From humble beginnings on a farm just off the Island of Montreal, Rock Thomas rose to become a self-made millionaire and one of the top fifty realtors in the world. As seen on Goalcast, Rock Thomas has impacted over 100 million lives. He is the host of the top-rated Rock Your Money, Rock Your Life Podcast, a bestselling author, and motivational speaker with 30 years of experience in personal development and coaching.
Rock has studied alongside Tony Robbins, T. Harv Eker, Deepak Chopra, Caroline Myss, Codie Sanchez, John Gray, David Deida, David Wolfe, Jack Canfield, Dr. Wayne Dyer, and Stephen Covey. He also ran and sold several successful businesses and six award-winning RE/MAX franchises, and now owns a Keller Williams Prestige Franchise.
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Rock Thomas Shares His Story of Becoming a Self-Made Millionaire
Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of underdog. Today I have an incredible guest here with me, Rock Thomas, how are you, my friend?
Well, you know, I feel like I’ve been an underdog most of my life and sometimes still today. Always trying to defy the odds and make a difference and get my unfair share of the market. But I love the fact that you are gunning for the underdog. Because there’s a lot of people out there that need a little bit of encouragement.
Amen. Rock you are such a rock star, no pun intended in many different realms. I mean, you started on a family farm in Canada. Now you have, I don’t even know how many streams of income you have, like 93. Something like that 93 basically just, you know, crushed it in real estate in so many different realms. And I mean, it’s just you have the underdog story, which is so remarkable. So I always start off with the most loaded question humanly possible. Which is what led you on your journey to where you are today.
You know, growing up on a farm, I think is one of the greatest gifts you can get. Because you learn to be very, very resourceful. The animals need to be fed, whether it’s Christmas. Or Thanksgiving or your birthday or whether you’re sick or in the mood. And so you learn to push past. I think that many people regard that as a call to not go to school, we didn’t have that luxury and when tools or things broke. We had to become very creative and use a stick around barbed wire and pull it because the pliers were broken.
So that mindset made me very entrepreneurial. Remember the very first time I was watching parents come out and watch their children ride and it was kind of like. We thought the rich people from the city came out to call them city slickers. And the parents were leaning against the fences, watching their kids ride and I thought. What could I do that’s entrepreneurial, so convinced my parents, you know. Let me use their coffee machine and then I made some hot dogs.
And I would sell coffee and hotdogs, like 12 years old. To the parents, while they were waiting it was a hard hit to make money. I think that was really the beginning of the spirit of being a problem solver looking for what was missing. Then filling it in with a solution with a lot of enthusiasm and creativity. That’s what’s led me to so many streams of income. Because there are plenty of problems on the planet. And if you’re looking for a creative way to provide a solution and you’re passionately curious. Which I am and ended up leading to another business and another business.
That’s incredible. So after that first venture, selling these items, tell me how did it sort of translate into your adult life? Walk me through the journey of rock after you started that very first business? What came next?
Well, you know, I always say that anytime you look at a result in your life, Pamela, you can trace it back to action. So if you have, say, the bank accounts you want or the body you want, or the relationship you want. You took action, you were romantic, you were caring, you’re loving. Or you go to the gym and you work out at etc. You consistently add value in the marketplace, and you’re more money. There’s an action, but the action is always supported with a belief. And sometimes it’s easier to say the opposite. So let’s say somebody can’t get themselves to get the body they want. Look at the action. They don’t go to the gym, they snack on doughnuts. And so the belief is not supporting the action that supports the result.
So always look, what’s the belief, the belief I had was that life is difficult. You have to work hard. That was ingrained in me on the farm. I witnessed it, I had evidence of it. And I was told every day by my Father, I’m preparing you for life. Life is difficult. So I went into the world with these lenses. And so I got jobs initially like driving a taxi, waiting on tables, busboy cleaning windows. Anything that was hard work, because that’s what I was looking for.
Then after a while, I started to read some books and I started to realize that you could accumulate real estate. And have those as additional sources of revenue. So I bought a couple of properties. In my late 20s, my dad got sick with cancer. Because I wanted his affection and his admiration and him telling me he was proud of me. I took a lot of time off two years on and off and went to Australia. He took care of him, helped him move his house, paid off some debts he had, etc.
And by the time I got home, my marriage fell apart. I lost all of the real estate I had and I got actually evicted from my apartment. It was like that, I let myself go that low trying to get my dad’s love. I took my money to pay off his back taxes and different things. And he was great at making money, but he was really bad at managing it. So I literally hit rock bottom and I spent some time. More time than I should have feeling sorry for myself.
Eventually, one day I said I gotta do something about it. And I walked into a real estate office and I applied to get the license. Three months later, I had a license and I started working. I was really terrible for nine months because I wasn’t coachable. They joke you’re like a rock through the secret agent. We never see. Do you really work here? And I didn’t show up to the meetings, because I was so embarrassed Pamela. That I wouldn’t know an answer or that somebody would say. Do you have a listing or you sold something this week, I wouldn’t have anything. I was so ashamed that I would not go to the meetings, I would hide I go in late at night and make my photocopies.
And it was a tough nine months, I knocked on doors, I worked hard. Because that’s what I was branded for, so I was raised, but I didn’t have the scripts and the dialogues. Didn’t know how to handle objections. But I’d rather get rejected by a stranger that didn’t know me. Or the good community that I wanted love and respect from. And then one day, this guy from REMAX came over and recruited me and he said, I’ve heard that you’re a hard worker. I’ve seen evidence of it, but you got really bad tactics and I would like to teach you some tactics. I think he’d be really good and I kind of looked at him doubting Lee like, no. But that’s their business.
So long story short, he took me in, and the next year, I made 32 sales, then 45 and 65, then 99. And then I bought the company, sold it to me. Had 94 agents and in four years, I built it up to 275 agents. We sold over a billion dollars a year in properties. It was the largest RE MAX in the province of Quebec in Canada. I broke every record, I had six outlets, nobody had six, the next biggest one in two. And I found my winks and it was really. Because this mentor taught me that you don’t have to work hard. You can work really smart, you can work hard. But you can also work smart, you don’t have to do it all on your own, you can surround yourself with people that can do the things that you don’t do so well.
And that you can learn a skill, so I learned how to do public speaking. Learn how to hold meetings, learn how to hire and fire and read financial statements. So he taught me all that and so I have now gone on and understand the power of mentorship. Because of the problem with the education system today, Pam. Is that when you get the education and you go out and you apply it. You’re going to hit some things that are new or different or there’s a change in law, whatever it is. Most people do is they freeze, they stop, they buy their first property. It ends up having a foundation problem, they lose $20,000, they go back to driving a UPS truck.
And because the nervous system is set up to avoid pain to handle pain. They go back to something small and safe because security is so important. But the mentor when you’re out in the field, the mentor can go No, you know what. That is not the greatest thing with that foundation like that. But it is fixable. It does happen. And by the way, you didn’t do your due diligence on the building inspection that way. You could have overlooked that and that’s why you’re living with this. So you need to take responsibility for that. Learn from this and we’ll get better than on the next one.
And that encouragement and support is so crucial and most people don’t seek it out. Because of the same reason I didn’t, I was embarrassed to be around a mentor. I didn’t want somebody to see how stupid I was, I wasn’t efficient, because I was scared. So people hide until they become successful. But that’s the longest route to success, so this is the longest answer that I’ve given you for this one question, but I just want to lay the foundation of the importance of mentorship.
Absolutely. And you know, what I love is that you mentioned that one mentor changed your life. That one mentor changed your life. And I tell people this all the time, success does not come. It’s not self-made. There’s like a million people behind that, one successful person that made it happen. I was super shy and I was bullied, I mean I had you know, we all have our things.
All of our things, but there’s those people that come into your life, like your mentor who just said, Hey, man, it’s okay. It’s okay that you were that way. But let’s take you to the next step. Let’s learn these systems. This is new, which I love and adore because then you just ended up crushing it in real estate which is fantastic. So what happened after that? What was the next level and in Darla, so I did 10 years ago.
I got curious during that period of time how to optimize things. And that’s when I started my real journey deep dive on personal development. I went to Tony Robbins and brought some of that. Back to my weekly meetings and saw people light up. And activate themselves and about 38 people to see Tony Robbins. Then we just kept on growing and doing better and better at crushing goals. Crushing the competition, everybody wanted to come work for us and the recruiting was easy. Because people that were making 80,000 we’re making at 141 70 used to drive a Toyota and now they’re driving a BMW convertible and the world of real estate is small. So everybody’s there to see that. When anybody that worked at REMAX where I was your life got better.
There were sales going through the roof, like one guy for nine years he had. You know, average three or four listings at any given time, and all of a sudden he had 20. And people like seeing his signs everywhere and they’re like, what is going on with you? So after 10 years of doing that, I’m a little bit of a restless soul. And I got a little bit burnt out with the same conversations solving the same problem. So I decided to sell the business and I started speaking at that time. Pam, I was going around the US in 2006 and I started to see that a lot of brokerages were suffering. Agents couldn’t make sales, agents were quitting before 2008.
I went home and I thought, I could sell my business. Now I have a feeling something’s coming, I don’t know why I feel like something’s coming. So I sold my business in 2007. But six months before the crash happened in late 2006. If I remember and sold it for 4 million, I took a million dollars. Put it in the stock market because I thought well, I’m so good at everything. I’m just going to go into this other field and I’m going to crush it. I went into this other field and it crushed me, I lost a million dollars. So I did have good payments coming in, I spent two years down in Florida basically retired with my son in a Golf School.
And then, about three or four years after that. I still had a huge balance of sale on the sale of my property. She reneged on the balance of sale, feigned bankruptcy, long story short. I took about $1.3 million hit and I took all the assets back and then I opened up a Keller Williams. So now I have a Keller Williams and I’m back to 200 agents, again. The biggest in the province again, right, success leaves clues as a pattern. So we did that and then I branched out to create these mastermind groups. Where the mentorship became much more accessible for the average individual. We have people in different genres that are really good at things. And for the same reason I talked about before, information without application under observation is going to take longer.
I’ll say that again, information without application under observation is going to take longer for you to have success. So I created basically an entrepreneurial school. Where we have people that are great with Airbnb, with writing books. With how to even sell products on Amazon. Anybody that’s in the genre that could accelerate success in today’s world. And help you become more financially free. We have mentors in those areas, family, multifamily, commercial, storage, and industrial. So you’re passionate about that. Then you can talk to one of the mentors that have a track record. They want to give back and they can help you. And then we fortify that with the basic mindset. Because 80% of success comes down to your psychology. The way you see the world the way you show up.
And many people like Pamela are living your life like I was. Life is difficult like rich people are those other people. I don’t understand real estate. So I guess I’ll just do this job. Instead of being passionately curious and saying, if I hung around Pamela, what can I learn, what has she mastered? What is she really good at? And we’ve had this conversation offline before. If there was somebody that was very enthusiastic and very hungry and just said, Pamela. Could I follow you around and get your coffee and pick up your dry cleaning. Just to hear the conversations you’re having and see what you do? You would say yes. Because you know the value of that. Right? So I created a school that does just that.
That’s incredible rock. Oh my gosh, you have so many pieces to your story that are just absolutely fascinating. So say somebody that you know, go back to the rock that was scared. And didn’t want to be in front of anyone that was afraid to do anything. Because the fear of rejection was just so big. So what helped you aside from that mentor? Like what would be some tips or advice. That you would give based on your experience of breaking out of that shell? Because that’s the hardest part right? Success is 80% psychology. That’s not the what would be your advice there, Rock, for anybody who’s listening right now, who’s kind of Yeah, hey, I’m that person.
Well, we’re all that person at different levels. Doesn’t stop right. Different levels of the devil. So it just is a different kind of problem or the way you see it. But you know, when my daughters were proud to say six and eight. Maybe I was teaching them to jump off the diving board in the pool. The youngest one is really brave and she had that kind of go-for attitude. But the other one was, you know, she was very girly. And she’s like, oh, and she was like, No, it’ll scratch. Ah, wow. She’s just that way. It’s very loving and she’s an empath, almost. So she got to the edge of the diving board. And she hesitated and we tried to coach her over no motive is enough. She was imagining all of the worst things, what if I hit my face?
What if the water is cold? I think people live their life this way, that they spend most of their energy. Using their imagination for what they don’t want to have happened. And what they hope won’t happen and they focus on all the fear, doubt, and worry. So when you have a practice of saying yes, to things that won’t kill you. If you think about it, go into the logical part of your brain. So people don’t think logically and then move forward. What they do is they let their emotions take control of them. They’re like, well, what if I buy a piece of real estate and the market changes. And so the biggest piece is to put yourself into an environment. Where people are going to help you too, It’s gonna sound simplistic. But to run your frickin brain.
It’s software, so I often ask people to have a favorite quote. Or is there something that you say that makes you feel good? I like Winston Churchill’s, his success is not letting setbacks diminish your enthusiasm. And so people don’t lose their imagination. As they get older, as they lose their imagination, they become older. So our job is to remain curious and to remain open. Try things and attach a meaning of learning instead of failure. There’s no failure until you quit. That’s it. Everything else is just feedback. So when you are around, find those quotes, that excitement.
There’s no failure, there’s only feedback. So you’re just getting feedback that the client didn’t like you, the client wasn’t ready. If I go to Florida to sell winter tires right now. Maybe my strategy is wrong. I keep on getting feedback. And all of a sudden, they go, Oh, I’m in the wrong state at the wrong time. So you’ve got to have a mental kind of coach. You’ve got to be willing to do personal development. Because they don’t teach it in school and the principles of success never changed. The tactics do, however.
So we teach the tactics but have a morning routine, an evening routine, and everything else I teach. Those things become the bookends to your mindset. And then when you get news, like let’s say you get news that somebody. Wasn’t delivering on a contract that you were supposed to have. And you find out that there was a lot of bait and switching going on. There was a lot of that kind of stuff and you need to sue those people. Whatever the case may be, is that good? Is it bad? Depends on how you look at it.
Exactly. Right. And it’s all in the mindset too. It’s all in the mindset shift and how you look at it. So an experience like that, you can be like, Oh my god, Woe is me. Oh, right. Because what can we learn from this? How can we recover from this and move forward? It’s not the end of the world. Well, like what’s the worst that can happen? If you truly ask yourself that question, like, what is the worst that can happen?
And then your fear kind of eliminated. Because my professor in college changed my life. You know, I took a creative process class. And he literally was like, Alright, whatever fear you have in your mind, let it go. He’s like, because truly, what’s the worst that can happen? Oh, somebody is gonna say no one has no ever heard of anybody. So I think it’s a fantastic book, everything that you mentioned. That’s all it’s all up here and that’s the great thing. It sounds so simplistic, but truly it is.
And you know, what, Pamela, to piggyback on that, is you read a book and you get possibly a man or woman’s experience for a lifetime. The distinctions, the thoughts, the processes, and I read a book called. How To Stop worrying and start living by Dale Carnegie. And his simplistic thing he did is exactly. What you just said is when you’re concerned about a situation. Think about what’s the worst-case scenario. Let’s say that you are in a relationship and the person isn’t showing up for you to meet you at the restaurant. The worst-case scenario is they got hit by a car and died, well, can I live with that? Well, I can’t do anything about it wasn’t there. If it’s happened, it’s happened. I would never want that to happen.
But if Okay, then work your way back, okay? What would I do? I’m going to love the person, remember them, celebrate them, go to the funeral. Support their family, oh my God, oh, this happened, but then you work your way backward. It’s highly unlikely that that’s happened. Great. Okay, well, what else? Maybe they ran late, maybe their battery on their phone, and you work your way through it. And eventually, you realize that you actually can live with all the things that your brain is trying to conjure up for you. But create all this uncertainty, said to breathe differently, relax a little bit. Then you can move forward, jumping off the diving board. That’s how we got Veronica jump off the diving board by saying, what’s the worst thing that can happen?
And most of the time, have you noticed that 95 or 99% of the things. We made up our minds. Didn’t even happen? I mean, at times, I thought I was gonna miss a flight and run to my thing. Wow and then the flight is delayed and everybody’s sitting around for a while to run. You know, it’s like we make these things up in our minds. So you’ve got to really stand guard at the door of your mind and manage those pieces and see if they’re really valuable or real. And as you do that, realize that Moses laughs at most of the things that happen anyway.
Exactly. It’s all about mastering the mind. And speaking of mastering the mind, rock, how did you master your mind, to your levels of success is imagined, like, you know, you started on a family farm. You used to feed 22 horses before you’re free. That’s insane rock. And now here you are changing the world through your mentorship through your coaching. Through all of that and different streams of income and just changing lives and major impact throughout the world, which is fantastic. You know, how did you master your mind?
Lots of coaching, lots of mentorship, lots of reading. And I know Viktor Frankl wrote a book called Man’s Search for the Meaning of survival when off switch. So it’s books like that started to create this idea that actually nothing has meaning at all. We’re the ones that give it meaning. You’re stuck in traffic, one person could be sitting there going, finally. I get some time on my own to listen to my favorite music. Verses like this are ridiculous. The government sucks. And everybody’s sitting in their car, conjuring up their life’s experience. In that moment, it’s free, you could do whatever, you could pop in rock, Thomas CD and listen to something and get motivated. You could meditate, you can practice your breathing. There’s a million things you could do.
But most people don’t understand that those meanings are free. Right landmark, they say that life is empty and meaningless until you show up. So you wake up in the morning and you spill some coffee and your dress. And now you’re attaching a meaning to it. You get in your car and your son drove it yesterday and left it with no gas in the tank. And you got to get to a meeting and you conjure up a sensor responsible. Lacking respect, I can’t believe it until I get home. I got your phone on your journey and you just whip yourself into a frenzy. Maybe you could just say you know what, when I was 19 years old, I probably would have been the same.
Maybe this is an opportunity for me, to be an even better parent to help them understand. That you always leave something better than the way you got it. So this is a great opportunity for me to be a better parent, so grateful. Wow, that’s awesome, so you get these opportunities. I’ve just become what I call a meaning master. I’m just looking for the most empowering meaning to the events that occur in my life. And so I say nothing has meaning. So who decides, I decide the meaning I’m going to give it, you don’t decide for me. I decide if you tell me I hate your bald head and you look ugly, I got to decide whether I accept that or not. Not you. It is a muscle you develop and so I’ve become very good at doing that.
And teaching other people to do it. So constantly in my seminars, when you leave my seminar, I’ll say to you, Pamela, I have a question for you. You know what rock to go, who decides you. I teach people, they decide all the time to be the victim. The hero allows life to happen through you, I have a lot of different things in my business. But you know what people have not done what they said. They’re going to do or where I bought something and I didn’t need it, whatever.
I’ve just let so many of those things go and I watched my businesses just flourish. I watch myself make silly returns on the stock market. That I’ve never made before because I accept that. As long as I’m in flow, as long as I just allow myself to be part of the universe, not fight it, try to control it. Things happen more effortlessly. And so that’s just been the way it is.
What Would Rock Older Self Tell His Younger Self
I love it rock, I love your tips. It’s fantastic. How you master the mind you decide truly. You decide what to give meaning in your own mind, which is a fantastic question for you. Because this is one of my favorite questions ever, what would your older self tell your younger self, based on what you know now?
A couple of things and its all-around relationships. First of all, relationships are variable, people will have good days and bad days. But they will also have good weeks and bad weeks, like a whole week, they’re in a slump. And you’re expecting them to do something or be with you or they’re sick or something. They’re not holding up their part of the bargain. The more I looked back, I realized I was very unforgiving and judgmental of people. I grew up with a very strict father, almost militant. So there were no excuses and so I brought that into my world. And if people dropped, the ball didn’t hold up, they’re part of the deal. When they came in late at work and I was just a bit of a dick, quite honestly, for a big part of my life.
And because it worked, with a lot of certainty and a lot of drive, I could push through things. But you know, a bull in a china shop, I damaged it and hurt people. People weren’t Okay, maybe if I was in the military, I would be inappropriate. All right. Let’s go right, but in an office setting, it wasn’t always appropriate. So that’s the first thing I would say. And then the second thing I would say, is that most people have really good intentions. But I’ve taken a long time to develop my relationships with people. Because it takes a little time for people to reveal their true nature. In most cases, I’ve slowed down and rushed into relationships and then once in a better field, the landscape. I allow there to be variability and I work on developing long-term relationships.
Love that rock. I love that. So now what’s next in your world, like what’s going on in your world in the next six to 12 months.
So the biggest thing I’m excited about right now is something called men fully expressed. And I think that we live in a world where men have most of the time. Turned into teenage boys, turning their wives into their mothers. Trying to get their approval, instead of being the man. The mature, masculine man that we were designed to be. To protect the sacred feminine heart. And just to take charge of the things we’re supposed to take charge of. There’s no shame or blame. But women like yourself. You’re a powerful woman and sometimes when us men are around powerful decision-making, make it happen, no matter what women. We become smaller and we go into our feminine energy and we don’t hold our space.
So I’m working with helping men understand. Some of the ways that we can respond to a world that is more homogenous. Now it’s not like men and women. It’s more like everybody is doing everything. Men are changing diapers, men are pushing trolleys at the grocery store. You know, 30, 40 years ago, men went to work and women, you know. Sexes went to the grocery stores and guys. There’s a guy who saw a guy in the grocery store, who must be a single father or something. So bringing back the power to the men. Because I think that a home with strong centered men is a much better source of stability. Versus because if there’s not a strong man there. The women will step in and they will take the space because women are protectors and nesters.
And a friend of mine says his favorite employees to hire are single mothers. Because they will make it happen no matter what, oh, I’m a single father, single fathers can be great, but to also be selfish. So I’ve personally taken on this project of helping men. Become more clear in what it is for us to be better men, for the women in our lives. The ripple effect that that has in your business and in being a father and a son and all those sorts of things. So I’ve got a lot of personal development, I help people become millionaires and enter an entrepreneurial school. But this I think, is my best work, because men push emotions down, Pam, we live five years less than women do five years. Because we don’t process our emotions, we become sick.
This eases in the body because of it. And so I’m helping men Express themselves fully and have a safe space. To say that they have an addiction or a habit or a problem. Why is it an addiction? It could be workaholics because they don’t feel loved at home and they don’t want to go home. And change diapers and wanted a three-year-old. So they tell the wife that they go to work till eight o’clock at night when they don’t. Not that they’re doing even intentionally or consciously, they just know that things aren’t working. There’s many layers to it, but that’s a little bit of my pet project. I’ve got two groups going and the first group signed up for a second session. 95% of them signed up. The work is epic. I think it’s my best work.
That’s incredible. And now you’ve got to let everyone know where to find us. They can find you and your awesomeness and all these new programs and everything that you’ve got coming up.
Easiest way is rockthomas.com. Hit me up, or my team will respond to you. And we’d love to be able to have the opportunity to discuss with you where you’re at. See if there’s anything that we can do to pour into your life.
You’re incredible Rock. Thank you so much for being here today. It was such an honor. I just love your energy and everything that you’re about. So thank you. Thank you so much for being here today and inspiring the world the way that you do my pleasure, remember, say yes, and figure it out later. Amen. Thank you, Rock.
Tune in to the episode to hear the rest of my incredible interview with the amazing Rock Thomas.