The Hard Truth Podcast: Jeremy's Story

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ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Join Jeremy Fouts in the inaugural episode of ‘The Hard Truth Podcast’ as he shares his personal journey from childhood to becoming the CEO and founder of a Dallas-based nutrition company. Dive into the experiences that shaped him, from marrying his high school sweetheart to navigating the business world. Tune in for a deep dive into the life lessons and insights that have defined his path to success.

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Episode 003

Welcome to the Hard Truth Podcast. My name is Jeremy Fouts and today I want to share with you a special episode, something that is really important to me and that is me just sharing my life experiences with you, walking you through my childhood life and how I was raised all the way to marry my high school sweetheart, the different businesses and companies that I’ve been a part of to where I’m at today, which is actually the CEO and founder of a nutrition company here in Dallas, Texas.

The reason for me wanting to share this part of the episode or this episode is I want you guys listening to this episode to hear and see my life and to think, man, if a guy from Spiro, Oklahoma, a 2000 people town can have success than I can too. That’s the reason for me opening up myself and sharing with you these special moments. It’s so easy for people to see someone that’s having success in life or that have a lot of success in life to think, you know what? They must have had an easier road, a easier path than me. They probably didn’t have the hardships or the issues that I had growing up or the limitations that I had in my finances. Or maybe they didn’t have the challenges. Guys, that’s not the case. Every time you see someone that’s had major success, they have had challenges, they’ve had hardships.

Life is all about peaks and valleys. I promise you that. It’s all about going through challenges, and that’s one of the reasons why I wanted to launch this podcast though. It’s to help you through those life struggles, those challenges, helping you to develop the right mindset, to understand, to focus on the important areas of life, which is your physical fitness, your nutrition, your finances, your relationships. We spend a lot of time and attention on different areas that really don’t matter. We put a focus on the wrong things in life, and therefore we’re not able to focus on the right things. So I’m excited today, some embarrassing moments. I’ll be honest with you as I’m going to share with you how I was raised and things that I’ve went through with my different experiences in life. But I’m going to just be an open book. I’m not here to try to impress you to say, look at me and what I’ve accomplished.

I’m here on this podcast to say, you know what? Life is not easy, but the truth of the matter is it’s worth it and you can overcome any challenge, any disappointment if you have the right mindset. So as I mentioned, I grew up in a little town called Spiro, Oklahoma. I had great Christian parents. Spiro was pretty much an agriculture based town in rural Oklahoma, eastern Oklahoma. My mom and dad, they was row crop farmers, which is mainly corn, soybeans, wheat, also corn or excuse me, also grew canal LOEs and watermelons in the summertime as well, and they had four boys. I was number three of the four, and it’s one of those things I don’t want to ever see poor because I don’t like that. My mom and dad, they provided for their families. We didn’t have any extra finances. Some of the best vacations was mom packing up bologna sandwiches and putting ’em in a cooler and us just hitting the road and we had some of the best times.

It wasn’t a lot of stopping at the restaurants. There was, so I love food. I’ll never forget my first real restaurant to eat at. I was 11 years old, and the preacher took us to all you can eat buffet called Western Sizzling, and I literally ate so much food. I made myself sick, went to the bathroom, got sick, and it come back and ate more because when Brother Langley said, you can have anything you want on that buffet and as much as you want, my eyes was big as a football, I was just like, oh my goodness, I made it to heaven and I loved food when I was small. And those of you listening, you’ll kind of understand where I came from, from that little bitty town to not having a whole lot. Now, I will say this though, my mom and dad, we didn’t go hungry and even though we didn’t have the newest nicest clothes, everything we had was ironed, pressed.

Everything was, we looked sharp, those type things, and they taught us so much in life, not just the hard work, but so many other different qualities that I’ll get into. But my nickname was Sumo. So I loved food. So man, I know I jump around the light, but I’ll never forget that nickname Sumo though. It kind of affected me. And the reason I wanted to share that is because so many times we let little childhood memories kind of start scarring us and limiting us to what we think we can accomplish. And to put things even more in perspective, even though I was nicknamed Sumo and a little bit chubby, I was probably the only one that’s listening to this podcast that flunk kindergarten, and it’s a true story. My mom got a phone call from my kindergarten teacher and she goes, Janice, I just got through telling him five times what these crayons colors are.

He’s passed the other ones, but he is not going to first grade because he does not know his colors. Well, at the time, no one knew, but I was red green colorblind. That’s why I wasn’t passing it. But my mom said, regardless of what you say about my son, he’s going to first grade. And I’ll never forget though, in my childhood, thinking to myself, why am I not as smart as my brothers? Why am I not as athletic as my brothers at a young age and they’re lean and fit and my name is Sumo and people make fun of me. And I share that story because I think a lot of you listening today, whether it was your early childhood teenage years, early 19, 20-year-old, you’ve had something in your life that’s happened to you, whether it be someone make fun of you or maybe not accomplishing some things that automatically you start putting limitations on your life.

And thank God I had enough tenacity to not let that bother me. I really didn’t know what my outcome was going to be. I knew that I was going to figure out a way to have success, and every one of you guys can do that as well. I watched my mom and dad always deal with finances and worrying about debt and those type things. And I’ll never forget at 13 years old, me having a conversation with myself and saying, I don’t know how, but one day I’m going to raise a family and not have to worry about finances. And that was one of my goals. And my mom and dad, like I said, they taught us how to work hard. And that was one of the things that really has helped me have a lot of success. We worked from daylight to dark during the summer.

We did not do anything else. I’ll never forget our football coaches telling my dad, we have summer pride in the workout program. And my dad would look at him and say, my son will not be at Summer Pride, but I can promise you he’ll be more fit than any other kid when school starts. And that’s how hard we worked. My mom and dad also taught me and the other boys to treat people, right? Whatever you say you’re going to do, you do it. That’s the way we was raised. Those are some principles that has always stuck with me. But I went on through childhood, working extremely hard on the farm, fell in love with hunting and fishing. That was probably my biggest passion. I loved athletics, but anything to do with outdoors, that’s what I love to do. I had an older gentleman named Brother Langley.

My dad didn’t hunt, my dad didn’t fish. My dad only worked on the farm. He was just one of those. He didn’t believe in any hobbies. He believed in just working on the farm a hundred percent of the time. But I fell in love with hunting and fishing. The only other thing I really loved was athletics. That’s the only reason I would’ve even went to school was because of athletics. But athletics was something that could really challenge me to push me. And then as I got later on in my teenage years, I thought, well, maybe athletics is what’s going to help me get out of this small town and figure out a way to earn income. Because again, I’m in a little town in spy Oklahoma. There’s not floods of opportunities coming to you. So really the only thing that I loved was hunting and fishing.

I loved athletics and I loved agriculture and farming, and that was the only three things that I knew. So went on, had some good times in athletics, won a state championship in baseball, was pretty good baseball player, pretty good football player, but I did not through some injuries, be able to go on to that next level. So the only thing else I knew was agriculture. And so I wanted to farm, but there was a caveat to this. I fell in love with my high school sweetheart. Her dad said, the only way you’re marrying my daughter is going to college. I hated school. I did not want school at all. But I fell in love with her. Candace, been married 28 years. We’ve got two boys now, 16 and 14. But I said, you know what? I’m probably not going to find a more attractive young lady than her, so I’m going to go to college.

So that’s what we did is we went to college at Oklahoma State University. She graduated with the microbiology degree. I graduated with the agricultural sciences degree where I learned about agronomy, soil sciences. It was similar to what they call an ag engineering degree or bio systems engineering. And that’s what that I did to be able to get ready for farming because I thought if I can’t play sports, it’s hard to make a living hunting and fishing, so I’ll go back and farm. And that’s what we did actually before she even graduated from college. I graduated a little bit earlier. We owned a farm in molder, Oklahoma, got a first time farmer’s loan. And this progression though, if you’re listening, it’s important for you to hear this portion of my story because as I mentioned earlier, life is about peaks and valleys. And when you’re younger, you really don’t understand the valley portion.

You’re just a dreamer and somebody that’s wanting to go full force only focus on the positive, which is good, but so many times it’s hard to understand when those valleys come. And so the first year of farming did pretty good. Second year of farming, had a couple little small disasters, third year of farming, literally guys don’t want to bore you with the details, but had a soilborne disaster with my squash that I grew for a cannon company and had some green beans that I was growing for a cannon company, had a disaster. And literally I’m looking at my finances saying, I’m probably going to have to file bankruptcy. And at that point I’ll never forget thinking, man, this is not the way life was intended. I mean, and any of you that grew up on a farm or maybe you’ve understood a little bit about agriculture, you don’t just go to farm for nine to five.

I mean you’re spending 16, 17 hours a day a lot of times trying to develop this crop. And then when you have a disaster, it hits hard. I mean, it’s one of those that you really want to say, man, this is not fair. But I didn’t know what else to do, but continue to to try to farm. So I was also though at that time, I was introduced to a direct sales company, but through a guy that coached my old football coach. And that was my first exposure to any kind of sales. But I thought, you know what? I can still do this while I’m farming. And that’s what I chose to do while I’d farm during the daytime and I would work with that company at night, and I started then understanding personal development leadership, I would read those books and hear what people was earning and seeing that, you know what?

There was no limits to compensation. And man, I fell in love with that. And I was able to, in five years, able to pay off, excuse me. I was able in five years to pay off my farm debt that I accumulated. I thought I would be with that company for the rest of my life. And some things happened when the founder passed away that I wasn’t able to control. And Candace and I, we made a decision to walk away from a six figure income to start a construction company in Dallas, Texas. And again, man, everything is just like the first year farming, just like the first year with the direct sales nutrition company, everything is just going out of the gate. I mean, just like a house on fire. I mean, we didn’t even have business cards, but we was getting so many jobs, people calling us, texting, saying, man, will you do this house?

We was actually remodeling kitchen and bathroom remodels. We was also doing commercial finish outs, and everything was just working amazing. We still didn’t have no kids at the time. And then 2008, and I don’t know you listening, if you remember 2008, but the economy just, everything just stopped. I had still people that wanted construction jobs, but they was wanting to pay half of the price. I had people that owed me money that couldn’t pay me, but I’m still having to pay my workers and do the things that I need to do. And at that time, in 2008, I had a year and a half old son on the way. I had another son on the way. And I’ll never forget thinking, man, I had no medical insurance. We actually maxed out our credit cards to be able to pay for labor material, all the things that we needed to do because we was not able to receive all of our payments from different people that work for us.

And that year, I’ll never forget in December, 2008, finding myself one of the lowest points of my life. Again, eing man, life’s not fair. I was thinking, man, life’s not fair. And I don’t know if any of you can understand this or not, or maybe you’ve went through these different things. But I’ll never forget thinking, man, how can I work that hard? Treat everybody right, have this good a reputation. And now the economy crashed. I mean, in 2006, Candace and I, we was preparing to build our dream house. We was looking at life as, man, nothing is not possible. I mean, we are going to be able to do all these things in life. And when that economy crashed, it was a devastation to me, Candace’s birthday in December, not even being able to do anything special for her, but probably one of the most times, one of the most eye opening experiences in my life was when I took her to dinner December 31st, 2008.

And we actually had two or three different big jobs that we have been rewarded with. The companies that we was going to build for was just waiting on financing. And I don’t know, and I don’t know if any of you remember that days back in 2008, you couldn’t hardly find financing. But anyways, I took her out to dinner that night and I actually convinced her that 2009 is going to be the greatest thing ever. And I don’t know if any of you guys out there are listening to this, but I mean, I’m thinking, man, if I convince her it’s going to be good, I’m going to get some good loving tonight. I mean, life is going to be amazing. We have a babysitter and we get that bill. And the card that I was going to put it on, the credit card company had actually without calling me, decreased my credit limit because they did that lot in 2008, and I was not able to pay for that dinner.

And as a man, how embarrassing that is to watch my wife pull out her Christmas money, her dad had gave to her to pull out her Christmas money that her dad gave her and say, I’ve got dinner. And I’ll never forget thinking, man, this is embarrassing, and I’ll never ever be here again in my life. So I didn’t know what I was going to do. Again, I always just focused on working hard, controlling what I can control. I’ve got a son coming a year and a half old son right now, and I just put my head down and went to work Shortly after that, about two weeks later, I was able to join with another direct sales nutrition company, took my wife out to dinner again. But I did tell her, then I said, Hey, I know my credit card to work this time. Took her to dinner.

And I said, Candace, give me four years and we’ll never have to worry about finances again. I found a company that literally will compensate me based on the teams that I can build. I’ve worked on my mindset, my personal development. This is what we are going to do. So I actually built a company with that company that paid me millions and millions of dollars, and I was wanting to build something for my boys. I could spend time with them. I always tell everybody I wanted to be a stay at home dad. I wanted to coach their baseball, be a part of their life. I wanted to do everything as far as build that family, not necessarily the Mercedes and all of that. I mean, I love nice things like all of us, but I wanted to build that lifestyle that I would be able to spend the time and invest in my kids.

And I was able to do that. One of my dreams was to be able to buy a ranch in Colorado. We was able to do that. And in 2016, we was able to move to that ranch and run Red Angus cattle and to be able to have the life that I thought was going to be heaven on earth for me. I mean, we had a trout river that ran through our property for about four miles. We had a beautiful 12,000 square foot lodge. We was able to hunt and fish and we had hunters come there to the lodge. All the things that I thought if I could have money in the bank, have this lodge, have this ranch, this is my dream. And that’s what I had. And even though I enjoyed it, don’t get me wrong, I found myself miserable and I found myself in a spot in life that I could not explain it to no one.

And this quote that I read in the book pretty much sums up where I was at and why I’ve moved on to a new chapter in my life in pleasant peace and security, how suddenly the so in a man begins to die in pleasant peace and security. See, I had what I thought I wanted from peace. I had the security, but inside a man, my soul was dying. And those of you listening today, I know some of you may have a great job, good finances, and maybe I’m not talking to you, but I also know that I’m talking to some of you that may have millions in the bank, but you’re miserable. You don’t know why you’re not happy. And that’s the reason I bring this quote up in this very important part of my life is because I went through the peaks and the valleys right?

And that’s the way life is. I went from being a farmer and doing really good to really bad, and it wasn’t my fault. It wasn’t a lack of effort. I went from a direct sales company, then the founder passing away some things happening, and I come all the way back down to the valley, walk away because I knew it was the right thing to do through a relationship. And then next thing you know, I’m thinking life is not fair. Then I have extreme amounts of success in construction, and I’m thinking, man, this is awesome. I did the right thing by exiting last company through a personal relationship, and that’s why I’m being rewarded here and life cannot be any better all the way to it Crashing because of the economy crashed to thinking, how am I going to provide for my two boys? I don’t understand this.

It’s not my fault that the economy crash, but I’m being punished for this. And then all of a sudden I start with this other company and I’m like, man, I’m doing extremely well. And then I hit a point that I said, I’m able to retire. I’m able to have my dream ranch. And then all of a sudden I’m thinking, man, why am I miserable? And I hope that this resonates with someone listening because the answer is you need a purpose. You need a passion. You need to not find peace in just the fact that you have security. You need to get a new fire in you. And my new fire was for me to start my own company, and that’s when we launched the company Core ViiV, and we was able to launch, actually, it’ll be six years in June. Now, I’ll never forget that morning when I talked to my wife about it.

I couldn’t sleep for two or three weeks. And she come to the kitchen one morning and about four 30, and she said, you’ve been up all night. I said, absolutely. And she said, you’re going to start a company. I know that that’s what you’re thinking. And I said, no, we are going to start a company and we are going to use what our gifts are from God, and we’re going to impact a lot of people. And that’s something that I wanted to let her know we were going to do this. And she was totally fine with just staying at that mountain home and spending time with me and the two boys. But that’s when we launched Cor ViiV and we’ve had a phenomenal six years now. And the reason for me launching this podcast though, is I want something else to push me to drive me.

I want to be able to, on a weekly basis, take these life challenges and not just share with you the story, but share with you the thoughts, the emotions, the things that I was really thinking in my head. And I want to share with you the things that has helped me overcome these challenges day-to-Day challenges of running a business and being a CEO and dealing with all these things that we deal with, how I get up early in the mornings and work on my physical fitness and why that is so important, how I evaluate my relationships and make sure the relationships with my two boys, the relationship with my wife, the relationship with my employees, why that is so important and valuable, and how to make sure I feed those relationships the right way. How I understand the importance it is to take care of the finances, the budgets, and all these important topics that I’m mentioning, this is what you have to look forward to on The Hard Truth Podcast, is for me to get in deep with you and say, you know what?

You can read a book and it can tell you if you buy this course in this book, they’re show you how to get rich in 30 days. You know what? You can buy this one capsule. They’re going to say you’re going to lose all this weight in 30 days. All these things. That’s not what I’m going to talk about. I’m going to talk to you about the truth. And the truth is life is built around peaks and valleys. But here’s what I understand. Every valley that you come across, if you have the right mindset and you have the right purpose and passion and desire, we’re going to go to another peak. And this podcast, the Hard Truth is something I’ve wanted to launch for years as a way for me to be able to talk openly with you about my struggles, the things that help me go to that next peak.

All those real truth matters that a lot of people don’t want to talk about publicly. I’m going to talk about some different challenges that I’ve had that I’ve not ever mentioned with people. And the reason that that is important is because people a lot of times think again, people with success, they don’t deal with those issues. They don’t have no internal demons or things that they’re trying to fight through. Guys, that’s not the truth. The truth is all of us do, but here’s what I want to really get to bring across. We are responsible for our own life. We have this responsibility for our own life that only we can answer to. I want to share with you a true story here as I come to a close here in the podcast. And there’s a reason why I want to share this story. And if you like stories, you need to hit subscribe and save and share this podcast with your friends and family that also like you, because I love sharing stories and these stories that I share are true stories that’s happened to me.

And usually I can find a good way to share with you a learning experience, but I don’t know if you guys know, but getting arrested at the DFW airport is not something you want to do. And that’s what happened to me. I got arrested at the DFW airport by having a loaded 45 caliber in my backpack. Having a loaded 45 caliber in your backpack, DFW, is not something I would advise to do, but I have a reason for that. And after I share the story, I’ve got a good thing that I’m going to kind of bring into this to share with you. The reason I shared this story, I actually owned a plane at the time, and I would fly a light privately doing meanings speaking four or five nights a week, and we actually had a ranch in South Texas also that we used for hunting and just outdoor activities.

And one of my kids, I don’t remember which one at the time, had a birthday. And again, my life was crazy. I’m speaking four or five nights a week. I’m traveling international, speaking, all those different things. We had a large business that I was focused on. My son had a birthday party. My assistants out of town on vacation. My mom and dad, other people were in my home. We fly in that morning from the ranch, we have a birthday party. I have to fly commercial that evening to speak on the west coast. And I told Candace, I said, just let me wear my suit that I’m going to speak in. And my black backpack, I always carried a black backpack. I said, just take me some running shoes and some workout clothes, stick ’em in that backpack. I’ll get a toothbrush from the hotel that night and I’ll shower, throw those clothes on in the morning.

I had like a 6:00 AM flight coming back to Dallas, and I said, we’ll be good, be something simple, and I’ll just put my suit back in the backpack. And she of course didn’t like that. She didn’t want me wrinkling it up. And I said, it’ll be okay. You can take it to the dry cleaner. So that was the plan. Well, I put the backpack on, put my suit on, went to the airport, and I had TSA pre-check. The key is I had TSA pre-check. I don’t get that no more. And I put my backpack on that conveyor belt. And when you have TSA pre-check, you don’t have to take off your belt, your shoes, your jacket, anything. So I walked through and I’m waiting on my backpack, and these alarms start going off and everybody’s looking around. And I’ll never forget looking at the guy running X-ray machine.

And I looked at him and he just kind of nodded his head like this. And I said, oh, no. When I flew in from the ranch that morning, I always had a loaded 45 in the bottom of my backpack. Candace just stuffed my clothes on top of it and didn’t recognize it. And usually when my assistant is working, he would always go through my bag, make sure if I had this in it or that in it, those top different things. And so I just wasn’t thinking and I was, my life was a little bit hectic, and the next thing I know, someone tapped me on the shoulder and didn’t even really tap me, just kind of put one hand on my shoulder and grabbed my other arm and said, you’re under arrest. And I had both of my arms behind my back in handcuffs, and they said, we need to go to a private room immediately and took me to a private room, which later transferred me to the jail.

There is a jail in DFW Airport. Those of you that don’t know there is. And I actually spent the night with Bubba, and that’ll be a story I’ll share with you more in detail at another time because that’s a story on itself right there, being in a cell with Bubba. And one day I’ll share with you that story in detail. That was not a fun experience. But when this happened, and here’s the reason I’m wanting to share this story, I felt like number one, I wanted to cast blame on my assistant that worked for me that night because he wasn’t there. I’m thinking, man, if he was not on vacation, then he would’ve did his job. He would’ve made sure that gun was not in the backpack. Then the next thing I did, as I said, why didn’t Candace my lovely wife, why didn’t she look down in my backpack?

She knows that I always carry a gun and take that gun out, and it’s almost like I was kind of bitter and angry. I didn’t know how long is it going to take me to get out of jail? How many thousands of dollars worth of fines, which was over 10,000, not including an attorney. Then, not only that, we’re about to do a product launch tonight on the West Coast, and I’m going to have 450, 500 people in a room waiting for me to speak, and I’m not going to be able to make this speaking session. I’m not even going to be able to make these cells, and then all of a sudden it kind of hit me, and what hit me was, and this is what I want you guys, the reason for me sharing this story is I want you guys to catch this portion, which is the most important part of the podcast is I’m responsible for my own back.

It’s not my assistant’s fault. It’s not my wife’s fault. If I would’ve told those police officers that had me in handcuffs, it’s not my fault because my assistant wasn’t there. Or if I’d have said, it’s my wife’s fault because she didn’t take it out of the bag, they could care less. All they knew was that was my bag, that was my pistol, and I’m getting in handcuffs and I’m going to jail. Now, the reason I shared that is part of this Hard Truth podcast, what we are going to do a lot of, yes, we’re going to talk about finances. Yes, we’re going to talk about relationships. We’re going to talk about physical fitness. We’re going to talk about nutrition. We’re going to talk about raising kids, we’re going to talk about nutrition for kids. We’re going to all these different things, but if I would say, what is some of the things that I’m going to talk about more than anything, it’s going to be about you taking responsibility of your life, because if I would’ve took responsibility of my bag, then I wouldn’t have had a load of 45 in there, and I’m going to talk to you a lot on this podcast about you taking responsibility of your own bag, which is your life, and I’m going to talk to you about the things that you need to focus on, the things that you don’t need to focus on and the things that’s going to be more importantly help you become the version of yourself that God made you to be.

Thank you guys for joining this Hard Truth podcast. If you like what you hear, share with your friends and family, share on social media as well, follow me@jeremyfouts.com. Stay tuned for the next episode coming out soon.