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Dot-com. Wow, this one is awesome. You're going to love it. I just chatted with Paul Aragon. Paul was story is somewhat similar to Mark Owens story from episode 1 which is truthfully. What was the impetus for me? Starting this podcast. So if you haven't heard that when I definitely recommend you check that one out but Paul grew up in a broken home with not good role models and I had abandonment issues and identity issues and things. That got into drugs selling drugs was at one point making forty to eighty thousand dollars per week selling drugs. Eventually got arrested long, you know many ups and downs within the legal system and that kind of thing turned his life around in prison and absolutely did a 180 and is now running a multimillion-dollar roofing company in Colorado and is a financial coach has paid off all kinds of personal debt and is just making it an incredible positive impact in the world. So many cool nuggets within this one. You're going to love it. He turned his life around by accepting Jesus into his life and then kind of started with the internal changes. And now it's clearly making an impact going forward for. So for the small, Business owner. And for those who have had struggles financially or through the legal system, or even, you know, with relationships. This one is for you. If you have had personal debt, you know he's the you definitely want to listen to this one, so I thoroughly enjoyed this one. We went and got slightly long but that's because I just really enjoyed the conversation. And I knew that his story would impact people in a positive way. So enjoy. Inspiring stories.
Of real people. Overcoming incredible odds to live life to the fullest. We are all guaranteed to face. Hardships, how will we handle the adversity? Join us to be moved by every day, people who have turned poverty and prosperity, and weakness into wealth Be Inspired as these relatable Heroes, get vulnerable and former counterintelligence investigator Jamie Bateman puts his interviewing skills to the test, restore your.
Faith in humanity as you experience. True.
Cinderella's stories of average people turning surreal struggle and deep.
Despair. Into booming, businesses and financial Fortune. Take ownership of the life. You are destined to live.
And turn your adversity into.
Abundance. All right, here's the deal. You work hard for your money. Isn't it about time? You put your money to work for you if you are an accredited investor check out Labrador Lending.com Our integrity income fund provides monthly cash flow from an investment backed by hard. Physical real estate, our income fund which is uncorrelated to publicly traded stocks and bonds invest in first lien. Mortgage notes Diversified by geography property value and borrower type. So you're not investing in one project. You're investing in a diversified portfolio of first lien mortgage notes. Our integrity income fund aims to pay its investors monthly distributions at a preferred rate of return of 8% annually. Possibly, the best part though, the fun showcases, a short 12-month commitment. So you can invest your Capital today and have access to that capital in one year. Check it out today. Labrador Lending.com Welcome everybody to another episode of the form adversity to abundance podcast. I am your host Jamie Bateman. And today I am joined by Paul Aragon of Jireh 7 Roofing, Paul, how are you doing?
Today? Great, Jamie. Thanks for having me on.
Absolutely, for The Listener out there, normally I don't do this, but I am going to read a very short description found in a book. The chapter that you wrote in this book, called bringing value solving, Problems and leaving a legacy. So Paul Aragon overcame the odds and now runs a multi-million dollar award-winning company that he started from nothing, Paul started his construction career. Once he earned his GED religious, religious education degrees and a degree in machine technology while incarcerated. Paul is a man of integrity striving for excellence and to make a difference in the lives of everyone he meets. So I think that's A great kind of, you know, Segway or at least some context, as to who you are today. But I am sure you can add a little bit more context for our listeners. So, who are you and what are you up to today? Paul?
Well, my name is Paul are gone. I am 39 years old, I grew up in the Denver Commerce, City area. But who I am today, I am running a multimillion-dollar roofing company that we started from nothing, you know? And Have the business experience to start my company but I learned through working for other companies. In that time, I always wanted to start my own company and bring value to the marketplace and make a difference. So, today, that's what we're trying to do, is make an impact in our community. Mentoring other entrepreneurs, coaching them coaching other couples financially and just trying to reach out and really use everything that we feel God. Has given us to be a blessing to people. Oh.
Awesome. Yeah, I definitely want to dive into the mentoring and coaching and the personal finance side of things, for sure, later, because I think that's a much-needed service that you're providing. So okay, so let us jump back. I mean, the show is called, from adversity to abundance, so the listener knows that we're going to be discussing some adversity that you personally have been through. And like I said before, we hit record, This adversity falls into Financial or health related challenges or relationship struggles or possibly even legal difficulties. And my guess is you have dealt on some level with all four of those things? Yes, we have. So, tell me. Where do we? Where do we start? What, where do you want to pick things up from your history?
Well, I think I mean, it's best to start at the beginning, right? You don't read a book from end to beginning, but you start at the beginning and sure. I grew up in a broken home. Both parents were alcoholics, my dad was a womanizer. My mom was looking for love in all the wrong places. I saw her abused by many different men, drunk, all the time, I would get dumped off at abandonment issues. So there's the relationship part there. So early on I had a rough beginning and I Started looking for acceptance as a kid in the wrong places. Didn't have a father figure to really show me how to be a man. I was raised by a single mom. She didn't want me around my dad for the reasons that I listed before, you know, drinking, and he was a womanizing. So he always had money had his own home, but he was always plastered and my mom was like I don't want you around that Michael. You're drinking too. So what does that? It doesn't make a difference. So started off there in that. Let in Into relationships to me, looking to gangs drug dealing, you name it. I was getting in the mix at a very early age. Probably 10 11 between 10 and 12 years old. I was already doing some of the things that probably most people do until they're, you know, older teens or adults sometimes. So you know it affected my relationships growing from there into my teenage years, I started doing the same thing. My dad went womanizing was drinking partying. You and I dropped out of school in 9th grade because I was chasing money, I was making its making good money by the time I was 16. I think we're making almost 80 grand profit a week.
So this was selling drugs. Yes.
So went from marijuana is started you know as a Gateway and then went on to other things and by the time I was 16, I was carrying around duffel bags full of you know drugs cocaine marijuana, you name.
It So just curious, you know how, how much of it was where you do and how, you know, how much of this were you participating in? As far as doing drugs versus, no, I am going to be sober and be a drug dealer.
Well, it started off. We were just smoking pot. I mean, we would just, you know, smoke and drink. And then we started getting into the bars, and I wasn't old enough to drink, but they were letting us in the bar because I was keeping people in the bar, drinking all day and all night, because of what I was, Telling them with the cocaine. So we started dabbling, start doing a line here and there when we a drink and then it became like a party thing. So anytime we were partying, and I was the party favor person, We were, we would start doing some of that and dabbling, you know, I wouldn't get as bad as the people that I was selling to, but I would do it to maintain my level of sobriety to where it would keep me, intoxicated with the alcohol, it would level me out to keep me going. And that's pretty much what I used it for us to just stay up to keep making money into level me out with the alcohol.
And I imagine it could be wrong but I imagine it helps make it make a deal if you're You know if you're also a client if you will. Yeah you know. But, so I think you said 80 K per week in profit. That's astounding number. I mean, that's a lot of money. So personally just, you know, how much money were you personally taking home at the height of the, you know, your drug-dealing days?
I mean, we were I had guys coming from Iowa for shipments, and then we had four bars in our community that I had guys selling at. And then I had one myself that I would sit at. So we made ten Grand profit off the guys, and they would come two or three times a week, and that would be after I paid, you know, the other dealer, whatever, for the product. And then I would sell it and make my cut off of it. So we would make probably about, I would say, at least, 40 Grand of that. Would be ours of that 80 and, you know, breaking down whatever. We broke down. I would quadruple my money on that stuff because we were breaking it down into smaller quantities and selling it for much more. You know, when people buy bulky can't really do that. But it was crazy man because we were I was young now that I look back at it like what was I do? Where was everybody at? When I was doing this right were even 21 years old, and we were drinking at the bar. Like adults. And you knew we were young because we looked super young, but they, I mean, we never got caught there.
And it's just crazy. Yeah, no. That makes more sense. Now, as far as your ability to, I mean, I know you said you didn't have any business experience, but the reality is that you were starting wasn't that was business experience and learning how to scale. And so, okay. So you mentioned Being I think about 20 years old. So, pick it up from there. What happened at that point?
So if you know from 16 to 20, we were really just having at it. And then, once I started getting at the drinking age, I started developing a lot of enemies. And I had met a girl at 19 at the rec center working out. Both of you, I was still trying to work out at this time, doing all these things and putting all those toxins in my body and poison, still working out met. This girl fell in love with her. We hit it off. I didn't realize she was a bit younger than me. She was upstairs. Working out. The rec center meet her. Start selling to her family, the marijuana. We, we start dating real seriously time goes on. I find out she had a boyfriend, almost getting in fights and getting stabbed. And All kinds of nonsense will fast-forward 22. People start telling on me, they start calling the cops. I start getting followed things. Start coming to a close really quick. So at age, 22, I found myself arrested. I have previous arrests with as a juvenile with possession and consumption alcohol by minor possession of marijuana. Got caught driving under the age while drinking lost my License. So this all led up to this other big circumstance where we had a domestic violence, because I was drunk, her family had called the police on me because of the domestic violence and then told them I was selling drugs, and they hated me after all of that. So I got arrested, the cops went into my house. I was running my base, the basement of my uncle's home, and they searched my room. I had taken everything out except for I left you no residue and stuff like that in a safe that I had there. They found stuff in the trash where they could tell. I was manufacturing, something, you know, baggies with Corners ripped out of him.
So, mentally, before we before you kind of I think we're getting maybe closer to the to their well now but just close to the rock bottom or moving that direction of before we get there. So What's going on? What's your driving force? I know you said acceptance and things like that but mentally kind of what are you striving for? Is it just, is it just a party? What's your end goal with all this? Is there even an end goal?
Well, in to me, I thought, man, I am Gonna Be Rich. I am gonna hear, you know, I am gonna be like, a kink and people are going to do what I tell them. We're going to run the city, and we're going to start connecting to the surrounding cities. And then we're already got stuff. Going to the state. Eight another state. We were got had stuffed going to Iowa, they were driving out.
So well said power and I guess freedom.
I kind of wanted to prove to my parents will see. I didn't need you guys anyways, look at me. You know, I am on top of the world and your I was the life of the party. I had money. I had girls, it was just, you know, the acceptance thing of becoming like, identity, he sent her the main thing.
That's probably a yeah. I mean, Not trying to psychoanalyze and you know, play therapist or anything like that. But I that seems like that's what it really boils down to is your identity and your building adding to that identity and you know you have a purpose right? With all this too. So okay so you get arrested at age 22 and things start to come crashing down. Is that fair to say yes? Very quickly. My.
Friends had got out on bond, I had a hundred thousand dollar Bond buying the I sat in there for a little while I think it was a week and I had another hearing for a bond reduction because we had put in for it, and they accepted it, and they drop my bond down to ten thousand dollars. So, the cops had confiscated about 5,200 cash currency from me from that safe. They released it to my dad, my dad used that, while my aunt had paid, My dad used that to pay my own back to get me to bond out. Well, what do I do as the dog returns to its vomit? So the full repeats his folly, so I go right back to it, and they have the North Metro task force. Following me monitoring my home, I am getting even worse. So I start using the drug even more and getting drunk even sooner and I have just waking up just with the shakes and I had to have a bottle. Of alcohol. And I just got really careless. And to the point where it's like, I don't care, I am untouchable, they're not going to mess with me. I am going to do what I want and I got arrested again. Friends had told on me, but we were at the bar one night, and I was leaving to go pick up some curls for our birthday party that we were holding, and they had already had a dog and everything and told on me. So I got arrested a get out on bond which My charges and then an error, that's when things. Really just came to a hole in that was Rock Bottom because I was back in jail. And aggravated my charges. I was facing 25 to Life. They're trying to pin the RICO Act on me because people started telling on us and so everybody, you know, in the street terms, they call it snitching. So everybody starts telling and snitching, and Everybody's pointing the finger at me. So they're like, well this time we caught you with the drugs, this time they caught me driving that night drunk with the drugs from the bar. So they had that on me and then all the previous stuff for my juvenile record. They were trying to hold against me up until this time, so it really wasn't looking good.
So, a lot of the things you had you not messed up the second time, the, you know, the first round of charges, if you will, wouldn't have maybe turned out. So, so bad. But now their legal system says, we're going to double down and this is it, is that? Is that what happened?
Yep, it's so sense to me exactly what happened.
Okay, so second arrest, what happened after?
That? The district attorney I was in jail. The district attorney said, well, this kid has no regard for law. This young man does not care. Obviously, could tell, he keeps getting in trouble. He's out on bond, got another case. And so as I said, there's no deal on the table for him. We're not accepting this, so I asked for a continuance, drug it along, I was still kind of dabbling in jail, we were dabbling, we were making people cheek their medicine. And we were crushing it up making jailhouse Coke and some, you, wow. And we were at me, people were bringing stuff in. We got cigarettes, we I mean it was crazy, and I was still in the mix with the gang affiliation because of my sisters boyfriends from the childhood and all that or, so I kind of got acquainted and sucked into that along this whole thing. And.
Why is it is there pressure there to stay in I guess?
There was a me just because of who we knew, and then they looked at me because of who I knew the guys I knew were very high-ranking guys they would go to California for a roll call and stuff like that. It was super crazy, and they ran the whole state of Colorado for this particular gang, and I was scared, I mean, it's pressure, it's scary because you care. Well, they're either going to kill you or beat you down. Bad where they, you know, paralyzed you put you in the hospital to get out, right? And I was fearful of that I.
Had been understandably so and I appreciate you being so vulnerable and talking about it. I am sure even after all these years it's not fun to talk about. So kind of fast-forward for us. If you would or you know if there were any big moments in while you were incarcerated, talk about how things changed going.
Forward. Yeah. So I was sailed up with a guy that was doing all this, and he was from a totally different gang, but we got along, and we pretty much ran the unit. Well one day I just might man this isn't for me. I went back to court, and they're like look if unless you take this to trial and fight it, there are still no deal on the table for you. My so I need a continuance. I need to pray. I need to get to the law library. I need to look some stuff up. And I went back and went back to the unit and was crying, you know, I went to my cell and I just kind of broke down. I said, man, this can't be happening to me. I don't want to spend the rest of my life in jail or prison. And what am I doing? And my Sally came in, and he's like, what's going on with you? Like why are you, why are you acting like, you know, call me a sissy and you add another word like it like a wuss. Yes, I got other words though. Yeah. Cursing at me and everything and I said, look man, I just I can't sell up with you anymore. I gotta move, I don't want this. I got to start doing right? It's like now. What's gotten into you all man? Jailhouse, religion, we need right away. He started in and I had started attending church here and there. Well, I get a letter from my mom and everybody had quit contacting me or quit answering the phone. When I try to call their like you got yourself, Self in there. You're going to stay in there so nobody wanted anything to do with me. My girlfriend, I have got her pregnant. She's now my wife, you will care about that. Once he gets again, we I just think, man, I got a kid on the way. What am I doing? I am becoming just like my dad, I am worse. And I said, I would never do this. I was angry through my childhood because he left me and my mom and are my mom and him split up, right? And I went to my cell and prayed I said God Have you exist? I need to know that you're here and that you can help me with this. Like I just don't want this, even if I have to stay in here, I don't want to live like this. I don't want to be involved in this stuff. So can you change me? Can you show me? Can you bring my family back together? I want to be a dad to my kid. I want to, I want to. Can you give me a second chance? And I started attending Bible studies and had that said that prayer. And you know, just started essentially a relationship with God and really just started hanging out with different people and I started getting ridiculed for it right away, and they're like dude what are you doing? And I said man dude this is where this is got me like why would I try to do the same thing, right? It's not working. Yeah, that was the I Think the, the pivotal moment for me was right then. And there when I finally decided to like I am gonna give my life to Christ in, and I am going to let him change me and obviously, I have to make the decision. I had to have the mindset to make the decision to reach out. Sure. And decide that path. Um, yeah and endure the.
Ridicule. So sure, right now. How much longer did you spend in prison?
Then so jail. We were waiting to be sent home. Yeah. I had gotten arrested in January time. It went on February is when that happened extended court. So, I gave my life to Christ right around there? And then I stayed in their till about May 30th. I got sentenced in April, but in that time, I went back to court. They offered me a deal. So I told him I need time to think about this and call my family, my family starts talking to me, answer to my prayers, my family starts, interacting with me, I had lost my townhome. My cars were in the impound, like, everything I have lost it because I would just had, you know, while I was out on bond, I would just had moved out of my uncle's house and got my own, my own stuff and lost it all lost. All the, you know, all the money out everything was gone, and they asked me, what do you want us to bond you out again? Like, you're not stood still yet? And I said, no, leave me in here. And they're like, what I said? Yeah, leave me in here. I am get. I am going to get my GED. Don't put money on my books. Now that you're talking to me again, don't send me any money. They're asking if you want some money, and I am like, no, let me stay Indigent. They're like what is wrong with you? Who are you? And they're like my sister's like, where's my brother? I he cuss like a Serial, say whatever. First word and I said, God is changing me like this he's real and I came back to my jail cell that day after Corps, and I was screaming in the pot. God's really answered my prayers. My family's talking to me.
Court to cut me a deal. Yeah. Or they want to be.
Like, oh my God, this guy's lost it. He's like, yeah, house religion. They start teasing me again.
Well, how much of that did? So, I would guess in court, you, you brought that up, right? Or it's brought up as far as the changes you're making, right? And as but, how much of that do you think they look at? You know, the system? Look at this guy and say, come on man, we have heard this one.
before. Yep. Exactly. They're like what we have heard that before restore gone? That's great. If you are doing it, but we need more than this. So they were still, there were willing to give me a deal with it to the district attorney, but the judge that you could just tell by the looks on their faces. Like, we hear this all the time. Sure. No.
I mean, it's understandable, you from there? Effective. It.
Is a crafting a cop-out to try to cover stuff up?
And it's easy to talk a big game. You know, let us be honest, right? So they don't know, you know. So okay, so but these in reality were very real changes that were happening internally. It sounds like you were getting friction or at least at a minimum questions, serious questions and doubts from pretty much all angles. But at least you're getting some communication and some support from your family and making some Headway with the legal system so fast-forward up and kind of walk us through, you know, from that point until your eventual release, if you would.
Write the things start coming together, they let my wife along my girlfriend, come with me. Come to the jail. Visit me with my son. It was just a video and things just continue to change. Finally, they, please. Bargained it down, I get sentence. They said, okay, we will see if probational except you and we're going to see if probation doesn't accept. You will see if the halfway house will accept you. So if I go through these screenings got sentence, but it was on condition, right? It was condition that I accepted the plea. Plea, bargain agreement, that I would have to go through these, you know, investigations, they would, they would pretty much interview me to see if I was a candidate for either. Well, the probation screening failed. They accepted me for halfway house. I get sentenced to six years in a halfway house with a And that I can't see my girlfriend or my kid because he's a victim indicate in the first case. But the domestic. Okay, got it. And I said well how can you do this? And I didn't realize because they knocked off a ton of time from 25 to life. I got it down to 26, and they gave me six. So I was like, I will take it, you know, I am not doing 25 to life or for the RICO Act and kidnapping and all this stuff. So we got ourselves in a lot of trouble. I had Tony's. So I was like, I will sign whatever it is. I will side for six years. That's fine. Sure, and they sent me there. I was doing well, got a job But we didn't stop seeing each other. I took pretty much penitentiary chances to see them because I felt like well man, God this is unfair. I am trying to do right now. I am trying to follow you and you know, I got my GED while I was in there, graduated cap and gown, I did parent classes. I mean, I did whatever offers that they had and that County jail. And then, obviously distance learning Bible studies. I had begun and got out continue to do. The same thing going to church. My mom started taking me to church, she had prayed for me for all those years, she had changed her life around after ahead and head on car collision when I was about 12. So she had prayed for me all them years, but I was running the streets so kind of you know I left that part out, but she went praying for more crawl them. Here's.
Yeah, you never know what's going on in the background, you know.
People. Yeah. And it's super crazy because I think that was what in Acted me her love. I would persecute her and call her names and finally got set and still went to the halfway house doing well. But then there was a girl with a halfway house with very flirtatious and for some reason I don't know what she had it out for me. But I was like, no, I am engaged. I would propose to my girlfriend which was the mother of my, my son, and we went through a series of events, and she had waited for Me and stuff. We're doing well, and they finally caught us together and the girl was like, I know that girl that's picking you up. Is your ex you're not supposed to be around her because I told her now The Gallery at the halfway house and I said I am engaged.
So she told she ratted you out. Yep. As far as the visits with your now wife is what it sounds like? Okay. Yeah and I think you know often times that's how these things happened is like you are He mentioned multiple times people telling on you, which maybe in hindsight in some cases, was a blessing. But, you know, oftentimes, it's not that they, the cops are nestled necessarily out there. You know, beating the bushes and knocking on every door. Whatever. It's oftentimes an informant. But okay, so you get in trouble for visiting your girlfriend at the time we're fiance and you weren't allowed to. So, then what happened.
Back to court. The judge says, I told you I didn't want to see you. I would suspend for years if you completed two successful in that program and you were out there, nine months, and he screwed up. So I am going to sentence you to d.o.c. To the Department of Corrections for the six years.
Prison and you know, in there I continued to I got moved around a lot met, a lot of people but continued the Bible studies continued. They had more Programs there. And then I was starting to get physically fit because I was like, I am not gonna just sit around in here, and then they made you work in there for 30 cents a day or sometimes 60 cents a day, if you worked a full day. So that's how you earn your keep in prison. If you didn't get money sent in and just took every program possible. I mean, I got custodial certificates machine shops or certificates iron for degrees and religious education who I was. In there and I got good time. So I ended up only serving. I think about 2 years, 6 months on that. Got out on parole. They didn't want me seeing my wife and I went back for six months again, because I would want her pregnant, with our second child, our daughter and I have three children and then I did that and got out. Finally, in 2011, you know, it's got support from 2009. I finally got out of prison, this all originated in May of 2014. Gene or what not. We're not 2014 2006. Okay. Sorry, May 14th 2006. Sorry, I am getting the dates mixed up and then finally you know, went to jail. January. May now December. Now, it's fast-forward a year or two years I get out. And finally discharged in June, like, 21st of 2011 completely off paper, scot-free was working for a guy that did. From church was mentored by my pastor and became an intern and just continued to grow and develop and get healthy. I was working out in there with running three miles, every other day, hitting the weights, almost daily. If we had yard, but it continued, them habits of that structure from prison out to the streets.
And self-improvement in every way possible, it sounds like, let me ask Skew real quickly. We don't want to spend too much time on this but right now visiting. No, no, it's all good. I mean it's fascinating but this question about continuing to see your girlfriend fiance I guess, how do you view that? Now, in other words of, I mean, I know you she passed away with her but I guess the question really boils down to you were clearly breaking the rules. Right? And you know, but maybe if she wasn't in your life you wouldn't have done so well with the self-improvement. So how do you view that decision? Now from a kind of, I am breaking the rules, but I think this is the right thing to do. How do you view that?
Now. Well, you know, at the time I thought it was right, and I am like, man, this is my family, this is my motivator, this is my why I have a kid. Now, I have to live, right? I don't want to see what my dad did to me by leaving me and not giving me an example or a father figure to look up to or to care about me and gave me my identity, right? So I look at it at a couple different things. I mean after looking back and going through it all the Bible. It says to obey the authorities. Right? Sure. But then also it says that the authorities tell you to disobey God or aren't we obey God rather than men? So it was a definitely difficult. But I look back now and had they not been in my life like you, like you mentioned. Yeah I don't think I would have done as well. Sure, I did do it for myself but there was that external force. It can bill the motivated to help you push me to that next level. All of the day I gotta do this.
Yeah. Now it's probably almost an unfair question because it's impossible to answer but it's, you know, and you don't know how it would have turned out but so, okay. So you're clearly on an upward path. As far as making progress from a personal development, you know, Spiritual Development, physical development and now also, you just happen to have some Roofing. Professionals placed into your life, it sounds like. And so, hey, I am going to start learning this so kind of, as we wrap the start to wrap up here, not wrap up yet. But walk us through kind of the roof at the progress as far as Roofing and small business. How did that all.
Go? Well. And I in prison, I had a dream and a vision to eventually use the things that I was doing, whether it was machine shop or whatever. I just wanted to run a business. So I had written down a list. They're not Journal. I was journaling in there whether it be prayer, scripture, or just goals. And I said, I want to learn this, this, this and I had this list and I pray over it constantly and I keep it before me daily and pray over it and submit it to God and said, look, I want to learn all this. I want to be a good man. I want to have a good job when I get out. So, But that kind of sorry about that. I took that and, you know, continue to work on it and improve. So when I met this guy, I told me I want you to understand want to start a business, but I want to be in Ministry, he's like, we need to work, you know, you need to supply for your family, right was a good doctor, good guy at first, but then later on, he had me, he taught me sales. Taught me how to measure, roofs coming out of knock doors, and all this stuff to get business. I started doing small repairs and stuff for him. Things went South pretty quick. My wife thinks told me, I don't I said something bad about this guy. I don't know what it is. Ended up, ripping me off after I started doing really well in sales. As my first year, I had done some construction. I have been around construction to my dad built houses, but it was, you know, I was so little sure that the window replacements and stuff is my teenage years with a buddy of his, but this was, you know, my starting in Roofing industry, and we did some care off. I got heat stroke learned real quick. Being up on the roof is not fun and I rip me off and little did I know the same type of people were running the company and I lost a ton of money and had a third child at that time and got out with that third child being born.
And I am like yeah how did you I mean were you a partner in this company or how to?
Do? No, I was just a sales guy, a 1099. He had recruited me experts. I recruited a bunch of us Church, guys.
So how do they rip you off so badly? I mean, just commissions and I owed you that he didn't pay you or something.
Yeah, we were working under the table, kind of at first, just kind of knocking doors for 20 hours a week, we get 200 bucks for that, and then he'd have us do side jobs. So kind of subbing us work. Why didn't know how it worked? I was, you know, pretty much a sole proprietor at that time, right? Well, then You know, he was paying us consistently, and then he's like, man, you're getting really good at sales. You should just be my sales partner, my gray. Well, how does this work? And like, what do we got to do? He's like, well, I will get you folders and contracts, and we will get you a company truck. So it wasn't even his company. He was like a field manager and a production manager for the company, but they pretty much gave him what he needed to, I mean, he brought people on to help and all this stuff. Well, they gave me a truck for a little while, and I am knocking doors with him. And his, you know, in his truck driving around doing really well, setting appointments. And while these first jobs, he's training me how to fill out the paperwork and fill out the contracts and do all the stuff. I had no record of me doing it and I didn't throw out a W-9. I didn't know how it worked. Sure I was hustling all my life, so I am like swim. If I turn this money under the table we're good, right? So then, you know, there was no history of it. The officer called me after, you know, storm season rolls through, and we're just crushing it isobe if you fibrosis in like two months. And, They said, hey, we noticed, you know, you're working with Steve but your name is on some of these contracts. Now, we're starting to see these contracts with your signature on it, with your telephone number on it, but you're not requesting.
For it. Yeah. And I am like well, how does this work? Sure. She's like, you need to come in and meet with the GM. This is ridiculous. He's getting draws towards your guys's jobs.
So sorry too. If that's, so he ripped you off approximately looking back. How much money did he rip you off for approximately? Did.
The calculations? It was almost about 16 ground, sixteen thousand dollars.
Which was at that point in your life, and I am sure. Now to, I mean, it's a lot of money, right? So but okay, so fast-forward from that point of getting ripped off up to today. I know that's a lot to cover but also augment.
So we split up as the sales team work for just the owner of the company by myself under, just me, figured out how it works. Well, we stopped, getting paid got ripped off by him for about 20. I pulled all my files on my paperwork. There's a few gentlemen that were working for them started. Their company said, hey come work for us is to beat, I don't know who to trust. I just got ripped off whites. So they gave me gas money. Got I started to work for them for a little while their partnership dissolved and I said to heck with this, I am going to start my own company. I already had my company name Incorporated in listed in 2012 when I work for the since that first company, I had registered it because they were had. They had to pay me under that company names. They were paying me under my name in their account said hey he needs to have a business name because it's looking like he's an employee. So kind of the covered a taxes, and I was a 1099. They didn't really tell me, you know what to do, or where to go. I finally had my own vehicle. Well, the one gentleman offered me partnership, it was a short-lived partnership with that company. He overdrove the account, didn't have a license. I realized he didn't know what he was doing. I said, oh, that's why your partner's left you. So I say, if you don't get your crap together in this x amount of time, I am moving on. Why I passed an ICC test? I was a license holder. So I said, you know what? We had multiple meetings, he wasn't changing, he was doing drugs. I said, look, you're a pastor son. If you don't change, you know that. You know what? What To do that. I am going to have to leave. So I told her office manager. Hey, I am going to pay you for another four weeks until you find something. But we I am going to have. We're gonna have to close down the doors. I am leaving, I don't know what Jules can do, but at this point, we're going to have to pay you to do the right thing. But you're gonna have to find another place in employment. I am sorry, this is just the Partnerships not working out. So I started my own company and We started off. I did all my own website, all my own everything. I built the whole thing obviously with God's help, but.
I did everything, your current website or was it that?
Well, yeah, up until this point, we just hired somebody just recently but just curious.
Because I am on there now and it looks great.
Yeah. So they finally fixed a few things for me. And we changed the logo. Did a few things that my wife, my wife came in and it's like, we need to change stuff. But yeah, from growing from you. No overdrawn account. Five thousand dollars in my pocket to start off on my own, I had to get deposits. People trusted me because of who I was prior to with the two companies. So I had history in a track record with customer service. And people would tell me, I don't even care who you work for, I don't care where you go. I just want you to do my roof because I know you will manage it properly. And I was overseeing Crews and all that, you know, through them companies and a lot of my guys that I had recruited trying to Company man, at these two companies, they just followed me. So I already had my proofs child's. That's already.
Good amount of experience managing and sales as well. Yet experienced, you know, managing people you had experience with customer service, like you said you had experience with Hands-On Roofing the actual you know product that you're providing and so you don't need these.
These other guys know and I had an expensive training right there. Rip me off. So everybody have to do, you can do this on your own? So I just like boarding independent. We were always like a subcontractor. Sole proprietor all than your. So I say we have been in business but not, you know, Full Throttle with an online presence and all that we were always a subcontractor with the same business name for all them years. But independently we have been around since 15 2015 up until now.
As the what's been from a Maybe from a financial standpoint. What's been the highlighter? You know, how well has your business done the last few years?
Our greatest year, we had back-to-back million multimillion-dollar years, right before covid hit? And you know, we got up to 2.5 million dollars and it was just me. It was a route one-man wrecking show.
Is that Hanson gross sales or yeah? Okay. Gross sales. Yeah.
And since then We, we have stayed consistent at a million dollars, you know, we took a little bit of a hit when covid originally hit because we try to go retail instead of storm because we did a lot of storms. We did a lot stormwater and that kind of B us, but we have had to bounce back through that in lieu, of all this. I mean, we grew up poor, we are learning how to manage money. We paid a hundred eight thousand dollars of debt off, and this process of us, starting our company and all this. I bought our first home in 2019 and then purchased another poem that we didn't think was way out of our League last year. And it's just been a blessing you know to be able to have guest rooms and stuff like this. Now where when people come over, like my mother lost things downstairs in the Mother-in-law Suite on the main level now. So it's just super cool that we have been able to hold classes for people too financially. To share with them. Hey, it's not all going to come together right away, you're going to have to work at it. It's going to take daily habits and daily discipline. And if you could do a few things each day, to impact your business, and impact your financial future, that's what you got to do. And if anything stands in your way, and if you're doing things that you're not aligning with your goals and that mindset that I had, I had to learn from trial and error because I didn't have you no business background, have really mentors to teach me. I mean, all my Stakes for my mentors and walk together people make mistakes. So that's what I used to build my business to what it is today. And, you know, we have had our ups and downs as well, still sure, it's just part of business dealing with people, but we're still around a lot of companies from 2022. Now, there were companies left and right shutting their doors are suppliers, would call it snake. Hey, the market shares going to grow, I know that there's going to be somebody else that's going to start a company. But we just, we just had to call 12. Of companies now asking why they haven't paid their material bills. They have shut their doors. Wow.
That's I mean it's a phenomenal story and I know it's not done yet your story but just considering where you come from so many different perspectives financially and you know all the prison time and everything. It's amazing but I love that. You're you also focus on the personal finance side. I mean you're clearly viewing that as a major blessing and area that you have made a ton of progress and not just the business. There's so many rabbit holes, I would love to go down, but looking back, and we're going to get to a few questions here. But looking back. What are you have already spoken to this somewhat? But one or two, just kind of Lessons Learned. I know it's impossible to distill it down. You probably have 20 lessons but for the listener out there, you know, looking back, what's a one or two lessons that You have learned out of.
All this. I mean at the end of the day, it's up to you, to make the decision, you can't give up just because you endure a little bit of Hard Times, doesn't mean that it's the end of the, It's the End of the Road, you're still alive. You're still breathing. That means you still have a purpose and there's still room for you to grow and learn and Achieve so much more and to help other people. One thing that motivated me to do that. And that's I think that's my biggest takeaways. God didn't waste any of this. He used my adversity to elevate? Yeah, like I think about an eagle, the winds caused them to soar above Heights, that none of us could even fathom to even think that we could get up to right. I mean, sure. Sometimes they're up there, and I am like, holy cow. That's almost touching the plane, you know. And by, I mean, the Eagles get up there with the Winds of adversity. So that I think pushed me, and there were times, where did I want to give up? Sure. But using Nothing in my life and watching people fail and watching people must make mistakes instead of just ridiculing and focusing on them say, well, I am not going to do that. I am going to do this different and then making a plan from that and just using all them things, not giving up and letting them winds take me, like, even now this year, we have had a little bit of a rough season here towards the end, but I know there's a purpose in it. Yeah, there's a purpose in your pain so that those are a couple things that I would say.
Huge. And it's not always easy to see it in the midst of the storm right now, but just to know that you will have more struggles, you will have more challenges and that it, like you said, they don't have to be wasted. They can be used for a greater purpose and used for your benefit of your family's benefit and those around you, I am going to fire through some questions then we can talk about kind of how you're helping people today. What's one thing? Thing that people misunderstand about.
You, Oh, I am easily misunderstood because I could come across as insensitive. I say things and it's because I care so much about people. Yeah, it like you know it's almost like a child, you see your child new to see the potential like what are you doing? You know, why are you doing that? You know, you have so much potential, why are you wasting it? So that's the thing where I think people misunderstand me is I come across very abrasive. Yeah.
But I can't really might swim Smiling. Yeah. I get it. What we have already talked about a good bit of this. But what's one of your biggest failures or how would you frame, your one of your biggest failures or setbacks in?
Life? Well, I mean there's a few that I can think about if just not getting sucked into the crowd, not being a people pleaser, I wanted to be accepted as a kid, so I searched for purpose and identity. Yeah, but now as I am running my business, one of the failures I had been just really not having a full plan or my expectations of certain things that I was doing, whether it was up myself or people. I hired that kind of let go and got kind of complacent, and I didn't keep my hand on the wheel so to speak. So, I mean, just the, those are the things that I have learned from of, just like investing in stuff and just thinking all leaving it on autopilot and, you know, kind of got lazy with stuff, you know, we had multimillion-dollar years back to my car, you know, our reputation. Growing were killing it. Sure and then we took a 63% hit right away in that first quarter and it was like holy crap, you're over here at 63%, that's huge and.
It hit me hard. And it was a big failure for on my part because I started becoming reactive instead of proactive.
Got it. And within your business you're talking about. Yeah. Yeah, I just try to find the quote but I summarized it, but I just read something from a CEO, the other day who, basically, he said that all businesses are, you know if you peek under the hood, all businesses are essentially one big cluster if you will and, you know, they're all screwed up and some despite all the problems and Challenges and Chaos are still profitable. And so you know, for me because I have several different small businesses myself and you know it can I read it in and it's comforting to me to know that look, even the big businesses that you think are all buttoned up Apple and all, you know, they got they have issues, right? So it's probably pretty easy to find the issues and the people who work there know about the issues. But, you know, there's a, there's a lot of Chaoses in small. Yes, and Entrepreneurship. So, for the listeners out there, I mean it's you know it's not easy and but if you know that this is okay. And there, you know, you can still be profitable. You can still get through it. I think that's a healthy way to look at things. Yeah, if you could have coffee with any historical figure, who would it be? Wow.
That's, that's a tough one. There's a lot of people I would like to pick their brain.
Who comes to mind, doesn't have to be your favorite, but just one or two.
I mean, I have to obviously if I could meet God face to face and have coffee with Jesus, that would be great. He just knows everything, right. So but 11 business person, and one book that's impacted me that I keep continuing to read as Napoleon steel, Napoleon Hill, Think, and Grow Rich. I just think some of them are principles in there. Just people have bought day. We have the technology like the storage in there of Edison and all that. I mean, just how they put that together and just the mindset of all those things. I think I would really like to meet somebody like that, that persevere even amidst struggles, and Technical, and not having technology in, like, people that have built businesses. Yeah, we're booming, I mean, or even Henry, Ford, the just a mindset, he wasn't the smartest person in the room, but he found them and the real stuff. Those things are cool because a lot of the quotes have impacted my life.
Nice. It's awesome. I love it. If you were given 10 million dollars tomorrow, what would you do?
With it? I would invest it and diversify definitely. And obviously, I would give some away to Charities and those less fortunate people that grew up, like, I did. That's been my biggest thing, is, I told my wife, I really want to either join in a charitable organization that helps people that grew up like me that they don't have to, you know, hopefully not go to prison or go through that extent. What I went through but help them, if they're having struggles like I went getting them rehabilitated and giving them opportunity to learn a trade or it and given them some business advice and just help them with their financial coaching and stuff like that. That's definitely what I would do with the money is obviously invested to make more money and then be able to continue to give money away in and out build and reach more people.
Yeah, awesome. Love it actually. Just your story reminds me really is. In a lot of ways of the episode 1, we had a Mark Owens on the show and it's a, he's a Baltimore real estate investor, he's sold off a lot of his portfolio, but he, his story actually was, this is, you know, for the listener out there, if you haven't heard episode 1, I would absolutely go back and listen to it. His story legitimately was the impetus for me to start this podcast and in a lot of ways. Paul, your story is very similar. He didn't necessarily accept God or religion per se, but lots of drugs and crime and through prison just entirely turned his life around, and is impacting people in a very positive way. So very, very similar in some ways. And so, it's a yeah, just wanted to throw that in there. But so, let us talk about how as we wrap up here, how you are coaching people Oil on the it sounds like on the personal finance side of things may be in business as well. But what does that look like for?
You? Well, I mean, obviously, we're involved at sure. I was a man's Pastor for a while, so my Ministry was two men just for men to lead at home because if you can't lead, by example, more of caught than taught. I always say. And we always say, oh, tell them all this stuff, you know. But at the end of the day, if we could reach demanding, we reach the family. And it's the, if we could get the husband and wife on board with couples coaching with turn, you know, teaching them how to budge it. Most Fights in a marriage start with money. Usually adds a lot of strain to a marriage or relationship and if we can help the men Lead their families, love their wives. And their children are reached and generations are impacted. So we started with our sphere of influence within the church. And then, as my business, you know, as I meet people, we have made a lot of friends through business and I have used the business has a platform to offer that to people. And mostly we have reached out to couples in our family because we wanted to break the cycle. And we have started with that and have continued with that over. The last couple years of just reaching out in, like, like I said earlier, mentoring, my wife's cousin, her husband starting a business, her niece and her nieces fiance and people that I know that reached out to me. I am in a string, two guys, from Texas, that are running companies. Oh wow, I am teaching them, you know, Commercial Roofing, and you know, profit margins and making sure they're doing a job costing and just the basics of business and find out personal finance and have Give them a foundation whether it's through the zoom or ruin in-person meeting. So that's pretty much what we're primarily focusing on now and hopefully it will expand eventually. But if we could just even if we could just reach the one, you know, absolutely saves. Reach the one. And man, so many lives will be impacted because that she might read somebody that's like, a Billy Graham that reaches millions of people. Yeah. And it trickles. It's Ripple. Yeah.
Now you're right, you don't have to necessarily personally do all the work that you're trying to, you know, immediately, see the outcome that you're trying to see you can, you know, train others to train others and keep it expands and expands. I love the concept of taking ownership. I mean, I love the concept of obviously, turning your life around that's easier said than done. But, I mean, your credibility in doing this coaching and mentoring look. If you kind of done it the wrong way and now you're doing it the right way, and it's like, you're not just some, you know, pungent talking at people, right? You can actually speak to what's worked for you and you know what hasn't I just love. Also, the fact that you know a lot I think a lot of people hide behind the fact that you know, money, people say money doesn't buy happiness, or you know. And I we could save it for another. Her day that the eye of the needle type stuff. But, you know, the fact is money, is all throughout the Bible and it's extremely important. You know, it could be used in terrible ways and great ways and I think it's very powerful and it personal finance is hugely important, and unfortunately, a lot of people will in my opinion, take the easy way out and, and not deal. With it and you know, you're clearly taking ownership and then teaching others to do the same, so I love it. It's awesome. Anything you want to add to that.
Money is a tool money will make you more of what you are. I have heard it said by, you know, various Financial people like Dave Ramsey, another two people but money is a tool it's used. It's used to help people if it's used in its right way, but if you're doing things just for money, You're going to be left disappointed. If money is your why you're in business for the wrong reasons? It's that's great.
You know everybody, listening is meant. They were created to make an impact or some sort. You're Meant To Be A Difference Maker and you have a purpose. And I just want to encourage, you know, whoever's listening that, you know if you use money for the right, we right reasons and use it to help others and obviously invest and make more obvious. Think of the parable of the talents with you. No stewardship, being a good manager of what you have with your gifts to not just money, but your time, and your gifts, your talents your everything. But, yeah, you're there. Everybody's Mets. Make a difference. Yeah, definitely do that for you.
You will also be given more to be a steward over. If you can show that, you can be a good Steward over a small amount. But yeah, so it's this is fantastic. Like Paul, we went along because selfishly I just enjoyed the conversation. Well yeah.
Sorry I love to share to because if I can impact one person or the story, I just thought I love Sharon.
So now it's awesome. I mean it's a you literally are the ideal gas for the podcast me because this is exactly the intent is to show that you can turn your life around. You will be going, you will go through adversity that takes on a different form for everyone. One. But if you take ownership of your life and you're willing to put in Daily hard work and you know, kind of point to a positive Northstar if you will, and you absolutely can turn your life around you. I mean, you have shown it, you have shown that it's possible. So, thank you very much for your time for the, for the listener out there. How can they reach out to you?
You can reach me, you know, for speaking engagements, I use a different email Paul Aragon 5 at live.com, but they can also reach me on my cell. 7, 2014 9987 for Facebook, Facebook profile, Instagram profiles search. Paul Aragon will find me. You will see my photo and if you scroll through the pictures I have a picture with Dave Ramsey and all that on there, I got to meet him they have been a big influence in our lives but Yeah, it's hard to reach us if you need a roofing Services, Paul Aragon at gyrus, 7, Enterprise az.com. So, thanks for having us today me. I appreciate it. Absolutely, very.
Long-winded. So I know it's all good. Yeah, for the listeners is not watching on YouTube, it's Aragon ARA g0n. Just wanted to spell that for people. So awesome. Paul this has been fantastic, I really had to stop myself from going down different rabbit holes because they're immediately. Many questions I wanted to ask, so maybe we will have you back on if you'd be open to that in the future so and thank you so much for just, you know, turning your adversity into abundance and positive impact in the world. I think that goes a long way. So appreciate you doing that. And it's, it's so much harder than you know, we gloss over a lot of things on the show, a lot of the ups and downs and, you know, but thank you very much for your time and what you're doing. So we really appreciate it. Yeah, likewise, thank you.
Appreciate you having me here.
Absolutely into the listener out there. Thank you for spending your most valuable resource with us and that is your time. Thanks, everyone. Take care. Thanks so much for tuning in to this episode of the form.
Adversity to abundance podcast. If you're enjoying the show, please feel free to rate, subscribe and leave a review wherever you listen to your podcast. Tests that helps others find the show, and we greatly appreciate it. Thanks again for listening, and we will catch you in the next episode.