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Jimmy Harding: The Journey From Construction Mogul to Marketing Guru

 

When Jimmy Harding was just ten years old, he started mowing lawns around his neighborhood for extra cash. During these early years, he acquired an entrepreneurial spirit that has carried with him ever since.  Harding would spend the rest of his life developing his businesses and despite the ups and downs, achieve the personal freedom he always desired.

On an episode of The Real Deal On…, Harding sat down with Dug McGuirk for a conversation about reinvention. He discusses his business troubles and the pivotal moments that made reinvention possible in both his personal and professional life.

Harding started his career in construction, eventually becoming a construction mogul and dominating the industry. However, through a series of twists and turns, he fell into marketing. He is now a sought-after marketing guru who helps other businesses reach their full potential.

When it comes to reinvention, Harding has been through quite a few:

“I don’t believe there’s one reinvention per se.  I think we go through a series of them,” he says.

Harding started his career in construction and grew his construction firm from the ground up.

“It started off as basically me and a helper and a pickup truck, and by the time that business got to its height, we were building like ten to twelve fast-food restaurants per year and then like a luxury home every single month on the residential side, so we really grew that thing up.”

During his time in construction, Harding learned valuable lessons.

Often, people place their failure on a lack of resources; however, Harding always knew the importance of being resourceful.  Therefore, when he wanted to learn how to build a particular type of cabinet, instead of hiring someone to build it, Harding began working at a cabinet shop to find out how to build it himself.

“There was a particular type of cabinet that I didn’t know how to build and I went and got a job at a cabinet shop while I owned my own business just to learn how to build that so I can see the process, come back and use it in the project we were about to start,” he explains.

“There’s always a way. It’s just how do we figure it out. You can either pay someone to show you or you can pay someone to teach you to do it,” he continues.

Gaining Personal Freedom:

Ultimately, Harding’s goal was always to achieve personal freedom.  Entrepreneurship was a vehicle to achieve that goal, he says.  Over the years, he developed a passion for helping others achieve that freedom on their own. From the beginning, he always had a passion for helping others.

“I would go get my friends that would have you know $100,000 in debt from going to college, and they couldn’t even get a job. I’m like, ‘No, this is how you create your own economy,’ so I always would give people a hand up, people younger than me…,” he says

“That saying that it takes money to make money is B.S.,” he explains. “I’ve never had startup funding or whatever. Whatever I was going to do, I would go out and help other people, get paid for it, and use that [money] as the capital to start up my business.”

The Impact of Hurricane Katrina

Despite a struggling economy and weakening housing market, Harding’s construction firm continued to boom throughout the early 2000s. Then, Hurricane Katrina happened.

“All of a sudden, Hurricane Katrina comes along, and we’ve got 13 properties under construction, all in my name that I own,” he says. “We ended up having anywhere from like two to 13 feet of water in nine of the 13 properties, and it was pretty devastating. We had to recover from that and then there was a big need in the community.”

Despite the hurdles, Harding’s construction company thrived as they were able to help families rebuild their homes and contribute to the community in various ways.

“It was really a great time for us and contributing to the community, and we were rewarded handsomely for it because we helped like 87 people get back in their home,” he explains.

It was a hectic time. Families lived in FEMA trailers on the front lawn while their houses were being built, Harding says. The goal was to build these homes as soon as possible. Therefore, Harding’s company was able to grow and employ a lot of new people.

The business continued to boom for about 18 months; then suddenly things started to shift.

“It wasn’t that there was no need for any construction services but what happened is the stuff that we did or the stuff that we were capable of doing, was not available anymore,” he says.

Essentially, the only work left in New Orleans after 18 months was down to the most damaged stuff.

“If you were not a contractor that was set up to do 100 million dollar jobs like big infrastructure and improvement type of stuff, then it came down to very little left to be done,” he says.

Instead of changing his business model, Harding kept thinking things would get better. However, business started to dry up.  He had to figure out what to do next. He remembered how heavily competing companies were advertising, so he decided to dive into marketing in an attempt to save his business.

This was the start of a costly journey to understand how marketing and advertising worked.

The last $100,000:

Harding’s quest to figure out why his business was declining led him into the marketing industry.  He used the last $100,000 of his business finances to invest in advertising. He hired an advertising company to market his construction company to NFL games.

As a Saint Season holder, Harding thought the affluent market at these games would be a great place to gain new clients for his construction firm. He became the official construction sponsor for all the games.  Unfortunately, the results were far from promising.

“The only phone call I got was someone else trying to sell me advertising,” he laughs.
“The first thing that I learned from that is that just because someone sells advertising doesn’t mean they know what they’re doing,” he says.

The experience taught Harding a lot about advertising. He realized the way he was marketing the wrong way.

“In advertising, you need two things: you have to be able to make an emotional connection, and it has to be intellectually interesting,” he explains.

Despite the lessons learned, his construction firm shut down.

“Eventually I ran out of money, and I had to shut it down and give the properties back and start struggling for survival,” he says. “It seemed like everything I touched just fell apart during that time, so that was a long struggle period like from 2008 until 2010.”

After his business went under, Harding decided to go on the road doing disaster cleanup. He had become an “expert on disaster cleanup,”  and knew he had the tools to do the job. It seemed like the right direction to go.

“I said okay, I’m going to start going on the road and to these disasters and start doing our disaster cleanup and so I learned a lot of stuff at that time,” he says.

At first, Harding would knock on the doors of residents who had gone through a disaster and offer his services. He learned quickly that this was not the most efficient strategy. Soon, Harding began educating people on how to respond and react to disasters. He created educational brochures to hand out to people and acquired clients through becoming an expert in the field.

“When they would call me, I would go to their house, and I would expand on that education, and so really I was just consulting with them.  I was helping them, and like people were literally just pulling out their checkbooks,” he says.

This was a pivotal point in Harding’s career as he learned the importance of educational marketing. To this day, Harding continues to give away tons of information and advice to help people in their own pursuits.

Harding’s disaster cleanup business started to flourish, and he eventually partnered with a friend in the oil industry. Together, they developed a company.  During this time, he continued to learn more about marketing. Eventually, his efforts led him to the boardroom of a major oil company.

“That same marketing that was getting people to invite me into their home to educate them invited this big oil company to call us,” he says.

The BP Oil Spill Fiasco

The morning of the big meeting, Harding and his business partner were prepared to sign a seven-figure contract with the major oil company.

“All I had to do was go there, do my presentation, and basically sign contracts,” he says.

However, a major event got in the way: the BP oil spill.

“The morning that we show up in Houston, my partner and I walk into this big giant boardroom, and there’s a flat-screen TV on the wall, and there’s an oil rig on fire,” Harding remembers.

“That night, in the middle of the night before we got there, was the big BP oil spill of 2010,” he says.

“We get there, and all non-essential services are canceled indefinitely. Boom. So I’m going there to get money. We needed this money, and all of a sudden, boom and I was in shock,” he continues.

Despite his shock, Harding remembered something he learned from Tony Robin’s Date with Destiny seminar a few months earlier.  During the seminar, he learned “state management,” and knew not to keep repeating the same victim story. Instead of dwelling on the failure and asking why; he asked himself how he could use the experience to help others. That was the moment he decided to open up his own marketing company.

“It was the catalyst to opening a marketing company, and like mastering marketing and changing and moving into the way that I coach and consult now.  it was all based off of that thing,” he explains.

Advice to others in reinvention:

Harding went through various reinventions but ultimately learned to gain from his experience rather than create the same story in his head. His marketing company was a result of the ups and downs of his past businesses. Through his experience, he is now able to help others succeed.

“When something traumatic happens, you have to look at the good side, because you know there’s an opposite reaction to everything that happens,” he says.

Harding shares his advice for those wanting to pursue their goals:

“Figure out exactly what you want and then go after it. One of the big mistakes that I made along the way is I knew what I did not want, so I never got specific.  I got specific on what I did not want and what I found out is that’s not good enough. […] Figure out what you want and focus on that. Don’t be scared to fail. It’s not a failure unless you quit,” he says.


We highly encourage you to listen to the entire interview to hear more exciting stories from Jimmy Harding. Harding has had every obstacle thrown at him over the course of his career, but despite all of it, he managed to turn it all around.

Reinvention is about going in a positive direction when obstacles are thrown at you. In recovery, reinvention is crucial.  You need to stop telling yourself the same old stories of failure. Instead, focus on heading in a positive direction in your life. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free now.

 

 CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398

 

David Dweck: His Reinvention to Real Estate Renegade

David Dweck: His Reinvention to Real Estate Renegade

At the age of 18, David Dweck decided he was going to bypass college and get a job working at a recording studio. When everyone heard about his decision, they all told him it would never happen.

Instead of giving up, Dweck responded with “Watch me.”

Soon enough, Dweck was working at a recording studio over the summer in New York City.

That same tenacity followed Dweck over the course of his career in both the music industry and in real estate. These days, Dweck is a real estate renegade, who leads Florida’s number one real estate club, Boca Real Estate Investment Club (BRIC).

Recently, David Dweck appeared on The Real Deal On… with Dug McGuirk where they discussed the topic of reinvention. Dweck says reinvention has been a major theme in his life both personally and professionally.

Originally, Dweck desired to work in a recording studio as an audio engineer. He was willing to do whatever it took to achieve that goal, even work for free.

Fortunately, his determination paid off. Three stations offered Dweck a job, and he ended up working for a company called Media Sounds.

“I knocked on doors, and I said, ‘I’m hungry, and I’m willing to work for no money, I’m willing to sweep floors,’ and Media Sounds said, ‘Nope, we’ll pay you and we’ll hire you as the night time receptionist,’” he remembers.

Media Sounds was a radio station based out of New York City. Dweck worked the night shift as a receptionist from 4 pm to midnight. Working in the evenings was an exciting time, Dweck says. On one occasion, he even met Mick Jagger.

“A lot of good stuff happens to you at night,” he says. “I walk in for my 4:00 shift and I remember Lisa, the woman I replaced, she got off at four. She goes, ‘You won’t believe who’s downstairs in Studio B!’”

Dweck says it was a “surreal” experience and when he looks back at his time in the music industry, he does not have any regrets.

“I got a taste of it, and that was gratifying,” he says. “No regrets. I sit here today happy with the time I had there.”

Dweck’s Career Revolution

Despite his success, Dweck began to realize how fleeting the career of an audio engineer really was.  As a result, he decided to go to college and earn his degree in Communications at the University of Miami.  He then spent close to five years working in radio and production sales.

While he was passionate about his career in communications, he eventually decided to pursue a different path. His decision was based on the major shifts he continued to see occurring in the radio industry.

For example, Dweck’s bosses at Media Sound were two very successful, educated men. They put a classified ad in The New York Times that said “Young men with unlimited capital willing to finance legitimate business venture.”

“What was that venture? They financed Woodstock. Those were my bosses. They sold the studio,” he says.

“That’s when the light bulb went out,” he says. “If they’re getting out, that’s a sign.”

Ultimately, Dweck  “saw the writing on the wall” and decided to move toward a career in real estate.

“I realized that real estate would be the long term path to benefit my family and to create a life style,” Dweck says.

Still, pursuing real estate did not come without its own set of challenges.

“At the time, I was starting a family, and it was a very big risk to take, and I embraced that,” he says.

Despite the risks, Dweck started his career as a real estate investor. He acquired his real estate license in 1993.  He was determined to succeed despite the voices that told him there was no money in real estate and that it was too much hassle to bother with.

“I strategized both short-term and long-term realizing this will be my retirement, so for every house that I bought, built and sold, I also would take that money, reinvest it into a rental property and get bank financing,” he says.

Dweck had to learn the ropes in real estate, so he started studying and learning from mentors. His mentors taught him how to deal in reality and not in theory. This inspired him to create the Boca Real Estate Investment Club.

“That’s one of the reasons why I started the Boca Real Estate Investment Club because there’s really not a how-to manual for investors back in the day, especially down here in South Florida. It’s kind of like the wild, wild west.”

More Challenges: Overcoming the Recession

In 2007, Dweck was faced with another major challenge: the declining economy. Along with the decline in the real estate market, Dweck’s marriage was declining as well.

“When your business is suffering, you want that life time partner, not only behind you but beside you, and I did not have that,” he says.

“That really hurt, so I had to dig in deep because, in 2008, it was on, and I was coming into the office every day and doing damage control, watching the relationships I’ve built and watching people suffer.”

Dweck remembers seeing one of his friends, who was worth 60 million dollars at the time, lose it all.

“I’m thinking ‘Wow, the sky is falling.’ I’m like mystified,” he says.

Fortunately, Dweck was relatively conservative with the risks he took. Still, he began to question whether or not he should give up on his career in real estate.

“I said, ‘Do I hang up, do I just call it a day and reinvent?’

“The answer, I answered myself, and that answer was a resounding no, I’m not going to do that. I’m going to dig in so deep that whatever it takes, I’m gonna find solutions,” he says

Overall, the experience taught him who his real friends were and how resilient he was.

“You never forget these challenges and how you are able to rise to the challenge,” he continues.

Ultimately, Dweck’s resilience and courage helped him navigate all the obstacles thrown his way.  He defines courage as having “balls” and feels this applies to both men and women.

“I think you really have to have a lot of self-belief and have the courage to not just try, but really go for it,” he says.

Reinvention is about having the courage and “balls” to persevere despite life’s challenges. Dweck’s journey defines reinvention. Please check out the full interview for more insights into Dweck’s career in real estate, and hear the crucial advice he gives to those struggling in their own journey.

If you feel like giving up, remember it is never too late to make a transformation. Please reach out if you are struggling. We are here to help. You do not have to do this alone. Call now.

 CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398

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