285 A 6 figure Business Before Age 20 – Chandler Bolt

What You will Hear in Chandler Bolt's Story:

  • Want Your Kids to be Wealthy? Listen to this!
  • Making 6-figures in College – How he did it
  • The Success Secrets of a Very Young Entrepreneur
  • Develop “Wealthy Habits” for Your Kids
  • A 6 figure Business Before Age 20

Listen to ReLaunch Show on iPhone or Android App

More about our featured guest Chandler Bolt

Chandler Bolt's a young hustling entrepreneur who ran $320k in businesses by age 20. He's written 4 best selling books and he now works with aspiring entrepreneurs, writers & speakers/coaches to help them go from book idea to bestseller in 3 months through his online program, Self-Publishing School.


Full Transcript

[00:01] Joel: Welcome to ReLaunch, your daily dose of inspiring stories, fresh ideas and practical solutions to help you build a business and a life that you love. And if you are a daily listener, welcome back to the show, thank you for tuning in. And thank you for joining in the before and the after show online conversations. And if you are new here, just know that you are among friends and this is what you can expect: Unique insights, Aha! Moments and actionable information from self-made successes as they share their trials, tribulations and come from behind victories. And before we introduce today's guest, let me just mention two tweets that came through not too long ago. Sameer Kinger tweeted in and he mentioned that the ReLaunch Show motivated him to work harder and to achieve his goals. Thank you for that. And Sverre also tweeted in saying that the stories that our guests share of how they turned things around in their own lives are interesting for him to listen to, because he has a storyteller's point of view and…

[01:19] Pei: Right.

[01:19] Joel: He listens to it probably with different ears than a lot of people do, because he himself is a storyteller.

[01:28] Pei: I love that.

[01:29] Joel: We really appreciate people that tweet in their ideas and their feedback, and help us understand what they're getting from the ReLaunch shows. And of course our Twitter hotspots are available right there on the our website, just go to joelboggess.com and you will get all of the Twitter and the other social media information right there. Again, joelboggess.com. And mom, dad, if you have school aged children or teenagers running around your house, you need to listen to today's show. Our guest, best selling author Chandler Bolt, began his entrepreneurial climb at the early age of 11. And by the time he was 17 he was already hiring out his friends and earning his own college tuition. In fact, by the time he was 20 his business was worth more than $300,000. His books include, “Breaking Out of a Broken System”, that's the book that he wrote with his brother, Seth. “Book Launch”, “The Productive Person”, and “Productivity Hacks for Entrepreneurs: 53 Simple Ways to Grow Your Business & Increase Your Productivity in 5 Minutes.” Chandler, welcome, welcome to ReLaunch.

[02:59] Chandler Bolt: Thanks, thanks for having me, I'm glad to be here.

[03:02] Joel: Yeah, good to have you here, we're really excited to have you on and thank you for your time. And as you know, Chandler, this show is all about the relaunch. And while we've all experienced numerous launches and relaunches throughout our life, I generally I ask our guests to zero in on the relaunch that has been the most significant or the most transformation for them, and then we just kind of unfold the story from there. And we'll do that with you here in a just few minutes, if that's alright? But before we do that, I like to start off the shows with a quick piece of take away gold. And you are a productivity expert, so if you can give us just a quick productivity hack that we can implement right now in our lives, I think that would be a great way to start today's show. So what do you think, a productivity hack?

[03:53] Chandler Bolt: Yeah, so the one I'll give, it's kind of drastically changed my life and my productivity, and really helped me get a lot more clarity behind what I'm doing, and when I'm doing it, and why I'm doing it, and it's kind of twofold. So, it's… What I've found is that a lot of people just get kinda sucked into their week, and then sucked into their days, and they get really reactive. So, they're reacting to just everything that's around them, right? They wake up, they roll out of bed, they roll over, they start checking their social media, their emails, their texts, their everything. And it's just…


[04:27] Pei: Yeah.

[04:27] Chandler Bolt: From the second they wake up…

[04:29] Joel: Are you watching us in the morning, Chandler?


[04:32] Pei: Hey, you do that, I don't, I was just kidding.

[04:34] Joel: Anyhow.

[04:35] Chandler Bolt: It's not just you guys, it's a lot of you. So, the biggest thing I've helped that's helped me… Or the biggest thing I've found that's helped me combat that is, it's twofold, so I plan out my week on a Sunday. And I figure out, “Okay, what do I want to get accomplished this week?” And put it by the day. And then the next iteration of that is the night before each day, each working day, I just go ahead and plan out my top three or my top five things I wanna get done tomorrow, so that I wake up with clarity and with purpose. And I wake up and instantly dive into that stuff, and so I'm being proactive right off the bat, as opposed to being reactive. So, I just dive into that right from when I get up and right after my morning routine and all that good stuff, and that's just really helped to have clarity so that I know that if I don't get anything else done than these few things, that doesn't matter because today was a successful day.

[05:30] Joel: Absolutely, that's great advice. So the tips are, plan out your week ahead of time, plan out your week before you get there, during the weekend, or the Sunday night before the week starts. And then every night before you go to bed, as you're winding down, just be cognizant of the MVPs, I like to call them, the most valuable priorities that you need to get taken care of for the following day, did I say that right?

[05:56] Chandler Bolt: Yep, that's exactly right.

[05:58] Joel: Fantastic. Chandler, we're definitely going to talk about the relaunch that happened in your childhood when you realized that working for yourself offered you a lot more opportunities than a traditional job could. But before that happened, Chandler, you were actually fighting for your life when you were still inside your mother's womb. So can you share a little bit about that story… It was a near miscarriage if I understand correctly… And then we'll go from there. Go right ahead, sir.

[06:29] Chandler Bolt: Yeah, so, my mom had a miscarriage about a year before she had me. And so… There's nine and a half years between me and my brother, so people always joke or assume that I was a mistake. [laughter] So I assure them like no, my mom actually had a miscarriage a year before she had me. And then when she was pregnant with me she was having all of the same symptoms. And, so she was really worried. And they were really worried that they might loose the baby again and they'd already been through that. So it was kind of fighting for my life during that time, and there was a lot of prayer and stuff with my family during that time. And eventually she got through that, and then I made it out, and I was born and everything, but I had a massive head. My head was really big and they thought that there was something wrong with me. But it turns out there wasn't. I mean, there's a lot of things wrong with me, but [laughter] not overwhelming. Not anything they couldn't handle. And so, that was kind of the first part of going into my life. And as kind of a funny story off of that; I had this watermelon-sized head, and it was… My head's so big that it was tough to fit into shirts when I was a kid. I eventually grew into it, but I just remember crying when I would put on shirts because they would hurt my ears so bad.

[08:01] Joel: Wow.

[08:02] Chandler Bolt: My brother jokes about how I would… When I was first learning to walk or even sit up, that my head would get me off balance and then I would just nosedive into the couch or into the ground. So kind of a funny story.

[08:14] Joel: Yeah, funny story. Probably not funny for you at the time when you were experiencing it, but…

[08:19] Chandler Bolt: Yeah, no.

[08:20] Joel: Funny now when you look back on it. Appreciate you giving us a little bit of background here. So, I'm really curious. You, at the tender age of 11, while your kids were kind of scrambling trying to figure out how they could earn a couple of bucks to go get whatever they wanted to do, you actually understood or were beginning to understand this entrepreneurial idea and some of the things that could happen. So fast forward us a little bit and tell us how this happened, and started to take form for you.

[08:59] Chandler Bolt: My dad was an entrepreneur. He was kind of forced into being an entrepreneur, because one year he got fired right before Christmas. So he kind of promised himself he would never put the family in that position ever again. So he started his own business, and he's been in construction, and he's been doing that ever since. So I think, subconsciously, growing up I saw that. And my mom was a realtor. Still is a realtor. That's pretty entrepreneurial as well. So I think growing up I saw that, and I saw the freedom it gave them. I saw the freedom it gave for our family. You know, they were at every baseball practice or sporting event or we could take vacations as a family. I just saw how they were creating something for themselves, something for our family, and they came from pretty much nothing and really poor families. And they were kind of climbing out of that and creating something for themselves. I think subconsciously that was pretty inspiring for me. It just instilled out of like, “Okay, I want to create something for myself.” And so, like you were talking about… At 11 my mom sent me to scout camp with a bunch of snacks and I got there and realized that everybody wanted them.


[10:13] Chandler Bolt: It's supply and demand. I was like, “Okay, well, I can sell these things,” and so I came back with some money and some cool knives and a bunch of really cool stuff, all because I kind of realized and started selling and bartering, and wheeling and dealing.

[10:28] Joel: Okay, so let's paint this picture. So you're bootlegging, basically, the supplies that your mom… With the best of intentions because she was trying to care for her son…

[10:38] Chandler Bolt: Oh yeah.

[10:40] Joel: I'm just having some fun with this. Go ahead, Pei.

[10:42] Pei: So, did you talk to your folks about, “Hey, look what I got”?

[10:48] Chandler Bolt: Oh, yeah. I came home with this awesome switchblade knife, and money and stuff like that.

[10:53] Joel: Every mother's dream, by the way.


[10:55] Chandler Bolt: Yeah. I think she was thrilled with that. But I just… I don't know. It was kind of, I think, the beginnings of… I was always wheeling and dealing and bartering and I was just like, “Okay, I can sacrifice a little bit and not eat some of these fudge rounds or sodas or whatever, and I can make some money here and get a lot more cool stuff than this.”

[11:16] Pei: That's interesting, because kids at 11 or 12, I think a lot of them are intrigued by the idea of having actual cash. But so many are still in that age that they want to play. They want to go hang out. They want to play video games, exploring different things. There's nothing wrong with that. So from the moment you got that idea to where you are now, at such a young age. You're about half of our age here.


[11:52] Pei: So, what did you do next. And kind of just snowball into where you are.

[11:59] Chandler Bolt: Yeah, so it led in to a few things. One of the first businesses I got to run was through my entrepreneurship class and it was a canteen at my high school and so we just served snacks and drinks and stuff like that during lunch and it was basically an hour, hour and a half a day of actual serving time during lunches at the schools and I got voted president of that 'cause I was really into it and we ended up making about eight grand in two, two and a half months and it was kind of a taste of a budding… Excuse me. Me and the vice president, we would go to Sam's or to Costco or wherever and just load up this Toyota Prius with all these supplies every week to where it was the wheels were almost scrubbing the hubcaps. It was just packed in with supplies and then we got to count the money, we got to schedule. It was like the first taste of really running a business and then also as part of the class, we got to take home the profit, so…

[12:59] Joel: That is a nice perk.

[13:02] Chandler Bolt: Oh, yeah. It was awesome. So that's what motivated us to work so hard and it was kind of that taste and I remember getting over two grand and it was in one semester of high school and I was like, “wow, ! I just got paid to go to school” and that was a pretty cool feeling and then from that piggy backed off of that and then that same class, I wrote the business plan for my first business and while all my friends were creating eBay business and product inventions and all this stuff that was really cool, I couldn't think of anything and I came up with a landscaping, lawn care and pressure washing business and I thought it was the lamest thing ever and I was just really bummed that I couldn't think up a cool idea, but the funny thing that happened thought is, I ended up actually starting and running that business and I don't think anyone else in the class actually ran theirs.

[13:53] Chandler Bolt: So, it just kind of goes to show you that it doesn't matter how cool or how unsexy you might think your idea is, the execution is what matters and so I went out and started the business and my goal was to make five grand for college during the summer and before I'd even gotten out of school for the summer, I'd already made five grand and so I decided to double it and so then basically ran the business through out the spring and the summer and that's when kinda like you were talking about in the intro. I started hiring my friends and people that worked really hard and started running this business and it was the best summer ever. That was the real kind of… My eyes were opened and I saw something.

[14:38] Chandler Bolt: You see the light and you're like, “Okay, you're bitten.” You can never unsee that, and so that was when it went from all my friends were making $250 in two weeks for two weeks of a lot of work and then I started making that $250, $500 in a day and sometimes in a half a day and I would have all my friends out there working and then paid them well and then I also made some really good money and then we would be done at like one o'clock in the afternoon and we'd go hit the lake all day. So it's like I had this really fun summer, but also made the most money I'd ever made and it changed the way I looked at things. I mean the way I looked at earning money. Suddenly an iPod wasn't two, three, four weeks of a paycheck. It was half a day and when it's all of that, I was like, “Okay. This is something I wanna pursue further.”

[15:27] Joel: Okay. I love what you said here and I wanna kinda go back a minute or two. You talked about execution and that is key and execution is the new strategy. It's actually the only strategy that matters. Go ahead, Pei, 'cause I know you wanted to add.

[15:44] Pei: Well, so, I just wanna clarify, up to then that the story you told us so far, that's still the lawn care business, right?

[15:51] Chandler Bolt: Mmhmm.

[15:52] Pei: Okay. See, like you said, it may not be the most sexy ideas but the most unsexy idea that's executed is much better than the best idea that's still on the paper or on the computer. Yeah.

[16:11] Joel: That's very, very well said and by the way, I wanna go back to when you were a kid and you were just starting this entrepreneurial game. One of my friends, your friend too, Pei. You're gonna recognize the name, Jeff Crilley.

[16:22] Pei: Oh yeah. I know what you're gonna get into.

[16:24] Joel: Well, Jeff Crilley said when he was raising up his son Dallas Crilley and Dallas wrote that very first book when he was about 10 or 11 back when Chandler was about the same age and Jeff told me something that I will never forget. He says, your kids are never going to be as cute as they are right now.


[16:48] Pei: Sell that, huh?

[16:50] Joel: Yeah. Sell it. I mean, you know what, and everyone I repeat that quote to, everybody nods their head and go yeah, you're absolutely right. Help your kids develop their book or their snack business.

[17:10] Pei: Yeah and I also hear is, we all have that innate desire for freedom and I think in your case Chandler, is you explored that through entrepreneurship and now I'm curious. From lawn care, from that fantastic summer and hit the lake around [1:00] PM how did it come to now as far as getting into the book business and then helping other entrepreneurs with productivity?

[17:45] Chandler Bolt: Yeah, so it kind of continued on into college and that was when I ran my first six figure business and then I'd trained other entrepreneurs how to run their own businesses. Like other college students and kind of talked taught them the stuff that I was taught and they all ran their businesses successfully. And then that led into the first book, which is “The Productive Person” and that's where basically me and my now business partner who was my mentor in an internship that I had, we recounted or recapped the stuff we learned from running our businesses in college. So I hit six figures at 18, 19 years old, and I was full-time college student, also a young life leader, also other stuff, and then while starting and running a six-figure business.

[18:34] Joel: What was that business?

[18:36] Chandler Bolt: It was a painting business.

[18:37] Joel: Okay.

[18:38] Chandler Bolt: Have you ever heard of Student Painters?

[18:39] Joel: Student Painters? I bet you know something about Student Painters…

[18:44] Pei: Yeah, do share.

[18:45] Chandler Bolt: Yeah! Student Painters, it's basically an internship program. They teach college students how to run a business by actually doing it. Crazy concept right?

[18:54] Joel: Right!

[18:55] Pei: Pretty cool!

[18:56] Chandler Bolt: But the vehicle they use is a painting business. And there's three reasons they do that. It's 'cause painting is highly profitable. There's good profit margins. Number two is that it's pretty easy to teach. So you teach someone to paint and they can pretty much do it okay, or at least pretty well after a short period of time.

[19:15] Pei: It's pretty hard to ruin it, huh?

[19:17] Chandler Bolt: Yeah, yeah. Exactly. And then three is that it's seasonal. So when college students are out of school, that's when people need their houses painted. So you spend the whole spring pre-selling jobs, and then you spend the summer painting and you hire all your painters and you're not really painting so much, you're managing your team and managing customers, and you're selling more jobs and stuff like that. So that's kind of how it works. So the first book was based on the experiences I learned from that and just having a ridiculous strain on my time, and just not having enough hours in the day, not getting a lot of sleep and just having to get a ton of stuff done and not enough time, and all the productivity hacks, and the stuff I learned from that. So that's what we wrote the first book about. And then we just kind of put it out there. We started without any plans of selling it or making money off of it. And then it just kind of developed into something that we thought was really good, so we decided to sell it, and we put it out there and it took off, and it topped David Allen's “Getting Things Done” is number one in Time Management, and he lowered his price from $9 or $10 to $3.29, which was cheaper than our book. And that was kind of the epiphany moment for me is the book started selling 80, 100, 170 copies a day.

[20:38] Joel: And what is the title of this particular book you're talking about?

[20:42] Chandler Bolt: This is called “The Productive Person.”

[20:43] Joel: Got it! Okay. Just wanna make sure.

[20:44] Chandler Bolt: So this is the first book. Yeah. And it really kind of took off. And when I started seeing it sell like that I was like, “Whoa! This isn't like my friends and family, and my mom and my cousins anymore. This is people all around the world that are buying my book. And kind of the lightbulb moment for me is at the time that we launched the book I was actually studying abroad in Austria. So I was kind of just snowboarding and traveling a lot, and doing a little bit of studying.


[21:14] Joel: Nice. I love how you kind of put things in that order.

[21:20] Chandler Bolt: Yeah. Those were my priorities at the time. But we were also launching the book and having fun with it. But I just remember going up on the ski lift and talking with my friends and they were asking about the book 'cause they heard it was successful and they asked us, they were like “Well, Chandler, is the book actually making any money?” And I thought about it for a sec and I was like, “Well, we were snowboarding all day yesterday and the book made over 400 bucks.” And it was almost like as I said those words out loud, I realized just the power of what was happening. I've read “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” and all the Robert Kiyosaki books growing up and always heard about passive income, and thought number one, it was only possible through real estate and number two, that it wasn't really possible for me. That was just kind of like this mystical thing that doesn't really exist. So when I saw this coming in and the book made close to seven grand in the first month, and then two to five grand a month like several months after that I ended up dropping out of school, and the book is what kept my head above water when I dropped out. But it was that first glimpse of like, “Oh, wow! This is passive income! This is doing something once, and getting paid on it for ever.”

[22:28] Joel: Gotcha. So that was the lightbulb moment?

[22:31] Chandler Bolt: Oh, definitely!

[22:32] Joel: Awesome.

[22:33] Pei: Very cool. Can I go?

[22:36] Joel: Yeah, go ahead. Please.

[22:37] Pei: Here's what I hear. Obviously, your experiences when you were little, your parents decided entrepreneurship is what creates the freedom and creates the wealth as long as we work hard for it. I know you shared that being productive, being willing to get started on something, you know execute. What other habits or characteristic of you that you think contributed to your success at such a young age?

[23:14] Chandler Bolt: One, the work ethic that my parents kind of instilled in me to work really, really, really hard. I've got really a strong work ethic. But then also just not being afraid to put stuff out there. There's a lot of lessons I learned from Student Painters in pre-sales, and that's kind of carried over into everything I do. So when you're first starting with Student Painters, you have to… Like I had sold 60 grand worth of painting jobs before I had ever painted a house or like been paid to professionally to paint a house. So it's like selling something before you have it. And just the amount of confidence that that builds. And also just not being afraid to test. So we kind of did the same thing when we started Self-Publishing School and it's…

[24:00] Chandler Bolt: It's just putting out something, before you're ready, not making it perfect, just putting it out there and selling it. Then seeing how it does and then, looking back saying, “Okay, cool. Here's where we screwed up, here's how we can make that better,” but just continually moving forward. And so many people I see, they over-analyze, they over-think, and they spend so much time perfecting something, that there's so much pressure, by the time they put it out there, if it doesn't just blow up, they're devastated, because they spent so much time on it, and their self worth and everything about them is invested in that where, it's do or die. And so, I've always looked at it a little bit differently as. “Okay, put it out there, then test, then evaluate”.

[24:38] Pei: I love that.

[24:39] Chandler Bolt: And that's the same thing we teach with books now. We teach people how to write, market and publish their first book. So, we teach them to really just get it out there, sell it, put it out there and then see what you can do better, 'cause you can over-think it and you can try to perfect it into eternity.

[24:54] Joel: Sure.

[24:56] Pei: Very cool. And just give us, before we wrap up, give us one example of how your parents helped you or trained you to have better work ethic in… We have lots of parents here listening to this show.

[25:16] Chandler Bolt: Yeah. I think just living it out and walking the talks. I saw how hard they worked and like I said, they really came from nothing and I just saw the work ethic that they had and how hard they did it. And then, they encouraged me to do the same. It wasn't… They instilled a lot of confidence in me and it wasn't about really, working harder than other people. It's just working to be the best you can be. So like, if I would bring home a report card or something, and it was all As and Bs, they were happy with that but then… They would also… They knew I could do better, and they knew that I could make all As. And so, when my response would be, “Hey, so-and-so, my friend that comes over all the time, he made a C on his report card,” trying to justify it away, they would just say, “Look, Chandler, I don't care what they did. This is about you and I know you can do better”. So, just instilling… To me it was like, “We're not trying to compare you against other people, we just want you to be the best you can be and work hard to get there”. So, just continually reinforcing that, and I wasn't competing against other people, it was that they knew I could do better.

[26:30] Joel: Love it, love it. Talking with Chandler Bolt today. He's got a lot of books out there. Let's see. Breaking Out of A Broken System is one of them. The Productive Person. Productivity Hacks for Entrepreneurs. And I am… I'm missing Book Launch. Of course, we're gonna have all the links for those books in the blog article that accompanies this episode, plus all of the Social Media Hotspots and the go-to places on the blog article.

[27:00] Pei: Right. If you just go to joelboggess.com/285.

[27:05] Joel: /285, that is the place to go. Chandler, this has been awesome. So much appreciate your time on today's show. Love the tips and advice that you shared, and it's spot-on. Get it out there, sell it before you create it, and then tweak and improve as you go. Test, test, test. Great advice.

[27:32] Chandler Bolt: Awesome, thanks Joel.

[27:33] Joel: Thanks so much Chandler. Have a wonderful, wonderful rest of your day. Bye-bye.

[27:36] Chandler Bolt: Alright, you too brother.

[27:38] Joel: Thanks so much for tuning in. You can also access our show from many mobile apps, and by visiting our website. Just go to joelboggess.com/285. You'll also find show transcripts and additional resources to support your relaunch into the life and business that you love.

Connect with Chandler on Facebook, LinkedIn and his website.

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Joel Boggess

Keynote Speaker | Corporate Trainer | Award-winning podcaster I help teams ignite their courage, take bolder steps, and get greater results. Together, we create possibilities that bring empowerment, meaning, and financial impact.


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