I try not to play favorites. I promise. But sometimes you read a book, you see something different that people are doing and you can’t help but become an instant fan. So I admit it, this is one of my favorite interviews to date. Not only is Chandler Bolt way fun to chat with, but I love the message and idea behind the book he and his brother, Seth Bolt, wrote: Breaking Out of A Broken System. It’s a book to help people with life and 100% of the profits go to saving lives through Palmetto Medical Initiative. Do you see why I’m a fan? Plus, y’all, just read his bio.
Chandler was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug at an early age when he saw that he could make a lot more money working for himself. While his friends were off searching for jobs, he was out starting businesses.
He began early (age 11) by selling his personal snacks at scout camp and, by age 17 he hired his friends to help him operate his landscaping business that earned him $10,000 for college. All in all, by age 20 he started and ran over $320,000 in businesses.
During this time, he taught other college students to run their own successful businesses and received the “Entrepreneur of the Year” award from Young Entrepreneurs Across America.
Chandler now speaks to students across the country teaching them the lessons he’s learned as a young entrepreneur and encouraging them to take the entrepreneurial leap.
We started off chatting about Breaking out of a Broken System (since it’s awesome), so I hope it spurs you to grab a copy.
I really enjoyed this book because it helps people live a better story (which I love) and I think part of that is living a bigger story than just for yourself. So, was the goal to donate from the beginning or did it emerge as you both wrote it?
This is about 15 things our parents taught us that we thought were pretty common knowledge, but when we got into the real world, we realized no one gets taught this stuff. So from day one, it wasn’t about us. It needed to be about other people. We weren’t doing it for money, so we thought hey, let’s donate all the money to charity. We can help other people.
Palmetto Medical Initiative was a natural fit [they were already connected through Seth and NEEDTOBREATHE]. The book is entrepreneurial, that’s a big focus of the book. Buy one book, save a life with a malaria pill. We really align with what Palmetto is doing. They set up self-sustaining clinics in Uganda and different places around the world. The clinics are able to run themselves once they get set up. The people who come to the facilities, you don’t pay if you don’t have the money and you pay if you do. They’re able to train Ugandan doctors, they’re really self-sustaining, which is awesome.
What do you hope people get from reading this book?
I think it’s really to give those 15 things. They were all life changing in one way or another for us. We really just want to give people confidence to break out of the broken system, to not be afraid to bash against the walls a little bit, to break out of the box that other people have put you in. Take the leap of faith and do things the way you want to do them. Don’t be so worried about what everyone else is thinking. So many people wake up when they’re 30 or 40 and look at the last 20 years of their life and say “wow, I went to a school I didn’t want to go to, got a job I didn’t want to work at and I’ve been doing that to pay off debt I didn’t want to have.” It’s a backwards path. A lot of the principles we teach in the book are to avoid that or correct that.
Y’all wrote the book in one week. How was it writing a book that fast (besides utter chaos ;)?
It was nuts! Especially because I don’t consider myself to be that good of a writer. Before this book, I hated writing. I would just stare at a blank screen and bang my head against the keyboard. In college, my friends would crank out a 3-5 page paper in an hour and I would stay up all night writing. We scheduled a week because of how busy our lives were. There was no way we could add this as one more thing and it would really drag on. This was our way of making it happen no matter what. We came in with a little bit of structure and then wrote our fingers off all week. With the help our very good editors, they made our third grade paper into something that people can actually read.
I saw there were printed copies. Is that something coming soon?
We’re going to release the hard copy of the book in the few weeks. We’re wrapping up the last few things for that. Those look awesome. They look really, really good. (Umm…I can’t wait to buy a hard copy!)
When did you decide to add author to your list of achievements?
I kind of fell into it and I’m doing it now, but it’s still a tough process.
Chandler also wrote The Productive Person Action Guide and I asked him to share a little bit about that too.
If you control your own schedule, its really helpful. It’s about managing your work-life balance. It’s not so much for those with a 9-5, but there’s some helpful stuff in there for that too. It’s a cool book. People can also go and get the audio version as well.
And now of course 4 Questions!
1. What is something about your life right now that you would never have imagined 5 years ago?
I’d never guess that I’d be living in San Diego and that I’d have two books published.
2. What is one thing that you would go back and do differently if you could?
I would take bigger chances and I would put myself in a position to fail more. And maybe would have dropped out of school sooner. Maybe.
3. What is one of the happiest moments of your life?
Life’s been really good. I think it would be a combo of things. Last fall was really good for me. I was studying abroad in Europe, snowboarding all the time, traveling, we launched A Productive Person and that blew up. The happiest time was when my parents and brother came to Europe and traveled with me for nine days. That was so much fun. It was close to Christmas time, my parents were there and they had never been to Europe. It was really cool to think, here I am a 20 year old punk kid and I’ve already been able to travel the world, do crazy stuff and make that happen for them – get them out there and for us to have an amazing time with the family. That was a pretty cool feeling.
4. What is one thing you want the next generation to know?
I would say that life is not the way it’s laid out for you. Question it and make your own path. Don’t just accept things at face value. Whatever you want to be, you can do it. I went to school in a small town. I wanted to do business and my only options were a financial advisor or doctor or accountant. I got into college and even outside of college, working around people, I thought “Wow, there’s actually a million things I can do on this earth to make money.” Making money is not a job, an occupation, a title. It’s convincing someone to pay you for something. I thought, I could do that. I could create something of value and convince someone to pay me for it. Once I had that realization, that was a total game changer. Now I don’t have to put myself in this box that everyone else was trying to put me in.
Thank you so much Chandler for taking time to join the blog – it was so great having you and I really enjoyed hearing part of your story!
Now, I need y’all to do two things ;). Go and buy Breaking Out of a Broken System. It’s $5.99 (Internet: I spend more at Chipotle). It makes all the difference. So please, join in! Second? Help spread the word about it!
This wouldn’t be a proper post without giving one away as well. How could I not? I’ve been to Africa and I can tell you it is full of amazing and beautiful people. More than any other post, I’d love for you to spread the word about this book and let’s reach the goal of 10,000 malaria pills.
As MJ once said (in the greatest short film of all time ), “We are here to change the world! Gonna change the world! Hee!”