Don’t worry so much about where you’re going, you’ll get there.
Sean Kelly was born and raised in Denver, Colorado and received his Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Sonoma State College. From there he began working for PPI in the Chicago Board of Trade.
After the market crash in 2008, Sean Kelly formed Red Rock Secured in El Segundo, California to help clients protect their retirement accounts from being at risk in a market correction. Ten years later, his company has a 90 percent retention rate and has received an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, Five-star rating on TrustLink, a AAA rating with the business consumer alliance and has been accredited by Consumer Affairs.
Sean Kelly is thrilled to be celebrating the 10 year anniversary of Red Rock Secured with his wife and three children, the youngest just five months old.
Where did the idea for Red Rock Secured come from?
I was working for a company called PPI. It was at the Chicago Board of Trade, which had offices in Chicago and Los Angeles back in 2007 and 2008. After the last crash from the subprime fiasco, we all had to survive though that the best we could. So, after going through that experience, we decided to create a company in 2009 that focused on protecting retirement accounts as opposed to having them out there at risk in a market correction.
Average Americans lost 36 to 40 percent of their retirement accounts in 2008 and we decided to have a focus on physical assets that can never go to zero.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My alarm goes off at 3:45 a.m. and I spend the first 15 minutes of my day praying. Then I write a list of 10 positive things in my life. I make sure I look up to the sky and I thank God 10 times.
I’m typically standing outside of the gym by 4:50 a.m. for when they unlock the doors to the gym. I’m walking out of the gym around 6-6:15 a.m. and I go back home so I can help my wife get the kids ready for the day and sneak a kiss from her.
Then I go to the office. Once I get to the office, I obviously screen all the headlines that would apply to our industry and the market. I prepare an analyst meeting every day at 9:00 a.m. I start with the sales for meeting; it’s an analyst meeting about what the market is doing, what the dollar is doing, what the precious metals that we’re focused on are doing.
I make sure I carve out an hour of training and one on one with employees every day. I think it’s important for me to be in touch and have communication with all the employees. You know, they all get to experience Red Rock Secured from a different perspective than I do.
I typically leave the office around 6:00 p.m.
How do you bring ideas to life?
The way we get our ideas a life is… I’m immensely focused on collaboration. I think it’s very important to surround myself with the best people I can find that have a completely different perspective than me. What we do is, we first ask the question, or we make a goal. Then we try to map out what steps are to that goal and then we have to AB test them.
A lot of this is accomplished by working within the team as a team member. There are so many moving parts that need to work in unison. It’s great to have big ideas, but you need to have everyone on the team to be able to see the vision and to give you the analytics on how we think this works and if it can work.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The popularity that we’re seeing in the growth in our sector. It’s funny, they made it legal to own gold again in this free country of ours in 1985, but it wasn’t widely known to the public. There was about 14 or 15 years where the well to know, if you will, were taking advantage of this process and these products and protecting their portfolio. I think it was because of the popularity of the Internet in the early 2000s that you started seeing this information, people started having more access to information about what’s available to them. And now here we are.
And over the last two years we’ve been doubling and tripling, and as a company and organization based upon the masses, being able to have more access to this information and being able to apply it to themselves, protect themselves. It’s not something that’s kind of a reserve for the well to do anymore.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Waking up every day, hitting my knees and praying, and writing out 10 things that I am happy about in my life. On the days that I skip these steps I can feel it. I can kind of feel less of a spark. Any day that I start, which is most days, with those very simple steps is an amazing day.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t worry so much about where you’re going, you’ll get there. I think that I was just so focused in my twenties and thirties on where I was going to be in the next five to 10 years that I could have stopped and enjoyed my twenties and thirties a little more.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
The Denver Broncos are the best football team in America.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Pray, love, and exercise.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Hiring correctly. When you have the right people in place things happen organically and they’re not forced. Taking the time to make sure that you hire people that you know are going to work out and getting them in place and then letting go and trusting them. Just trusting and knowing that you’ve got a good teammate, you’ve got the best part covered. And let them do their job. Don’t micromanage. You hire the right people and trust them.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Early on, I was trying to manage marketing myself when I have no marketing experience. You know, there’s a reason why people must go to college for as many, many, many years. I was just being bullheaded, thinking I can do anything. What I’ve learned from it is to let go, try to identify your strengths and focus your efforts there. It’s okay to have areas of improvement.
That was a major catalyst for Red Rock Secured. Everything changed when we got our director of marketing and she took over and did what she’s amazing at.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Start a Cat Walking Business, I believe it is a sector that is greatly underserved!
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Taking my wife out to dinner. Both of us having big careers, big lives and our full family, it’s important for us to remember to make time for one another to get those quality moments. However short, an hour, hour and a half, is worth much, much more than that $100.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I personally cannot say enough about Velocify, a lead management software. One of the good opportunities we’ve had recently is just keeping up with the sheer inquiries that Red Rock is receiving. Let me give you an example. My lead management software system is saying that we received 39,421 inquiries regarding people qualifying for this type of retirement account. So, what Velocify does is when people go online and they inquire to be contacted, they place their name, their phone number, and their email in there, it automatically sends them the email and it automatically sets up an appointment in a follow up for brokering.
The way I look at the Velocify lead management system is like we want to make our employee’s desk like the best jet plane imaginable, if you can, with the software. What Velocify does is put that jet on autopilot for the employees so they can come in and sit down, Velocify manages their appointments and their prospects and their clients for them automatically, so they can do what they do best and that’s communicate with the client.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni, because everything that we have implemented concerning our company culture being successful, it can be found in these pages.
What is your favorite quote?
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain.
● Hire correctly, it’s better to search for the right person for the job than to just fill the spot.
● Focus on your strengths, don’t be bullheaded and assume you can do it all. Hire someone whose strength is what you need.
● Always make time for your family.