Brett Fellows Torrey Glass. Welcome to The Retiring Entrepreneur Podcast.
Torrey Glass Well, thank you. It’s a pleasure to be here.
Brett Fellows I am very excited to have you on today. As we were just saying, talking before the show, we’re longtime friends, maybe even family, we’re not sure. But I have known you for a very long time. And whenever I think of the entrepreneurial mindset, you are probably one of the people that comes top of mind.
Brett Fellows You’ve never been shy to give your opinion about what’s a good idea for a business venture or a marketing idea. So that’s why I’m really excited to have you on today. Just to give the listeners an idea of what type of person I’m talking with, I know you have probably a 50-year career in sales. And it’s been all different walks of life, but to the most recent, I’d say the last 17 years if that sounds correct, with Mortgage Network. Now I know that that is with a corporation, but we know that that is a production-based business. So you’re not getting paid to sit at your desk. You must produce in order to get paid.
Torrey Glass I’m certainly not getting paid to sit here right now.
Brett Fellows Yes. As well as TST Ventures, which owns a restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina, 60 Bull Cafe, which you started in 2015. And that is just a small slice of what we might see on your LinkedIn profile. We know that there’s lots of real estate, inside things going on there as well. So I think our listeners will very much benefit from having you on the show today.
Torrey Glass Well, I hope they will. I’m at that stage of my life now, where I kind of look back and I say to myself, well, how the heck did I get here? And where am I going to go? And what am I going to do? As you know, I’m approaching retirement, probably more quickly than I want. But for years, I’ve always preached that, you know, you can’t go from 60 miles an hour to zero. So I look at heading into retirement as kind of a step-down process.
Torrey Glass And so as we discussed before the show started, I am in the process, and have been for the last year, of kind of divesting myself of some of my interests in preparation for that. So I can kind of just slow down a bit. My wife is fully retired now. And so she’s apparently wanting me to be around, though I’m not sure that’s the best. But I say that with love and kindness.
Torrey Glass So yeah, where did it all start? I think the interesting thing for me is, and I love the fact that, you know, you’ve always thought of me as more of an entrepreneur. I was a corporate guy for like 25 years. My father was an entrepreneur, and he owned businesses and real estate interests in New York, outside of New York City. The last business that he had was a travel agency. And as I was climbing the corporate ladder, he and mom were getting ready to retire, and he offered me the travel agency.
Torrey Glass And I said no, I was a corporate guy. I wanted to, you know, I was going to be president of the division. So I said no. Sometimes I look back I go, well, okay, missed that one. But as I hung around the corporate structure, and again, I left because you said I’ve never been shy about telling people what I thought. In fact, I think that made a difference in my corporate career. When I was a sales guy, I kept telling the marketing people what they were doing wrong until finally to get me off their back, they may be one of them.
Brett Fellows So this was in the 1980s, right? So we’re talking, marketing and sales were separate. They were two silos, right?
Torrey Glass Yes, exactly. They were two silos. That’s exactly right. And that was actually, let me see. I started my career in ‘74 and went into retail, Macy’s, because I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I graduated with an economics degree from Duke. And much to my parents’ chagrin, I ended up you know, going to a department store. That lasted for about 18 months. And I knew that all the sales guys who were calling on me, they all had good tans and hockey tickets. So I thought I’m on the wrong side of the desk.
Torrey Glass That precipitated a move on to the sales side. I went to a company in small appliances. And the reason I bring that up is because you’ll see, how did I get to a restaurant? I got to the restaurant piece because my entire life was rotating around food things. I just didn’t know it.
Torrey Glass So Sunbeam appliance company, where I spent 10 years, moved up, started in sales, moved from a sales job into national account sales. Actually, their youngest national account sales manager in company history. And that’s where I started telling the marketing people what they were doing wrong. Then suddenly, I was manager of new product development.
Torrey Glass So I did that for a while, that was part of my corporate career. And again, you know, I hadn’t awakened to the fact that I really was much more entrepreneurial than I, you know, than I would give myself credit for. Left them, joined another company. Was recruited to another company down in Miami, because who wanted to live in Chicago? And so I spent five years in Chicago and finally thought Miami would be a nice place to go.
Torrey Glass So I spent a couple of years there. This company was involved in products, haircare products, bath. Left them, got recruited to another company in Richmond, Virginia. This is where I start to, I think become more entrepreneurial. Because it was a smaller company, was owned by some venture capitalists out of the Northeast. And I was brought aboard as VP of marketing and sales. Because we thought all it needed was a sales fix. The president and myself, once we fixed sales, we found out that once you stress manufacturing and they’re not making chrome buggy whips every day, and you ask them to make one in blue, big problem. Big.
Torrey Glass So I became, it was kind of the beginning of the education piece. Because I had always been curious about other businesses, you know, that you want to talk through the years, I always ask, okay, what about this business? You know, tell me about what you’re doing? So I had to, almost as a matter of corporate survival, learn all the other aspects of the business. Learn about, you know, I’d go out, the production people used to say, you’re the only sales guy I ever knew who would be on the floor at 7 am with the manufacturing people. That’s the only way you’re gonna find out what’s going on.
Torrey Glass And that progressed, I did that for a while. We made four acquisitions in 18 months. I learned a lot about acquisitions, absorbed them all, went through a corporate name change, all of that stuff. So that was all, it was all building. It was all basically going into me as a vessel for information.
Torrey Glass Left that company, was recruited to Rubbermaid. Now we’re back to kitchen-like stuff, right? Although the division I joined originally was outdoor furniture, then I moved into outdoor products, But it was Rubbermaid, let’s face it. And I learned a bit more there, learned a bit. Now we’re at, you know, it’s a Fortune 500 company. Lots of layers of management. And what I was becoming more aware of as I went was, okay, I’ve got the production piece, I’ve got the sales and marketing piece. What I really want to make sure I’ve got, because I had it, but I didn’t, I needed to tone it, was the financial piece.
Brett Fellows How old were you at this point, Torrey?
Torrey Glass My Rubbermaid days, I think I was just 40 at that point, maybe? Maybe even a little younger that. Yeah, I was late 30s, early 40s. It was a great place to be, to learn. It was a horrible place to work. I had developed a philosophy that the way I managed my business and my people was I promoted the people around me. Put good people around, let them run their business, promote them, you know, don’t take the credit for what they’re doing. At that time, Rubbermaid’s philosophy was exactly the opposite.
Torrey Glass So, eventually, I figured that out and left them. Did a little startup where I was working in Cleveland, but I was also commuting. The headquarters of that little startup was out in Lake Tahoe and Incline Village, North Shore. Did that for a while and then you know, learned a little bit more again, but back to a small business. He ended up going down the tubes. It was just underfunded.
Torrey Glass When people talk about business failure rates, they talk about business failures. What they don’t talk about is generally, the business fails because of funding more often than not. In my experience, it fails because it’s underfunded. It doesn’t fail because Brett didn’t work that hard. Torrey didn’t do what he was supposed to do. They tried, they just didn’t have all the funds we needed.
Torrey Glass So then, after that went down, I ended up, through a connection from Rubbermaid, ended up at Mr. Coffee. And so started out there as the General Manager for the filter and accessory group, which was the only profitable piece of that business. But we’re back in the kitchen again. And eventually, you made reference to it earlier, sales and marketing were separated. It was very clear to me that in the case of a project that may have gone astray, sales would point at marketing and say they didn’t give me the right material. And marketing would point at sales and say we gave you the right material, you just didn’t sell it.
Torrey Glass I ended up at one point, had a conversation with the EVP and the CFO at that point. Told them what my philosophy was, what the problems were, and ended up sitting in front of the president of the company. And I said, well, here’s what I think. And you’re never going to get this together unless you have one hit. You’ve got a two-headed monster. That was all I heard. And then a couple of weeks later, I got a phone call. It was okay, you’re now senior vice president of marketing and sales.
Torrey Glass So I jumped over these two guys. And again, love the company, loved the guy I was working for. The president of the company is, he was a wonderful man. So that was a good example, though, of not just a small company, but a larger company that essentially was underfunded, was strangled.
Brett Fellows Was it?
Torrey Glass Yeah, that was really our problem. We were strangled. So it was what it was. I eventually left them, and I think at that point is when I began to really kind of become, I kind of shed my shell and I became more entrepreneurial. I wasn’t so concerned about a weekly paycheck. Less concerned. I mean, it was there, but I wasn’t that concerned. And I’ve never been particularly money-driven anyway. For me, it’s all about satisfaction of getting the job done.
Torrey Glass So I ended up working with a supplier to Mr. Coffee that was in Canada. And this supplier, Mr. Coffee was actually sold. I actually tried to buy Mr. Coffee along with the former CEO. We actually were the ones who put it in play. And a guy from Florida came out and bought it.
Brett Fellows Was that Chainsaw Al?
Torrey Glass Chainsaw Al, yeah. Bought it with inflated dollars. Yeah, he’s gone now so I can libel his name as much as I want. He was a crook. And the people who worked for him were. What we tried to do was, we recognized that the filter group was really where the profits were. So this manufacturer in Canada who’d done some private label coffee filters for us said to me, come aboard. And I’ll stand behind you, and we’ll see if we can buy the filter and accessory group. But in the meantime, we’re in a position where I want to either acquire or be acquired.
Torrey Glass And their primary business was private label coffee filters, which was essentially an oligopoly, and private label dryer sheets. Sounds like a boring business. But it was actually kind of fun. So, in the process of trying to buy the filter and accessory group, which, you know, was vastly unsuccessful. But over a couple of years, and again, it was so weird because when Chainsaw Al bought Mr. Coffee, he owned Sunbeam, so he moved it down to Sunbeam’s headquarters.
Torrey Glass So, I would go down, Sunbeam’s headquarters at that time was in Florida. I’d go down there, and I could pick out every appliance that they had on display. And I go, you know, stuff that was at that time 30 and 40 years old, but I knew what it was, and the product managers got wind of it. So suddenly, while I’m down there trying to buy something, they’re down there picking my brain. Well, what about this? Where did this come from? It was an interesting one.
Torrey Glass So I became more and more independent. And I had a really good boss and partnership up there. We actually did, we did a deal on a handshake and ended up selling that division off, and he honored his commitment. Handed me a pretty big check, and that gave me pause. So I said, okay, I can, well, let me go play golf. And you know how bad I am. I played golf for, I could take like a year off. Played golf for like two months or three months, and I still was really bad. I mean, I’m being generous when I say that.
Brett Fellows You’re very bad. Yes.
Torrey Glass Yeah. So, that’s when I went out. And that’s when the entrepreneurial thing really started to kick in, and I said, okay, I gotta go. I have all this base of knowledge, now I want to go and see what I can do. So I found a company. It was a picture frame company that sold to people like Target and Walmart. Michaels. And it was jointly owned by a U.S. guy and a Korean guy. So, talk to the U.S. guy and asked him the question, which this is all going to tie in, I’ll eventually get there. Asked him the question, what’s your exit strategy? And he was an older guy, so I go tell me, you know, what’s your exit strategy?
Torrey Glass He says, I really hadn’t thought about it. I said, well, here’s what I think. And so I ended up making a proposal to buy the company. I had backing from a venture capital group out of Canada, and it was going to be a deal that was close to $100 million. And a week before we’re supposed to close, the bank pulled out because they were worried about concentration, retail concentration.
Torrey Glass So the owners then asked me to stay on and get them all prettied up and sell the company. And then they said, we’ll sell you along with it. So I spent the next year commuting from Hilton Head to Southern California every other week and to Cincinnati in the off weeks. It was not fun. But then it was 2002. So yeah, not a good time. After 2001, commuting wasn’t as easy.
Torrey Glass So, I spent a year working on the operation, prettied it up. At the end of the year, I gave them an 80-page report as to what we needed to do to make things happen. And it meant that they were going to have to start spending money. They were spending money on me, but they had to spend money on the infrastructure. Bottom line, they did. And I said, you guys are paying me a lot of money to stand here, so we had a parting of ways, which was fine. That led into the mortgage business now.
Brett Fellows Well, I was gonna ask, I mean, how did this all come to mortgage?
Torrey Glass Well, yeah. How did I get there? I still don’t know. Actually in 1998 when we bought our first house in Hilton Head, the realtor at the time said to me, Torrey, there’s a mortgage guy in town who has a product that nobody understands. He said, but I think you would get it, and so I said all right, let me talk to him. And at that time, it was a six-month LIBOR product, and you know, nobody, people weren’t doing that. So I thought, well, this looks, you know, this looks pretty good. And, you know, again, there’s an awakening as to what your risk profile is, right?
Torrey Glass And so I knew that I was willing to take moderate risk, not extreme risk, but certainly moderate risk. So I did a mortgage with them, had another property here in Hilton Head, did that mortgage with them. And the guy who owned the place, all of a sudden, a month later he didn’t own it. He’s now the regional manager for Mortgage Network. He sends me a fax, so you know how long ago this was. Sends me a fax and said this is your next investment. It was a bunch of scratches, and it was oil wells. Oil exploration in the U.S.
Torrey Glass I don’t know, I said to my wife, I go, I don’t know. Want to try this and we’ll just, you know, we’ll see what happens? It’ll at least get us into deal flow because these are people who make deals. So next thing, we’re in oil exploration. You should never go into something you know that little about. But we did. The theory of the case was hypothecate the earnings from the oil into real estate, basically converting, and we got a building, among other things.
[25:18] The series of events that led Torrey Glass to add restauranteur to his resume after a decades-long career in Corporate America.
Torrey Glass So that guy, he and I played golf together, and it’s September of 2003. And he says, you know, my business is getting bigger. I keep hiring guys, but they don’t look like our customers. This is his exact quote. He said, so I need gray hair and ballast. I looked at him and said, you want a fat old guy and you’re talking to me?
Torrey Glass As he and I were, we were flying to Europe the next week. The Concorde, it was the last week the Concorde was flying, and we decided to go for it. So I said, when we get back from Europe, I’ll come in and take a look. And I came in and took a look and never left. All these years. So now to tie that back in, right, this business is production oriented. And 2006, 2007 comes along, and the great crash begins, and business gets horribly slow.
Brett Fellows Did you think of exiting? And like stopping?
Torrey Glass There wasn’t, I made a decision, Brett, to live here for lifestyle. And I said, okay, what can I do here? Well, if you live in Hilton Head, there’s really only about three things you can do. You’re either going to be in real estate, you’re going to be an attorney, or you’re going to be in a real estate related business. Appraisers or lenders. So I thought I’ll just, actually what I started doing was, it was so slow. Some of the restaurants were doing cooking classes. So I started taking cooking classes just because.
Torrey Glass I had grown up, my mother taught me to cook, and I cooked when I was in college. My first job was in a lunch counter in a five and dime store. Again, food, food, food, all in the back of my mind. So 2010 comes along. And about that time a friend of mine, a guy who I’d known for years, who owned a restaurant here, we were talking one night. He goes yeah, I want to, I’m just tired of doing this. I want to expand, I want to do other things, and I really, you know, I don’t want to do it alone.
Torrey Glass I said, well, what are you thinking about doing? He said, among other things, I’m thinking about a gourmet deli. That was like a big buzzer going off in my head because harken back to 1985 living in Miami, a friend of ours owned a gourmet deli, which was spectacular. Bottom line, so I said okay. You know, this sounds good. I said, I’d really be interested in that venture. He says, no, I want you involved in all the ventures. You won’t have a partnership in my restaurant, but you can join the restaurant.
Torrey Glass So I went in as CFO, and he said, okay, the first venture. I’m getting ready to open a restaurant. He says, yeah, we have to open a dress shop. I don’t even know where that came from. So, and this guy had been a restauranteur his whole life. He knew nothing about soft goods, so now I have to harken back to my days with Macy’s when I was in like men’s sportswear. So yeah, we opened a dress shop. We, me.
Torrey Glass About a year later, he still didn’t get the business. And I wasn’t, I said enough is enough. But what that did do is that really validated the fact that I could start a business. I know how to do it. It’s the culmination of all this other stuff. And that was the beginning, then 11, 12, 13. Looking around, and in 13, a friend of mine who had a photography business here, his wife was a great photographer, still is. He was looking for a studio space, and he couldn’t find it in Hilton Head, so he ended up looking up in Charleston.
[29:10] The advice Torrey’s father gave him that ultimately convinced him to change his original restaurant concept—and why he always listens to his customers’ feedback.
Torrey Glass And he said to me, come up and we’ll both look for studio space for our businesses, for my business. That was the beginning. I had this restaurant idea. And I had a restaurant idea. I was playing a golf tournament, and I happened to actually be playing with two guys who worked for Cisco. One was a chef and the other one was sales guy. And I said, yeah, I’m thinking about opening a restaurant, and they spent the next two holes laughing. They said, you know, give us two more holes, we’ll tell you why you shouldn’t.
Torrey Glass I said, yeah, I get it. Let me tell you what my concept is. And this concept had been rattling around my head, and it was basically wanting to open a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich shop. I thought, okay, this could work. And actually, when I said that, they said, okay, wait a minute. That actually might work.
Torrey Glass So that was the beginning. I kind of started liaising with consultants and stuff, trying to just figure it out. You know, fast forward 2014, I’m looking for space in Charleston, and it’s through the roof. I go, okay. This isn’t going to work. I find a space where 60 Bull is located now. And it’s a great space, but it doesn’t fit my concept. So I go home, and I’m thinking, and my father’s words came back to me. Which is, you know, you can always change the house. You can’t change the location.
Torrey Glass I said, okay. I’m going to change the concept. And in 2015, we signed the lease, thinking that I would be open July or August. Until the powers that be crushed that dream. It was not until the following, late February before we opened, 2016.
Torrey Glass But again, I learned a lot. I went through, and we opened as one concept. And then, in any business that I’ve ever been in, I’ve always said, if you just listen to the customers, they’ll tell you what you need to do. So the customers pretty well were telling us, hey, we don’t need to go up to the counter and order. We really would like a full service restaurant. And we’ve morphed into that, and, you know, off we went.
Torrey Glass My goal in the restaurant business was real simple. I love hospitality. For me, it’s great. It’s like, if you can put aside the bad parts of it, you know, there’s always personnel issues, and there’s always something breaking. The good part is people come in. They order something, they eat it, they have a happy smile on their face. They have a good experience, and they leave. That is like, that’s a total sales time of less than an hour. And I have happy customers.
Torrey Glass And I know if I don’t have happy customers, I get that feedback, too. It’s wonderful, it’s just wonderful. And that’s, you know, I obviously still do the mortgage business. I split my time between Charleston and Hilton Head. But my baby is really the restaurant. And that, you know, goes back to how’d you get in the food business? Well, it was in my blood all these years.
Brett Fellows Yeah. So, what does a typical week look like for you now between the mortgage business and the restaurant?
Torrey Glass The restaurant is closed on Mondays. I generally will go up to the restaurant either Monday night or Tuesday morning. And I’ll stay there Tuesday and Wednesday. I usually spend two days, sometimes three. What I found interestingly enough, over the last year especially, is when I’m at the restaurant, I end up doing mortgage business. I carry two computers with me. And then when I’m at the mortgage office, I end up doing restaurant business. I don’t know why.
Torrey Glass So my week is, generally 60% of a five-day week is spent here in Hilton Head in the mortgage business. The other 40% is spent in Charleston on the restaurant. I try not to go the same days every week. Because number one, it keeps the staff guessing. Number two, we have different customers each day, different types of customers. We’re a neighborhood restaurant. So we see the same people sometimes three, four, and five times a week. But you still have a different vibe. Wednesday is different from Thursday, which is different from Friday. So it’s good to kind of mix that up.
[34:07] Torrey’s philosophy when it comes to hiring and managing employees.
Brett Fellows And what do you do at the restaurant? Are you the manager? Are you actually hiring and firing?
Torrey Glass I’ve been pretty fortunate. I do a little, I did a little hiring. I hired our chef a year before we opened, and I paid him a retainer. So I haven’t ever had to hire a chef. He’s always hired his own staff. Though sometimes I question what he’s doing, but he’s a chef. And that’s the way it is. That’s his deal. Front-of-house managers, I went through, I blasted through a lot of them. They didn’t really get it. And then I finally got one to stick.
Torrey Glass She was a woman in her late 40s, early 50s. Happened to live in the neighborhood. She really pumped the business up because she happened to live in the neighborhood, lived across the street, knew everybody. That really helped it along. Eventually, after about a year or two, she left.
Torrey Glass She had hired a girl who was 20 years old when she came aboard, just turned 21 about three weeks after we hired her as a server. And this kid just impressed me. So she came up through, she graduated with a hospitality degree. And about the same time that our manager was leaving, I said, I’m taking a chance. Here’s the deal. She’s been phenomenal. It was a great transition. And the beauty was because she was younger, she was more attuned to information and computer issues and social media.
Torrey Glass And so that takes a load off of me. I mean, I can do the concepts. I could probably do it, but it would take me an inordinate amount. So I can just say, hey, let’s do this, or here’s where I want to go with this, and it’s done. And in any business, it’s all a matter of, you know, hire people and let them do their job, and get out of their way. If they don’t do their job, hire somebody else. But it ain’t that hard. I mean, I’m smart enough to know that I’m not going to get some, there are people who are smarter than me and who might be in those positions.
Brett Fellows So, at the height of the season, how many, what’s the most amount of employees 60 Bull has had? I realize most of them are part-time.
Torrey Glass Yeah, I think at the height we had 14 or 16. Well, you know, we’re a small, very small organization. But with the turnover in restaurants. At the at the end of each year, my business partner who does all the books, Steve, would call me go, okay, I’m going to send you a list of names. See how many you recognize. And we would be sending out 35 to 50 W2s. So you know, nature of the business.
[37:25] Why Torrey Glass believes they were able to successfully weather the pandemic while so many other restaurants weren’t so lucky.
Torrey Glass So it’s, look, it’s a small operation. I can wrap my arms around it. One of the things that I like about the business is that you can wrap your arms around it. And we operate, I mean, it sounds cliche, but we operate as a family. And that family atmosphere comes through to our customers. So it’s very Cheers-like, in that, you know, customers come in and we know 80% of them by name. And we know what their preferences are.
Torrey Glass And, you know, they know us. We unfortunately had a server who was hit and killed by a drunk driver on Valentine’s Day. I had customers coming in crying. That’s how close they were to the server. So that was the atmosphere I wanted all along. And then the other little piece I do is, I’ve done it since day one. You know, we’re downtown, we have a, basically a corner location. It’s a two-story building, there’s apartments above us. I put out dog biscuits every morning on the windowsill and water.
Torrey Glass And from the beginning, I said, it’s a lot easier, you know, Pavlov had it right. It’s a lot easier to train the dogs than it is to train the owners. And the dogs get it. So now six years into this, if it’s not out there, dogs stop. And they aren’t moving. The owners stop, the dogs just come to the front door and just stare at me. Where’s my cookie? So, but that again, imbedded us in the neighborhood, made us a neighborhood institution.
Torrey Glass Which is why when we went through the pandemic, we, like all restaurants, had to adjust the way we did business. We had difficulties. But the neighborhood supported us, and the neighborhood continues to support us. To the extent that they all said you can’t, you need to stay in business. You’re our place. This is my place. When they have ownership like that. This is my place. You can’t ask for any more than that.
Brett Fellows Yeah, that’s fantastic. I love it.
Torrey Glass Yeah. So we came out of it. And it’s been a very good year.
Brett Fellows Very cool. So with all that experience, Torrey, what’s the one thing you wish you’d known when you began your career?
Torrey Glass I wish I had had more confidence in myself and had known that I really did have this entrepreneurial bent. If I had known that I probably would have started things a lot earlier.
[40:14] The two things that keep Torrey going despite the challenges associated with entrepreneurship.
Brett Fellows But you’ve been very successful in most everything you’ve been in. You’ve never been afraid to try different things. What is your why? What keeps you going? When you wake up in the morning, what is that gets you ticking?
Torrey Glass Yeah, there’s two things. The one thing is in my career, somehow I became the fireman in my corporate career. If there was a problem, we’ve got a problem with this territory. Okay. Give it to Torrey to take over. So, I was a fireman, I fixed problems. I love the satisfaction of fixing something, I love the satisfaction of growing something. I really probably don’t do that great once things are stable.
Torrey Glass And it’s an entrepreneurial trap, actually. Because the entrepreneur who built the business, a lot of times, you’ll see entrepreneurs who build a business and go, it gets stable, so they change things. Even though it’s working, they change things because they have to build or have to fix. So that’s part of it.
Torrey Glass And then the why in the morning is the mortgage business and the restaurant business is really the same in that both of them make people happy. Mortgage business, you know, what do you do? I’m not a mortgage banker. I’m a guy that helps people make their dreams come true. You know, am I a restauranteur? No, I’m the guy that just makes people happy because they had a happy meal. That’s it.
Torrey Glass So that’s really, I mean, that’s really my drivers. And again, money has never, I’ve never been driven by money. I’ve always been driven by what’s fun. By you know, how do we fix this? I love that.
Brett Fellows Yeah. And so, what’s next for you? Expanding? Accumulating? De-accumulating?
Torrey Glass You know, the restaurant took about two or three years longer than I wanted to get to the growth period. My original thought was, you know, you can make some money with a restaurant, do all right. But with multiple locations is where you start to make money. It just took, it’s taken too long. And I’m getting older, to the point that it’s time for me to start putting my foot on the brake and begin uncomplicated my life.
Torrey Glass So I’ve been divesting myself of real estate. Last partnership, last real estate partnership, I think is done next week. At least I think so, and that piece of property will be gone. And that’ll just leave me with, you know, my primary home, another piece of real estate that I have for sale, and the business. And just getting all those other things out of the way is going to free up some time so that I can throttle back.
Torrey Glass I’m not going to come to a dead stop. So you know, I’ll just, I’ll begin to throttle back and see. You know, the restaurant, the best time to sell something is when it’s most successful. So I certainly have in the back of my mind, you know, I need to think about that. Because I really am a buy and hold guy, you know that. And so it’s hard for me to say, okay, wait a minute. I need to sell something. I hate that.
[43:46] What Torrey Glass believes are the two keys to a successful retirement plan if you’re an entrepreneur.
Brett Fellows And all these years, Torrey. I mean, your retirement is, I would imagine, different than most in terms of you moving around, A. Being an entrepreneur, but you were tied to maybe Mortgage Network. How did you save for retirement? It doesn’t sound like it was the typical 401k. It’s probably not through retirement accounts. It’s your real estate?
Torrey Glass There are two keys, I think, to a successful retirement plan. One of them is you got to have somebody like you who is watching the financial side. The second piece is you need to have an accountant who can direct you from a tax standpoint, how things are done. I mean, it’s about paying taxes, minimizing the effect of taxes, not tax avoidance, but minimizing taxes.
Torrey Glass I’m back to you got to put the right team around you. I mean, that’s everything. That’s everything. Because I’m a pretty smart guy, but guess what? I can’t be the smartest guy in the room in every subject, right? So put people around you who are, and then listen to them. I’m not smarter than them. I have an idea. Let me listen to that.
Brett Fellows So Torrey, if it’s five years from today, and we were looking back over those five years, what has to have happened for you to feel happy with your progress, whether either personally or professionally?
Torrey Glass If it’s five years from today, I think when I’m looking back, I would probably say, okay. I probably divested myself of all my interests. I’m enjoying retirement, but I am volunteering, doing something, because I can’t not. Everybody’s entitled to my opinion, whether they want to hear it or not. So I would think that that’ll be part of it.
Torrey Glass Then, you know, my wife and I, we love to travel. We’ve already, somehow we fit into our lives, we’ve already been to 40 countries. And I have six more lined up for 2022. So we’ll do some traveling and you know, it’s just if I really had my druthers and had nothing else, I would go back and start consulting again.
Brett Fellows We both know that’s what’s gonna happen.
Torrey Glass Well, I don’t know. I would love to work with small businesses and help them solve issues. That’s all. That’s fine.
Brett Fellows Torrey, so this podcast is about obviously successful entrepreneurs, and then how do they retire from that business? But what I found over the years is the word success means different things to different people. So I’m curious, whether you’ve already achieved it or if it’s something in the future, what is your definition of success?
Torrey Glass Well, that’s really a good question. I think that because I climbed the corporate ladder and did all that stuff, was I successful in corporations? Yeah. And probably if I had had the patience to stay around, I would have been, you know, running a division or doing you know, been CEO something.
Torrey Glass But what makes me feel successful is taking a business from my head and going out and building it and making it happen. And 60 Bull is that. That’s the one, boy, you know, I did it. Especially in a business where the failure rate is 80% in year number one and about 40% in year number five. I did it man. We got through it.
Torrey Glass Not only did we get through it, we have an operation where people write us five-star reviews on a regular basis. That makes me happy. I love that. So yeah, I think that’s the success piece. But I don’t think anybody successful ever feels like, well I’ve done everything I wanted to be successful. No, there’s something that chases all of us.
Brett Fellows Of course, I love it. Well, Torrey, how can listeners connect with 60 Bull Café? And we will be sure to have it in the show notes.
Torrey Glass This is really difficult. Our website is www.60bull.com. And strangely enough, my email address is Torrey@60bull.com.
Brett Fellows Love it. Well, Torrey, thank you so much for your time and being on The Retiring Entrepreneur Podcast.
Torrey Glass Brett, it’s been a real pleasure catching up with you, and please give my best to the family.
Brett Fellows Will do. Take care