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Boom, Bust and Back to Boom – Marc Rousso’s Story

Marc Rousso is the CEO and Captain Vision of JayMarc Homes, a national award-winning home builder specializing in new custom homes throughout the Greater Seattle area. In partnership with Jay Mezistrano, Marc builds luxury custom homes that people can’t help but fall in love with. Marc brings his three decades of entrepreneurship, industry leadership, and business owner experience to the table and delivers a world-class customer experience. Marc also has a rising career as a DJ, all while balancing his own personal and family life.

Intro  0:04 

Welcome to The Future is Borderless podcast with David Nilssen, we feature top entrepreneurs and thought leaders from around the world, those who bring a global mindset and a unique perspective to their life and business. Now, let’s get started with the show.

David Nilssen  0:20 

Hi am David Nilssen, I’m your host. The goal of the future of this borderless podcast is to connect with business leaders from around the world who have what I refer to as a borderless mindset. And I’m looking to share new ideas, new innovations, best practices, things that we can put together or put to work in our personal professional life that should help us lead and grow in a rapidly changing world. Now this episode is brought to you by Doxa Talent. Doxa helps business leaders to find full time dedicated highly skilled workers from the Philippines. And this includes roles like accountants, executive assistants, sales, development reps, software engineers, and many more and as a result of building an offshore capability, companies can scale faster increase margin and improved culture. And to learn more about Doxa you can visit All right, on for our show. We’ll Marc Rousso is affectionately known by his team as Captain vision. And along with his college roommate, he created a national award-winning luxury custom homebuilding company out of the Seattle area called JayMarc Homes. And at JayMarc, employees are encouraged to do what they say love where you work, and customers are invited to love where you live. We’ll talk a little bit more about that later. But in recognition of all the awesome work that they’ve done, JayMarc received a national housing quality award from the professional builders magazine in 2019. And this was the first time the Seattle homebuilder had done that in the 25-year competition’s history. He’s also really dedicated to his personal development, having graduated from Utah, taking courses at MIT, and now I believe, is enrolled in a nine-year program at Harvard University. He’s also has a rising career as a DJ, and does this all while balancing his own personal and family life, which he enjoys with his wife, and two daughters. So Marc, welcome to the show.

Marc Rousso  0:44 

Well, thank you very much. I appreciate. It’s a pleasure to be here. And, and man, that was a great intro. I’m going to take you on the road with me.

David Nilssen  2:20 

I’m happy to do any of the time. But it’s funny, as I was reading through this, I was actually getting really excited for this conversation because I realized, we have a lot in common. First, I started my career in real estate development. So we have that real estate connection. You have a wife and two daughters, as do I mine are a little bit younger,

Marc Rousso  2:38 

My son, upset that there’s two daughters, I have a son and the daughter, my sons Lee and daughter got 14.

David Nilssen  2:46 

Well, then I must have read that wrong. So I guess we don’t have that as much that.

Marc Rousso  2:50 

We don’t have that in common, but it’s okay. We have two kids in common. We’re like winning right now we’re like with the blue shirts, it’s like Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

David Nilssen  3:04 

You guys can all fill in the gaps and decide who was who but I loved actually reading also the you invest a lot in your own personal development and in the fact that you’re now I mean, successful business owner, you’ve got this outstanding sort of career budding, and as a DJ, and yet, you’re still investing in your own education. So I loved hearing about all of that.

Marc Rousso  3:25 

I would say that the DJ is a hobby rather than a career. But it’s been a fun, fun hobby.

David Nilssen  3:31 

Well, I mean, it must be a lot of fun, because I actually went onto Instagram and saw on your handle, there’s some of the shows that you’ve done in some pretty, pretty cool places that you’ve had a chance to play. And it seems like a little bit more than just a hobby.

Marc Rousso  3:45 

It’s a hobby, like golf is for some people, like, people, like get passionate about going to play golf. And there’s gone for four hours a day. And anyway, but we could talk about that later on, for sure.

David Nilssen  3:57 

All right, well, let’s do this. Let’s talk about, at least give people some context for where you’ve been and how you’ve kind of gotten to this place here. So and when I was reading your bio, I talked about the fact that you started your business, JayMarc Holmes with your college roommate. Tell me a little bit about how that sort of all came together and where the idea came from, and why you guys thought you were qualified to start a home building business.

Marc Rousso  4:18 

Well, I’ll do a little backstory. Jay and I have been business partners for God, it will be 32 years come November. So we started when we were in college at the University of Washington and our first business is we were DJs at parties and clubs all around Seattle, during our college career, and we did that for about five years. It was an amazing time we learned so much about being an entrepreneur, customer service sales, and kind of how we each work. I’ve always been the kind of been the front runner, the frontman And he’s been behind the scenes getting stuff done and, and carry forward for 32 years, it’s exactly the way that in different capacities, it’s the way it is now. And I respect him for what it is he does. And he respects me for my role and we went from DJing, we sold that business for $15,000 and started buying rental properties throughout Seattle. And then by the time we were 30, we had about 35 rental houses. And that was kind of like our hobby, we both had full time jobs. He was in furniture sales at his family’s furniture business, and I sold real estate, but like what I love doing was just building a business and building the rental side of the business. And then one of those pieces of properties had a little bit of land. And we created a short plat out of it. And we learned the short plat process. So we did a two-lot short plat, then we did a three-lot short plat. And then we bought the property across the street and did a four-lot short plat. And then soon later, we had 15 lots under development. And this was in 2007. And we became full-fledged, excuse me, this was in 2001. And we became full-fledged land developers. And we quickly got up to a couple 100 lots that we were developing all throughout the Seattle suburbs. And that was our business. And we were really good at it because we fostered relationships with the people who owned land. And we went above and beyond to kind of do that. And so that’s kind of the story of that’s the start of our real estate business up until the recession.

David Nilssen  6:52 

Yeah, that’s amazing. And 32 years with the same partner.

Marc Rousso  6:56 

32 years with both Jay and it’s kind of like a marriage, it’s kind of like a big brother, little brother at times, sometimes we love each other, sometimes we hate each other. I will tell you that. So, like spoiler alert during 2007, 8, 9. We lost it all. And like that was like the worst time for us as business as business partners. And yet, so when we made money in 2007, we were kind of at odds a little bit, I would say that my ego got in the way of our relationship, because we were making a lot of money. And I kind of going through the downturn, it humbled me in provided a great sense of humility. And we kind of from the downturn, became closer together, like we were working in his basement trying to figure shit out, we had to liquidate all of our rental properties, just to satisfy the banks that were coming after us. And we’d had nothing, we didn’t have anything else we had our backs were against the wall. And all we had were each other and our belief that we were going to get through this. And instead of filing bankruptcy and whatnot, we liquidated all of our assets. And ended up with a two and a half million dollars of debt at 2010. We ultimately negotiated with our bank, that we would pay them back within 20 years. And we didn’t have a paycheck in 2010. And we said, hey, if you give us 20 years to pay you back that two and a half million dollars, we won’t file bankruptcy. And so we were fortunate because like our name means something to us. And Jay and Marc and we didn’t want to have bankruptcy as a blemish on our record. So that time as business partners, we came together, we had each other’s back. And we’ve figured it out during the worst of times.

David Nilssen  9:13 

Yeah, it’s good to hear that that happened. Because I think in under crisis partnerships, marriages, as you would call it, they’re very similar and actually in sometimes the way that they work, crisis can actually bring you together or tear you apart. And so I guess I’d love to hear in reflection of that experience. So anybody that was thinking, like, hey, I’ve got a business partner right now, it’s not perfect, or, hey, I’m thinking about entering into a partnership. What are some of the things that you would advise them just two or three sort of lessons or pieces of wisdom that you’ve sort of accumulated over that time.

Marc Rousso  9:48 

Appreciate each other’s differences. With that, go in partnership with someone that appreciate each other’s differences and be in business with somebody that doesn’t have the same skill set as you. Two salespeople are not needed on the team, you need a grinder, and you need a salesperson. Or you need an accountant or and a salesperson, but you need that analytic and the out. In our experience, that’s what has worked out best. And so appreciate the differences and look for the differences.

David Nilssen  10:26 

Yeah, I would validate that. So my first business Guidant Financial is going on 20 years this year, and my business partner and I, he’s my best friend. But we’ve definitely like you have gone through some ups and downs in the 08 crisis being in the financial world, and one that was helping real estate transactions, we had some tough times there too. But I would tell you that we always joke that we treat our business like a marriage, right, and that you have to constantly have date night and look out for each other’s best interests and appreciate each other’s differences. And so, I know that’s a little bit esoteric in terms of how you treat a business partnership. But I think the idea is like you guys are in it together, invest in that relationship and appreciate what each other brings to the table. But I’ll also say I completely agree, if you both have the same skill set, not a lot gets done. So it’s much more important that people that complement. You talk about the 08 crisis. I was going to ask a little bit about that later. Because being in the real estate world, I was curious sort of what happened there, you sort of skipped from we were in crisis, and then we negotiated with the banks, but like, what actually happened with your business or the strategy that has now allowed you to sort of? I mean, obviously, the real estate market has been doing very well. But is the business different today than it was before 2008. And if so how?

Marc Rousso  11:41 

Yes, we were land developers, merchant land developers means that we would buy raw land. And we would take it through the municipalities and then provide builders with lots that they can develop, or sometimes that we would actually develop the lots and sell at home builders. During that crisis, what the banks took back hundreds of 1000s of lots all throughout the country, and in our market, like we couldn’t go be developers again, and we didn’t have enough money to buy the land. It was generally the publicly traded builders to buy. So what we realized is that we had to start small. And instead of us being land developers, we look to become home builders. And because that was our greatest way to start creating a paycheck for ourselves. Land Development it’s not for the faint of heart, it’s many years in the making, it’s 2, 3, 4 or five years before you outflow a ton of money before you end up getting anything back. And so we got caught with the value of those lots were about $50 million. And we owned several of those projects, outright with banks, the banks came after us saying, hey, the value of these, this land is a lot less than what you paid for it. And you have to make up the difference and we didn’t have millions of dollars in cash. And what we did was we exchanged some property for the note and we walked away with that much debt that two and a half million dollars and so, we pivoted during the worst, we pivoted from being developers to being homebuilders, because when we develop land, we always envisioned what house was going to go on the lots, we just never physically built the properties. So, when we could start buying and we started, like we were developing lots of projects that were 20 30 50 lots at a time. And when we restarted as homebuilders, we went and just it was like, ground zero, okay, we’re going to do a five lot project, and then another five lot project and another eight lot project, just so we started, like, changing the momentum of like, things were really tough to like, okay, let me just get a single and let me just bet let me do this. But to get on base, and that was what we did when in starting our projects. And the unfortunate part or the fortunate part is, we didn’t take a paycheck from 2008 to 2012. So it was almost five years before we took a paycheck. And we had six employees to help us build the houses and doing the finance and taking care of our customers and doing the interior design. And it was like, we were creating a business and we weren’t taking a paycheck. But that’s kind of what we needed to do in order to restart over again and start the right way.

David Nilssen  14:45 

It’s funny, when I’ve done these interviews, I always tell people, I want to get to the 5% But I love how you don’t even have to ask with you. You sort of give it, it’s awesome. Tell me about, you said employees a minute ago I want to talk about the person because in your bio, you mentioned that you invite employees, it’s love where you work, right? Where did that mantra come from? And what does that actually mean inside your business?

Marc Rousso  15:06 

All right. Well, the business that was Jay and I had before was with JayMarc Development, and there was about six of us in that business. And I could say after 15 years of reflection is that I had my leadership style was more ego maniacal in that business, and it costs me everything, it cost me all my money. And I realized that, in order to have a new company, I needed to change as a leader in from that style to becoming a servant leader. And so fortunately, along the way, like over the course of the last 15 years, 12 years, I have amazing mentors around me, that have taught me all about servant leadership. Many of you know Warren Rustin, and he’s been my mentor for almost nine years now. And he embodies that each and every day. And every time we talked, and anytime anyone comes up to him, it’s like, he is all about service. And I have another mentor, Howard Bihar, who was the president of Starbucks, and he’s been my mentor, and my first investor and JayMarc. He has been my mentor for almost 14 years, 15 years. And he was people first, it’s not about the coffee, it’s about the people. And both of those men have influenced me and changed me to being who I am today. And that then creates a love where you work environment, because it’s all about love. It’s all about caring, it’s all about family, it’s all about like doing the right thing each and every time. And it’s in my company, but it is for every stakeholder, every person that comes in contact with JayMarc homes, whether it’s a subcontractor or a client, or a banker or an investor, like, there is never a time when we don’t do the right thing. Never like no one can come back and say, Marc, you didn’t do this, you didn’t do that. No, I will spend 20, grand 30, grand 50 grand 100 grand, and make sure that the problem was solved so that everyone on our team knows that like this is who we are, this is what we do. And so that creates a culture where they love where they work, and we do tons of things around that. The first thing is everyone within 90 days of hire, they read a book called exceptional service, exceptional profit, it’s about the Ritz Carlton customer service. And it’s a great formulaic approach to customer service. And so it allows them to have the mindset of like, entering into a company, I don’t care what you have experienced with other homebuilders, this sets that apart. And this is who we are, and then they have to present and for many grown adults, they have not given a speech or presentation in front of the entire company ever. And so we get them changing that mindset to now they have to give in general in sometimes it’s 5, 10 15 minute presentation on what they learned. And some people have done skits, some people have done PowerPoints, some people have done their own creative way of what they learned. And so that gets their mindset of what the culture is like then the next thing that we do is we give adjectives and I learned this from the company called Cranium, the game company. The CEO, his title was The Grand Poobah and no one took themselves so seriously that everyone had the name in the inside of the company and it wasn’t their VP of sales, it was whatever it may be. And so, we do adjectives and we come up and everyone will say it out loud, hardworking, charismatic, funny, fun, cheerful like and so we spend several minutes on adjectives and then we give names to them. We like to have a list of like 30 40 50 names of like who this person could be. So we will go through it and one, you could go your entire career without hearing adjectives of what other people think of you. And so how great is it that within 90 days, you will now have this amazing feeling of I love it here because this is what other people think of me. And it’s always spot on. And then the next iteration is like, people look forward to their names, they tell their wife, today’s my naming day, and they can’t wait for what their name. And so my name is Captain vision. Jay’s name is do a lot, our land feasibility person, he’s professor of dirt, our VP of Marketing is miss create a lot. And so when it’s our president, his name is the sheriff. And so, these names like everyone has a name. And if you go on, you will click on my picture, and then you will see a pseudo picture of me as like a pirate with like as one of those telescope. And everyone has a pseudo picture of themselves. And they look and they did. So it’s like they look forward to the adjectives, they look forward to their name, and then they look forward to their picture. And then they show their picture to their wife and their kids. And like, it is a crazy experience. So that’s kind of like setting the stage of like loving where you work. But at the end of the day, it’s all about how much can I love and how much can I care for my team in a very humbled, authentic and transparent way. And like, when I lead previously, from an ego perspective, it was purely my own insecurities. Now I can truly, like I told the story about Jay and I to my team, many of them haven’t heard it, and how we lost everything. And I cried, I shed a tear, just talking about like how I had to change as a leader, because it didn’t serve me well anymore. And I apologize to Jay in front of everybody for who I was back then and so I don’t have to apologize anymore for crying in front of a company meeting because that’s just who I am. I’m an emotional person. And I think that that actually brings people together and makes them want to be a part of a company when the leader of the organization is fully transparent, fully emotional and vested with each and every one.

David Nilssen  22:55 

It’s funny that I agree, by the way, first I love as you were talking through there and thinking myself, first you’re indoctrinating them in principles that you believe in by having them read the book, but then by having them present it, you’re not only helping to anchor in some of those beliefs, because when you teach obviously learn things a lot better, but you’re also pushing them out of their comfort zone right out of the gates, which most people are not comfortable on any sort of public speaking forum. And then I love the naming, I actually wondered when I saw Captain vision where that actually came from. So, but I love the fact that you guys actually have naming parties around that kind of activity. I can see why people would really enjoy that. Marc, you’ve a couple of times talked about your ego and sort of how that got in the way. And if I think back to my career, I started my first business when I was 23 years old, in an industry I really didn’t know a lot about but I saw an interesting opportunity was dumb enough to know that I guess I didn’t know that I couldn’t I should have been able to do it. Right. And I think that was helpful at the time. But I would say that I was probably one of those people that was driven by insecurities. And so I was a little bit more what I would call a dictator than a leader at that point. But you brought it up a couple of times. And so I’d love for you to, at what point did you finally were you able to sort of point the finger at yourself and realize like, you know what, maybe I’m part of the problem or maybe I am the problem, was there a moment where that sort of smack you right in the face and sort of helped you wake up on that?

Marc Rousso  24:19 

There’s a lot of facets to that answer. One when you lose it all, it’s a humbling experience and it was my ego of trying to, I wanted to get to 1000 Lots. Why 1000 lots? It was because I wanted to have a meaningful number to prove that I was somebody. And taking it one layer further in the onion peel is that I wanted to prove to my dad that I was worthy of his love. And that I was a successful entrepreneur. I had 30, some rental properties. Jay and I was one check of one of our sales of one of our development companies, we could have paid off every single one of our houses. And we could have been retired at 36. Retired, like collecting each 10s of 1000s of dollars every single month, 36, 37 years old. And yet, it was like my drive to like, is to get it to 1000 Lots because we wanted to have a blank kind of business. Now, when I look at JayMarc Homes, it is not about how many people I have, like, it’s not, it’s not a benchmark for me, oh, I got 50 People now. It’s just I need 50 people, because that’s in order to provide the service and do the amount of houses that we were doing to, it’s what I have to have. The second part is I don’t, I’m not like, oh, I need to get to 100 million in sales. Man, if I get to 100 million in sales, it’s going to be all organic. And it’s all going to because the business got it to that way. It’s not like, I’m shooting for 100 million. There’s so many people that get so I learned my lesson of like, it’s great to have goals, we all need to have them. But too many people make business decisions, like specifically myself, based on a number that is just a fictitious number, just because it sounds good. Or it looks good. Or like, oh, yeah, I’m going to get to 100 employees. Okay, well, great. But do you need all the 100 employees because you hear about too many businesses where like, I got you 100, but then I have a laid-off 50 of because it just business was not going well. And too many businesses, like they fail because they grew too fast. And it’s so, the whole way that we operate JayMarc, is that, like, we’re on the cusp of having a recession, like weather people, it’s coming it is. And I will tell you I have prepared for this recession for 12 years. And I know, I slept really well last night, because it’s already been in my mind of like, okay, a recession is going to come, I don’t want to lose it all.  What do I need to do for the last X years in order to prepare me for today?

David Nilssen  27:35 

Yeah, it’s funny, that resonates, when the pandemic hit, having gone through the 08 crisis. With the moment we saw that there was a outbreak in China, I turned to my business partner said, look, if there’s an outbreak there, it’s already in Seattle. And of course, Kirkland was number one spot, right? So, Seattle, we were prepared. I mean, no jobs were lost as a result of that. And certainly, we saw some turmoil in the business because demand decreased almost instantly. But like you, we felt really prepared. And now I’ve been talking about this recession for a long period of time. I was actually going to ask you about this as we’re moving, you know, we’re right now we’re in an inflationary environment in order to curve that the Fed is going to have to force a recession, right. There’s just inevitably what he is starting to move towards right now. So I’m glad you brought that up. I want to talk a little bit about this hobby. Thank you, by the way for correcting the issue. So I should have said, your hobby around being a DJ because you say hobby, but you didn’t just open for SAT Fat Boy Slim, and another top DJ, which unfortunately, name is escaping me right now that Claptone. That’s real. I mean, it was at a music festival, as I’m saying that I’m not really a music guy per se. But as I understand it, that was one of the bigger festivals that you could have been playing at. So like, how did you go from being a homebuilder? And you said earlier, you were a DJ, when you were a little bit younger, five years ago, and now you’re opening for some of the bigger names in the industry. Like, how did that come about?

Marc Rousso  29:03 

I gave up DJing to become an entrepreneur. I didn’t want to do it. But one of my mentors saw at the time said, how many millionaire DJs do you know and in 1995? And I said, I don’t know any. He’s like, well, if you want to be a millionaire, real estate is your game. And I was like, okay, and so I sold it all gave it all up. And for 20 years, I just, I parked it is basically I listened to house music, I went to high. I went to Ibiza went to all these different places. I listened to it every single day. I’m a junkie, it’s what fuels my fire. And every time I listened to a Dj Mix, I’m like, God, I could do that. I want to do that. And so for 20 years, as I was building my business, I basically, let it go. And seven years ago, I bought some equipment just to dabble with it, and did a few charity functions and just like Duke fun stuff. Then three years ago, I was at an entrepreneur event and I said, you know what, I set goals for myself crazy goals. And I said, I want to DJ at clubs and festivals. And so I made that proclamation 2019 I want to DJ clubs and festivals around the world. So over the last three years, like every entrepreneur that sets a goal and they kind of move towards accomplishing it, we worked really hard in order to make it happen, or that’s what, that’s what I’ve done. So I told somebody that and they said, hey, I know the person who started Ultra, which is one of the biggest festivals. So I get introduced to him and he asked me, hey,  have you produced any of your own songs? And I was like, no, I haven’t produced any of my own songs. He’s like, well, do you have an Instagram? Or any social media following? I was like, no, I don’t have any Instagram or social media following. He’s like, well, do you have any mixes? And I was like, no, I don’t have any mixes. He’s like, well, knowing very well is it. He’s like, you know, you want to DJ at one of the biggest festivals in the world, you might need to start working on that. And I felt so insignificant, feel so inadequate, that I was like, I want to work towards that. And I want to like then be able to like, have all of those things. And so for three years, I went to DJ school in London, spent a week there learning how to DJ and have then had a DJ instructor helped me every other week for like an hour to two hours. And we like practice DJing. And I have now produced over 20 songs. My first producer that I worked with was out to answer Amsterdam, and we had several top 10 songs that were in that genre. And so that got me a foundation. And then I hired myself a manager, and to help me take the business to the next level. And all this is all during the pandemic, so no one was DJing anywhere. So I was DJing on my patio, doing zoom sessions for my like 50 friends that were wanting to like, watch me dance on my patio and DJ music that I was producing. And so I hired this manager and he’s like, okay, well, let’s, I want to help you create three songs that I think are going to be hits for you. And those three thought songs are going to allow that are going to propel you to like DJ at bigger clubs and festivals. And I was like, okay, so that relationship started January of last year. So we’ve been doing this for 15 16 months, we’ve produced three songs, one song came out earlier this year, it made it to the number 13 on the commercial pop chart in the United Kingdom. And this is music, the music industry, so I’ve had to learn a whole new industry, music is marketing for anyone. So like, you put out good music, then you go on tour, and where you make most of your money is basically on tour. So anyway, this gave me a little cachet. He has relationships with, I think success in life is all about relationships, and treating people well. And that’s kind of like using success principles from being an entrepreneur is you got to grind, you got to work really hard, you got to like learn and you got to study, you got to, like, nothing comes easy. Like, it’s the amount of work that I have put into just getting that one show or two shows is been insurmountable, like years in the making, to finally get that one opportunity. And when I got that opportunity, I’ll put it in perspective. The perspective is, I got to open  in Miami Music Week, which was one of my goals. The dance floor had eight people on the dance floor when I started, okay, and it was like six of my buddies that flew from Seattle to come watch me. And by the time I was done, so my job was the fluffer. So my job was sorry, was to bring people from a pool that was like 300 yards away to the main stage. And I had to like, do everything I could to bring those. And so by the time I was done, if you go on my Instagram account at DJ Marc Rousso, you will see pictures of like the before and after. The before there was eight, the after there was like four to 500 people like the line through the door by the time Claptone and Fatboy Slim were DJing there was 2500 people in the stance and so that was my most epic moments. The other one was, I got to DJ and Aspen opening for Claptone. Claptone is a DJ top 30 DJ in the world, He DJs for 10 2050 100,000 person crowds, like is a legit DJ. In Aspen, it’s a 450-person club. And there were people that flew all around the world to come see Claptone in Aspen, and it was like, from Peru, Argentina, like, everywhere. And so that was so amazing people, the crowds were like, so excited to see Claptone And I just was happy to be there and open for him. And so that has been my journey, it has been a tons of hard work, being humble of like, not needing to be the man just being opening for the man, fostering relationships with people, being nice and doing what I said I was going to do.

David Nilssen  36:03  

It’s amazing. I love the fact that you did this when you were in college and are now sort of reactivating this hobby. And it’s actually turning into something really exciting, not just a hobby, not just like you’ve gone off to the municipal course. But you’re like, you’re actually playing with some of the big players in that space, which is super exciting to see. By the way, for those that are listening to this, we will put DJ Marc Rousso’s Instagram handle and maybe a link to a couple of his clips just to give people a sense for some of the work that he’s been doing. But super cool. Marc, I want to talk real quickly about just life in general, because you are, most people have one business and they are overwhelmed by just having that one business and how it sort of runs their life versus them running it. And in addition to that, you’re a DJ, you’ve got your family, of course, and you’re investing a lot in your education, there’s so much going on. So like, how do you prioritize this? Or how do you balance it all? How do you make sure that your life isn’t driving you but you’re actually driving your life?

Marc Rousso  37:08 

A great question. I mean, you are probably one of the best interviewers that I’ve ever heard in or been a part of. So I just want to acknowledge you for that. I heard when you like interview, Patrick and like, you know, these amazing people and so I feel, you ask amazing questions that you’re definitely very skilled at this. So the balancing for me is living a perfect day, like what I think of is a perfect day, every single day. And it takes has taken 30 years to make this happen. And it is a formula that I have used. And it’s fostering eight equities of my life. Eight equities, our family, physical, financial, mental, spiritual, social, career and relationship. And so relationship is your relationship with your significant other your spouse, your family is your wife, your kids, your parents. Your physical is your physical health, your family, physical, your financial is the money that you have family, physical, financial mental is what are you learning on an ongoing basis spiritual is how you believe in the God Family, physical, financial, mental, spiritual, social, like, who you’re interacting with, as friends because sometimes we could go a long time without seeing our friends because we’re busy. Family, physical, financial, mental, social career, where do you want to see yourself in 1 3 5 years in your career, and the last one is relationship. And so I have set every year on my goal. Every year on my birthday, I would either take a ferry boat ride, or I’d go up to Snoqualmie Falls. And I would ask myself two questions. What am I most dissatisfied with in my x period of X life? And those are the eight equities that you put in. And if life were perfect in my x period of life, in why timeline one year five-year tenure, what would it look like? And so when I’m, like today I’m 50 years old or unfortunate, like every 30 40 50 I do my tenure job to like, basically write myself a letter write myself, a vision board or vision of what my 10 years is going to look like by the time on. Now it’s going to be when I’m going to be 60. And so I’m like, okay, my kids are going to be 24 and 23 they’re going to be out of the house. We’re going to be empty nesters. I want to travel so I start mapping out what it is that I want out of my life and in all of those areas. And then I will revert it backwards to one year, and one month and then just daily or weekly goals. And now I just live in my priority is being an amazing dad. So I always want to like, so my priority is always being an amazing dad. So I say if life were perfect, I would spend time with my kids, since they were six years old, they’re 14 and 16 now, since they were six years old, I would take my each of my kid on a yearly trip for three days. And we go and do things that they would want to do. And they’re surprised trips. They started off like my kid taking my son to sporting events, my daughter, we would go to zoos, because she loved going to zoos. So we went to the St. Louis Zoo, one year, we went to the Omaha Nebraska zoo, I mean, Omaha who goes to Omaha? One of the best zoos in the world. Same with St. Louis. And then San Diego. And then with my daughter, we would go to concerts, we go to Ariana Grande. And in Portland, we go to Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas, and that would be our thing, my son. And we just got back from New York and going to see shows in great restaurants. With my son, it would be of all about sports. We went to Husky games, car games, Mariner games, all across the country, we went to London to see a Seahawks game. We recently went to LA and went to a clippers game and went to a Lakers game and went to see NASCAR. And so it’s just like those one on one times. And I’ll even get deeper is my best friend passed away when he was 43 years old Joey. And the thing he said to me was, I just wish I had more time to spend with my kids. I think about that. And I was like, every year that goes by I just want my kids that if I passed away today, knock on wood, I don’t, my kids will have had that last trip that they did with me. And, like, I don’t want them to ever think that I want them to always remember like, the good times, and like those fun things that we did together. And it’s three days out of my wife every single year with each kid, but that has been a priority. In addition to all the tons of other things, not just the trips? And then it’s my wife, like how am I an amazing husband, you know, to my wife? And how do I live in that intentionally every single though it’s going on trips with her to two to three times a year, just the two of us, and giving her that one on one time because she needs it and the wives need their own bucket because, it’s like, okay, what about date night or what about bringing flowers that because for the, for the heck of it, or things that I think that she would appreciate, as a partner of mine. And about last month, it was our anniversary. And I seem to get a lot of, as a CEO of a company that builds luxury homes as a DJ, like, I get a little bit of notoriety, or I get a little bit of like people like, oh my god, Marc, it’s amazing what you’re doing. And so the selfless act on my anniversary was that I basically gave all the credit to my wife. Because during the recession, she supported us during, like, I was massively depressed and she was there to comfort me and I mean, there’s 1000 things that she’s done over the course of our relationship and I put it out there into the Facebook world so that people would give her credit and deflect the credit of what would come to me and give it all to her. And so those are two really deep messages about two of the eight equities of life but I live my life based on okay, what am I going to do this week for my wife? What am I going to do this week for my kids? Okay, what am I going to do from a physical perspective? What am I going to do from a mental perspective? My social perspective like what friends am I going to hang out with and it’s all from a one-year goal, three-year-old, 10-year goal and I just live my life based on those intentions.

David Nilssen  44:41 

Wow, I was going to say, you said it right there intentionality. I think that’s the, you got so many things going on. And you don’t have to be an entrepreneur for that to be the case. But I mean, just so many things going on intentionality is so important because the world will always take all of your time. Any of your excess time. It’s the same thing with finances right? Your expenses will always meet your income if you’re not really intentional about that. And I love that I wrote it down family, physical, financial, mental, spiritual, social career, and relationship. And the funny thing is, earlier on one of our shows, we had Lex Sisney, the founder of Organizational Physics, and he teaches companies to look at entropy within their organization as a starting point for annual planning and entropy is just where’s their drains in the system? Or to your point? Where are you dissatisfied? And what would it look like, if you were really satisfied in that situation, so very similar sort of perspective, in terms of how you would turn something within a business or your personal life into a forward-looking goal where you can gain some personal momentum. I actually, Marc, I’d love to have you come back and talk a little bit about these concepts further, because I do think it’s a really important concept for our listeners to sort of get behind and that is we got to either take ownership of our life or life will take ownership of us. So, last question, though and we’re going to be short on time to the whole podcast here, is built around this concept of being borderless. And I have actually heard some really great examples throughout our conversation in places where you’re sort of breaking conventional thinking. And I just would just love to hear if there’s any place that we where you feel like, you’re sort of doing things differently than most people do. And where you’re sort of breaking that mold and becoming borderless per se and aspect of your life that’s helping you sort of live or lead differently?

Marc Rousso  46:28 

I mean, I think that, really it boils down to those two things that I that I’ve already mentioned, is living like borderless to me as a leader means like is just being about, about humility and humbleness, and being selfless and giving others the credit, giving others the opportunity to lead. And that’s the way that I lead JayMarc is that I let other people kind of take the charge, take the lead, make decisions. And I’m just there for guidance and vision and inspiration. And so that’s one aspect that I think is borderless or selfless. And then I just think that living a life that anything is possible. Those eight equities of life, I’ll give you one example. And this was truly borderless is that in 2010, I had no paycheck and I was massively depressed. And yet, it was 2010 It was my birthday. And I went and I wrote goals for what I wanted the next 10 years to look like. And in my goals under family, I said, I want to live abroad for one year in France. And so that was borderless. And it was just a time, like I had no business writing that down, like in the state of mentality that I was currently in, but of predict tradition. So 2020 came and we hadn’t accomplished it. I wasn’t able to have taken a year away and go to France. But I was walking with my wife and she’s like, this is like early in the pandemic May of 2020. And she said, if the pandemic is going to happen, and the kids are going to be in school, like the kids are going to be on online school, I don’t want to be in Seattle. And I was like, okay, well, where do you want to go? She’s like, what if we could get to Europe. So my wife and kids all have Canadian passports, and I don’t. And so I was like, okay, well, let me see how I can make that work. My mom was born and raised in France. And so I wrote to the French Consulate, and I said, hey, I’d like to get my mom’s birth certificate for the ability to travel. So they wrote me back. And they didn’t send me my mom’s birth certificate. They sent me my birth certificate. My mom registered my sister and I for having French citizenship in 1980. And so I was able to take that birth certificate, set up an appointment in San Francisco to get a passport. And within June 1 about the end of May to August to the end of August, it took me 90 days to apply and get a passport. We then 45 days later we were on a plane and we planned out six months trip to go travel around the world during the pandemic. Our first stop was in Crete in Greece. I mean, and we did that for a month. The next stop was we spent three and a half months in Cape Town. We spent a few weeks back in Athens, and then we spent a month in Zermatt, with my kids skiing. And that all stemmed from a 10-year goal of going wanting to go to France. And it took massive, massive, massive effort to make that all happen. There’s a ton of things that had to orchestrate in order for it to transpire. But it was like living a life of what’s possible. And being borderless or being open to the possibility of amazing things happening. And I think that it starts with vision, it starts with a dream. And many of the people that are on this call all have dreams, and they’re living their dreams in one way, shape form or another. And I think that that’s, it’s how do you continue to dream bigger or how do you continue to expand on the dreams that you have so that you’re living a life with intention, and you’re living a borderless life?

David Nilssen  50:59 

Awesome. All right. Well, we’ve been talking to Marc Rousso, the CEO of JayMarc Homes. Marc, where can people learn more about you?

Marc Rousso  51:07 

Well, you can follow me as a DJ at DJ Marc Rousso, you can follow me on Spotify. And then JayMarc Homes. And if ever in Seattle, you feel free to look me up and I’m on LinkedIn. And I’m happy to chat with anyone anytime.

David Nilssen  51:32 

Awesome. Well, we’ll post the contact information in the show notes so people know where to find you. And again, I’ll have you back on to talk about the eight equities of life. I love that. Thanks for being on the show, Marc.

Marc Rousso  51:42 

All right. I love it. Thanks, David.

Outro  51:46 

Thank you for listening to The Future is Borderless podcast with David Nilssen. Be sure to click subscribe to future episodes so you can hear from more top entrepreneurs and thought leaders and we’ll see you again next time.

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