Scott Talley: Okay, Tony Harris Taylor, franchise or Deluxe, in northeast Houston and franchisee.
Tony Harris Taylor: Franchisee HIZ northeast Houston and around the world.
Scott Talley: All right, there around the world part.
Scott Talley: Yes, let's get started. In your own words, who are you and what do you do?
Tony Harris Taylor: So again, Tony Harris Taylor, I am the founder and owner of drastic results marketing and sales coaching where I teach entrepreneurs how to get known, get connected so they can get paid to make six figures and beyond. And then I'm the proud owner of Network in Action Global Partners where I help bring business owners together to connect, collaborate, build relationships, generate more leads, and have community because after all, entrepreneurship can be lonely. Drastic results and NIA go together like a skirt and a blouse. I teach people how to network on the Drastic Results side. I give them a place to network on the NIA side.
Scott Talley: Awesome. So, what was the biggest impetus to decide to purchase a Network in Action franchise?
Tony Harris Taylor: Well, so right, this guy, and I truly believe it was just divine, brought NIA into my life. I was this close to quitting my business and getting a job. In fact, I was interviewing for jobs. Now, listen, I was very successful as a coach. I was actually had great clients, I was making six figures. I've gone back and looked at my numbers to make sure that it was right. I personally was making six figures, my clients were doing very well. But I couldn't see how to scale coaching or sell coaching when I was getting ready to retire. And so, at the time, I was 52 years old, and it was like, if you're going to start a retirement plan, you need to get a job and start. But I didn't want no job, Scott. I was just praying hard, "What is my next move?" And I met Helen, another franchisee, at a women's retreat, and she told me, "You should be a Network in Action franchise owner." I had never thought about a franchise. In fact, the word franchise equal burgers, chicken, and storefronts. I didn't know that there was such a model. In my network, I had met Moose earlier, but that was way early when you all were first starting, and I wasn't at the stage of bringing on new people. So, I met her in April. Well, three months later, I've forgotten about her, and I was talking to my marketing coach, and I was telling her my dilemma, and she said, "Well, what's your 'why'?" And I told her, and we'll get to that later, but next thing I know, Helen followed up. You know, I had told my coach, "In order to do what I want to do, which is connect people, I need to start a home networking group." And at the time, I was a BNI member, and I was like, "That looks too hard. No, I can't start that from scratch." And she said, "It's perfect for you. That's like, I don't have technology, I don't have--I don't know how to run a meeting, I don't know what to charge. I've seen too many people run networking meetings not make any money." And she said, "Don't worry about the 'how,' it will show up." And Helen called me a week later, and I--and then you came, and you had everything that I had just said a week earlier that I didn't have. You had it in the model. I was like, "Man, if it wasn't for money." And you know, and we'll talk about the money hurdle, but I loved it. And then, it was the first question I asked you. I don't know if you remember. I asked you, "Is this sellable when I'm ready to retire?" And you said, "Absolutely." And I was like, "Sign me up. I'll figure out the money later."
Scott Talley: Let's talk about that for a second. There's a fee, obviously, to join, to purchase any franchise, and without getting into too many details, how did that work out for you?
Tony Harris Taylor: Well, here's what really let me know this was for me and at the right timing and a special opportunity. I said, "Scott, I love this. You got everything I said I didn't have, but I don't have the investment." And you, and I knew I was gonna love you at this moment, you said, "What do you have?" And I told you, and you said, "I'll finance you on a handshake, no credit check. And I trust that you got this." And you financed me, and I'm grateful, grateful. I've never missed a payment, not one. Every royalty has cleared, every payment is cleared. And what I love, because in that same meeting, I said to you, "What's your goals?" Because that's who I am. I said, "What's your goal?" You said, "I want this national." I said, "I know people." You don't know me yet, sir, but I know people. And to date, I think I've brought eight franchise owners, and I loved it. At one point, you were sending me a monthly payment. That's right. And so, you're compensated for bringing franchise owners to the table that end up being awarded a franchise. Yes. And I thank you, and I'm grateful for that. So, I ended up paying my, no, a lot of it through referrals. Yeah, yeah. I was going to say, awesome.
Scott Talley: Okay, so this is an important part. Every business owner, I know you've already mentioned it, and you work with them on their 'why.' How does your 'why' match with adding Network in Action to your portfolio of services?
Tony Harris Taylor: So, back to the earlier story. When I was telling my coach about my dilemma, she said, "Well, Tony, well, why?" I said, I told her. I don't even repeat it here because, in hindsight, it was like a silly one. So, she said, "I need you to go create a new 'why.' Maybe you need a 'why' that will motivate you to get out of bed every day." So, I said, "No worries. I'll do the work because I'm a coach." I came back to her a couple weeks later, and I said, "My 'why' is to touch, move, and inspire my clients to take drastic steps to be better than they were before they met me. I'm a resource, I'm a connector. I want to help people build deeper relationships that are beneficial to their life and business." She said, "Tony, that's perfect." And so, that's when you guys showed up. That's why I know it was divine because when she said, "You need to start your own networking group," I said, "Uh-uh, nope, like, I'm not doing that." And then Helen calls a week later. Crazy.
Scott Talley: So, Tony, every industry over the last 30 years has changed, some more dramatically than others. What do you see as the future of networking?
Tony Harris Taylor: Great question. First of all, virtual, the gift the pandemic gave us is virtual networking. I remember when the pandemic came, I said, you said this is recession-proof, is it pandemic-proof? You said, "I've never been through a pandemic either, but we're gonna explain together." So, I got on, I was already a virtual networker and a virtual connector, so it was easy for me to transition to virtual and teach my clients how to do the same, which was new for them. But, like, that was the gift the pandemic gave us. I remember we had our franchise meeting in 2020 or 2021, I can't remember exactly when, but it was virtual, and you announced, "Now, you can have any combination of meetings. You can have virtual, you could have in-person. You got virtual local, virtual national, virtual international." I was like, "Dude, sign me up. Virtual international, here I come." So, the future of networking is making sure that people can reach each other all over the world. One more thing on the future, and I think we are definitely on target for this, people want more than networking. They want help building their business. They want the social component too, but they need additional help. And I believe that you've done a great job, as we all have as a team, to bring them those extra components that will help them be a great business owner. Yeah.
Scott Talley: Um, a lot of people don't believe in networking. Why should business owners network?
Tony Harris Taylor: Listen, I don't know who doesn't believe in networking. I think the people who don't believe in networking haven't met us yet, honestly. Because I think about this often. If I wasn't networking, how else would I build my business? I'd be knocking on doors. And I love that John Carlo just walked behind you. I love that. I'd be cold calling, which I'm just not--I'm just not that. That's just not me. I'm not--I would be running Facebook ads, which is expensive, um, or magazine or newspaper or what have you. Networking, for me, and because we're in a relationship business, networking for me is the only way. And now, and that's not just NIA, but the social media, that's networking. Video marketing, that's networking. But networking is never going to go out of style. It is--it's in every business owner should learn how to build relationships to grow their business.
Scott Talley: Network in Action is known for its six basic differences, but what would you say is the biggest difference between what you offer your members and what they had received from traditional networking?
Tony Harris Taylor: I love the six differences. I often say to you, we're missing the seventh, and the seventh is community service. I--I'm gonna tell you the truth, and you probably won't believe this, but I've never been a community service type of person. I never volunteered. You know, I'd throw--I'd do donations, you know, because I am a giving person. But that--my time, I was very protective of my time. And one of the components of our--components is community service. When I tell you I have a member, I love number one. I love that I have the freedom to give a membership to a non-profit because I do believe the biblical principle of the more you give, the more you receive. And I've seen that now since NIA has come into my life. So, I gift, um, between all my groups, probably $20,000 in memberships. Then, I've been volunteering with one of my members, and it is changing my--is bringing tears to my eyes just talking about the prison entrepreneurship program. I volunteer there, and I never would have done it if it wasn't for NIA. And these guys, they're so good. I feel like a celebrity when I go into prison. They're like, "Oh my gosh, Miss Tony, your feedback on our marketing plan has been amazing." And if it wasn't for NIA, I wouldn't even be doing it. I missed the boat all these years on the giving back part of business. So now, I'm teaching my members how to give more. So, thank you for that. And yeah, that's awesome. That was one of my questions. If you had a favorite story around your charity, tell me about a member success story.
Tony Harris Taylor: So, you've been at this for three or four years, and you've got a bunch of groups. So, tell me about a member success story that comes to mind.
Tony Harris Taylor: Mini Mia. Mia and I met at the worst networking event ever. I signed my contract the last Friday of August, that first week of September, I went to a networking event at a country western bar. And I love country music, so don't get me twisted. I love country music, but this particular event had about 300 people in bigger. Not always better. And it was loud, and there are just a few brown people in the room. And so, we kind of have radar on each other, and I saw Mia across a crowded room, and I go up to Mia, and I tap her on the shoulder, and we start our normal, "For you, and what do you do?" conversation. So, she was super out of her comfort zone. She said, "I hate networking, and this is the worst." But I did what I teach my clients to do. I got Mia on my calendar immediately. A couple days later, we met. And when she tells the story, she says, "We met at Mama Joyce's apartment." My mother, listen to that language. She's calling my mother Mama Joyce. "We met at Mama Joyce's apartment." And Mia, I presented to her, and NIA, she's a life insurance agent. She said, "Miss Tony, I want to do it, but I don't have the money." "No worries. I'm all about relationships." So, we just keep talking, right, getting to know each other. At the end of the conversation, she said, "My spirit says I need to be with you. I'm going to figure it out, but here's the deposit to hold my--" Two months later, Mia disappeared from the meeting. I was like, "What happened to Mia?" I called her that night, and I'm like, "Where did you go?" She said, "I had to leave. My lights got cut off. I didn't have enough money to pay my light bill." I later found out her deposit was her light bill. I said, "Mia, what's going on? Why are you not making enough money?" She said, "I'm not with a great company." "What are you looking for?" I introduced her to someone. She signed up with their company, became the number one insurance agent in their company two years in a row. Mia, who was working in her hot Houston garage, now sits on the 18th floor with me in a high-rise building, and her world has opened up tremendously. Her best friends are in NIA. Her sisters and brothers are in NIA. And I just--the transformation Mia has had in NIA is--she's a caterpillar, and she is now a butterfly. And life hasn't been perfect. Her business has changed and evolved, but she knows she has a network to depend on. So, that's my biggest crowd is--and I have several, but when you ask about success, Mini Mia, I like to go to, and she's like a sister. We've traveled together. We've been on vacation last week. So, it has become so much more than meeting at a networking event. She's become family. Awesome.
Scott Talley: I gotta say this, thank you. You know how I feel about you. You know how I feel about NIA. Thank you.