How to Grow into Greatness with Kash Hasworth
By Yuresh Shayzer
September 12, 2023
In today’s episode, our guest is Kash Hasworth. He is a disruptive sales leader, entrepreneur, and author of "Selling Keeps You Broke". After scaling a wireless franchise to 28 locations in his early 20s, he emerged as a formidable force in the renewable energy arena. He arms his readers with the tools to learn, elevate, and disrupt.
[3:15] Why should I listen to you?
I believe life is profoundly influenced by one's perspective. The key to my ability to attract exceptional individuals and navigate my journey from a challenging past to boardroom success, scaling multiple businesses, and achieving personal breakthroughs, lies in my perspective. I view everything as working in my favor, even during failures or setbacks. Regardless of the intensity of adversity or difficulty, I see it as ultimately benefiting me rather than working against me. When you encounter someone with such a perspective, I strongly recommend welcoming them into your circle.
[5:00] Where did this skill set come from?
Regarding many of the skills I possess, such as sales and leadership, I can confidently say they weren't innate abilities. However, when it comes to perspective, I've always been more of an introvert. From as far back as I can remember, I've had a sharp perspective. What truly defined it for me, though, was experiencing the loss of very close friends. When you lose someone who feels like a brother, it hits you hard, and you realize that life shouldn't be taken so seriously. I believe it all stems from that experience, which was a pivotal point in my life. It made me understand that if I wanted to change my destination, I had to change my course.
[7:28] Can you share more about your journey during that period?
Before changing my path and coming home, my father was a notorious drug dealer, and I essentially inherited that business when I was around 14. However, when the state kicked in and took him away, he ended up serving six years in prison. Meanwhile, my mother was dealing with some health issues. I'm not making excuses, but I was the only one who could step up and be a provider. People often act based on the information they're exposed to, and our reality is a reflection of our surroundings. That was my environment. So I found myself deeply involved in the drug game at the age of 14 or 15. My father had a tough life himself, and I tried to live up to his legacy, which led to aggressive behaviors and associating with the wrong crowd. One thing led to another, and I ended up in a shootout where someone got shot. As a result, I went to prison for two years. It's crazy how life can thrust you into situations you never imagined, like when I was in foster care, completely removed from the life I once knew.
[10:30] Did you reach a point where you felt like you were finished with your previous pursuits and needed to move on? Or did you experience moments when you shifted gears abruptly, saying, 'I'm done with this'?
After my release, one thing was clear: I couldn't return to my former life. My mother still struggled, my father remained in prison, and many close friends were incarcerated, including my best friend, stationed in Germany. I initially fell back into selling drugs but soon distanced myself from friends and headed down a destructive path. One day, during my long walks to clear my head, I stumbled upon an abandoned elementary school. At a picnic table, I sat, unsure of what to ask for; I only sought a life of normalcy and a different environment. I sat there in tears, having a candid conversation with God, pleading for connections to the right people, information, and resources to escape my tumultuous past. My prayer was answered, and opportunities started to surface. The right people entered my life, offering the guidance I needed. With newfound hope and determination, I was on a path to change, leaving behind a life I knew all too well for one filled with promise and potential.
[12:56] What were the initial opportunities that helped you make that transition?
Prison, strangely enough, turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me. It exposed me to adversities, hardships, and intense situations that either break you down with fear and insecurity or make you the strongest person in the room. For me, it became a benchmark for my intensity level, a level I've carried into the corporate world. In corporate spaces, I've never been intimidated because nothing matches the intensity I developed through my experiences. Failures, setbacks, losses, and terminations can't sink below the level of intensity I've known all my life. Instead, they've granted me immense confidence.
[15:10] How was your journey in this direction initially kick-off?
My journey continued when a friend introduced me to the Workforce Career Center program, which aimed to support at-risk youth from low-income backgrounds, often with criminal records or other barriers. The program placed us on job sites to gain real-life experience. Initially, they wanted me to work at the Career Center itself, eventually creating a youth liaison role for me to help other at-risk youth by sharing my story. Unfortunately, corporations shut down the idea, and the program eventually ended. I was left in the job market, still trying to find my way, and an employer was willing to hire a felon. That's when I stumbled upon an opportunity in the wireless industry, starting as a part-time sales rep at a small kiosk in Martinsville, Virginia. Little did I know that this humble beginning would launch my career in an unexpected direction.
[17:28] What do you believe were the distinguishing factors that set you apart from your counterparts and contributed to your remarkable success?
I approach every room as a student, eager to learn from others. This mindset led to the FAR method, a framework I discuss in my book. It involves studying experts, adopting their habits, and continuously improving. Starting in the wireless industry, I had minimal training and layers of leadership above me. Still, I was determined to master every role. My charismatic trainer, one of the top performers, became my mentor. I learned from him how to engage people, even in a kiosk environment where eye contact is often avoided. The company lacked training materials, but I was resolute in not returning to my previous life. I observed my trainer's charisma and adopted his tactics, always seeking to learn and grow. This approach contributed significantly to my corporate success.
[21:00] Can you describe the process of expanding a company, like the one where you assisted in growing it to 20 locations?
Initiative played a significant role in my journey. Stepping into a role before officially holding it can take you far. When recruiting, I value candidates with strong personalities and initiative. Initiative often outperforms raw talent. One key move was consistently BCCing the owner on my emails when I took over a location. This proactive communication style led the owner to ask me to handle communications company-wide. I took on these responsibilities without an immediate pay increase, but it eventually paid off. I expanded to manage multiple locations. Starting with one successful location, I realized that finding talented salespeople wasn't enough. To scale, I needed to find leaders who could replace me and run the store effectively. This unique perspective on staffing contributed to our success and the growth of multiple stores.
[25:45] What did it look like for you to look at the next progression of your career?
As we scaled the business, we managed 28 locations across four states for Intel's wireless. Intel's Wireless was a regional carrier similar to Verizon or Sprint, operating in four states. Despite having fewer locations than some competitors, we became their number-one dealer by sales volume. However, the wireless landscape changed. First, Intel's Wireless was acquired by Sprint, and we navigated that transition successfully. But then, Sprint merged with T-Mobile, and to become a T-Mobile dealer, you needed over 300 locations. Realizing that leaving on their terms wouldn't be favorable, the owner explored an exit strategy. Back in the marketplace, I joined another wireless company as a sales rep, quickly becoming their top performer among 400+ salespeople. I moved into leadership roles and helped them scale a door-knocking team. But when that company went under, I found myself back in the marketplace, ultimately leading to the creation of Solar Ignite Group.
[35:08] What was the catalyst for a book coming out of you?
The book is titled "Selling Keeps You Broke: A Holistic Approach to Disruptive Sales Performance to Earn Big." I decided to write this book because it was a natural progression of my journey. It only took me 29 days to write because I had been documenting these insights throughout my entire career. My digital notebook is filled with frameworks, quotes, and key concepts that have shaped my approach for the past 15 years. But more than just sharing my knowledge with other sales professionals, this book is a legacy for my three sons. I want to provide them with a blueprint for achieving success and winning in life.
[37:35] Do you still see yourself growing and learning as you age, even with the blueprint you've created for your kids?
Success is a dynamic goal. To be successful, whether as a leader, salesperson, or elite professional in any field, one must embrace the idea that it's an ongoing, evolving journey. Every day is an opportunity to learn and improve. I dedicate time each day to absorb new content and refine my skill set because growth is continuous. I believe in instilling the same values in my children. For example, my 12-year-old son has a rule: Before he can use his PlayStation 5, he must watch at least three educational videos of his choice.
[42:29] What promise did God make to the world when he created you?
To help elevate and expose people to the right information that allows them to escape the environment that they feel confined to.
[26:40-26:45] If you're not aggressively investing in yourself, you're not going to be able to attract the next-level leader.
[26:50-26:55] Critically focus on self-development, communication, leadership, delegation, and accountability.
How to connect with Kash Hasworth