and allowed me to get through that resistance. I mean beyond that it's, I mean having that commitment of why both in the short and the long term that's the key. You can't go through this process because you've got an argument with your wife and she says, I think you should stop drinking. That will not get you sober. You can't do it because you're just tired or you want to lose some weight that will not get you sober. Like there needs to be something deep and powerful for what's going to drive you because that's not necessarily the easiest decision. Although it does become easier over time.


Yigal Adato: 33:33 Nice man. Well I think that information you gave today, I hope and we're going to give away some free books. If you go to soberentrepreneur.com Russ is giving you a free book as many whoever wants to buy them so we're [Crosstalk].


Russ Perry: 33:50 Just pay shipping and handling. So like, around the world. So if you're in the U.S There's one price. If you're anywhere in the world, there's another price on a how international your market is, but


Yigal Adato: 33:59 18 countries man.


Russ Perry: 34:01 Oh yeah, nice work.


Yigal Adato: 34:03 So if you think that you know you might have an issue or that you believe that this book can really help you get to the next level, go to soberentrepreneur.com and get that book and it's free just pay shipping and handling. Also, if you want to check out designpickle.com it's design pickle .com for the unlimited graphic design work, which I think is an awesome, awesome service. Now I'm going to keep my promise to you and in the pre-roll you said you wanted to ask me a question.


Russ Perry: 34:35 Oh yeah, that's right.


Yigal Adato: 34:36 So I couldn't close this out, but I'm not going to do that. So

please man, go ahead.


Russ Perry: 34:43 Okay, Mr Pawnshop. I got this sword, I got this sword from my iran. It's a decorative sword from Iran. What can I get for this?


Yigal Adato: 34:53 Man, I'm so embarrassed. I have to see it in person. I have to

see the condition. I'm just giving you an excuse.


Russ Perry: 35:00 It's from, it's from a swap meet in Iran. Do you think like 50



Yigal Adato: 35:05 I have to get my authenticator in to authenticate [Crosstalk]


Russ Perry: 35:12 Alright, okay. You're true professional, you're true professional.

That was my question. I just was curious.


Yigal Adato: 35:16 Listen, where do you live?


Russ Perry: 35:18 I live in Scottsdale, I'm not trying to sell the sword.


Yigal Adato: 35:21 I'm sure some pawnbroker in Scottsdale, we'll get you to go



Russ Perry: 35:24 No, this is a gift from one of my buddies. He actually brought this sword back in his luggage like through a security, like I'm pretty sure it should not have gotten through from Iran. But anyway, we moved into a new office. It's the only thing on my wall and just kind of weird. But I appreciate the time, I appreciate. And also if anyone wants to follow me head over to Instagram, just Russ Perry, I post content all the time, snippets, tidbits, just like little daily doses of this conversation. And it's a good way to just keep it top of mind.


Yigal Adato: 36:01 Yep. I'll follow you and I love what you do man. I appreciate you for being on, for those of you who want to see a Russ Perry, I know you're on Instagram, you have your own podcast as well. Correct?


Russ Perry: 36:11 Tons of stuff. But yeah, you could just start at Instagram and

you can go from there.


Yigal Adato: 36:16 Gotcha. So follow Russ Perry on Instagram. Russ thank you so much for being on and giving us as much value as you have, to the pawn family thank you so much for listening. Don't forget to join the group on the Pawn Leaders Podcast. I appreciate you all and stay tuned for the next episode.





Russ Perry joins us on today’s episode of Pawn Leaders. Russ is the founder of Design Pickle – the #1 unlimited and flat-rate graphic design service in the world. Design Pickle was launched in 2015 and has achieved unprecedented success. Russ is also the author of the Sober Entrepreneur, a book that speaks about his journey from rock-bottom and his commitment to sobriety. He is a certified trainer with Wake Up Warrior and enjoys traveling with his wife and 3 daughters.



[02:44] Russ looked at where he could provide value where there’s a gap in the market




[03:33] Design Pickle is 1 price, with two (2) plans; $370 and $995 plan




[05:23] Being able to take the designing off business owners’ plate so they can focus on the operations of the business makes Design Pickle amazing




[06:09] “The worst part as a business owner is when you’re not being proactive with your marketing and communication because you think it’s too expensive…it’s too much work”




[07:19] Becoming an entrepreneur means that you have to be addicted to that business




[07:51] Russ, at 22, became addicted to launching and growing his business, which in turn led to him pushing away his family and becoming isolated




[09:05] The isolation led to Russ having an affair




[09:49] “The patterns of our past, or the patterns of our industry, don’t have to become our patterns”




[09:55] Sober Entrepreneur was written so that business owners could learn from their mistakes and also getting sober after being addicted to a substance or a business




[12:42] Realize that you’re not alone on the path of addicts trying to get sober




[13:17] Be strategic about dealing with the stress by replacing bad habits with healthy habits




[15:34] Becoming sober is a life-changing experience




[16:41] Design Pickle was launched 14 months after Russ became sober. During the sobering process, be reflective and meditate about what you want in the future




[18:56] How does somebody know that they’re an addict? Addictions are where a lot of your time, money and energy are being spent. If they are leading you to a better life, there are no worries. However, distractions and stress are red flags.




[22:42] In order to have a lasting marriage, Russ had to eliminate alcohol from his life to build trust




[26:16] Legacy makes you think more logically when making decisions




[28:07] How important was coaching to you to create the man you are today? “Coaching was an accountability mechanism for me to level up as a leader, communicator, and teacher, which I could do in my own business




[30:34] Managing your long-term vision with clarity and lining them up with short-term actions is important




[31:19] Journey to sobriety:

  1. Get into a support group
  2. Be committed to your reason for being sober



[33:36] There will be free books at soberentrepreneur.com



[35:47] Follow Russ on Instagram @russperry


Yigal Adato

Yigal is a 3rd generation pawn broker, and is now a mentor, coach and educator with the pawnbroking industry.

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