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Make Money Gaming with Tom Fairey

George Grombacher January 23, 2022

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Make Money Gaming with Tom Fairey

LifeBlood: We talked about how to make money gaming, how to turn an idea into a business, how to break free of the trap of doing things that make other people happy, and a framework for being successful at anything with Tom Fairey, CoFounder and CEO of Stakester, the #1 platform letting competitive gamers bet on themselves. 

Listen to learn why consistent success can be a trap!

You can learn more about Thomas at, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Thanks, as always for listening!  If you got some value and enjoyed the show, please leave us a review wherever you listen and subscribe as well. 

You can learn more about us at LifeBlood.Live, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook or you’d like to be a guest on the show, contact us at contact@LifeBlood.Live.

Invest in yourself. Bring it All Together.

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Our Guests

George Grombacher

Tom Fairey

Episode Transcript

george grombacher 0:00
Come on lead this is George G. And the time is right welcome today’s guest strong and powerful Tom Ferry. Tom, are you ready to do this? Man ready? Let’s Let’s go. Tom is the co founder and CEO of steak stir the the number one platform that lets competitive gamers bet on themselves raised almost $3 million in 2019. And he is the host of the back yourself show. Tom, tell us a little about your personal life smart about your work and why you do what you do.

Tom Fairey 0:39
I absolutely love to talk about but I think for those people that anyone who’s just listening to this and not watching it that people need to know that you have an absolutely sensational beard. Okay. You will know this about you. Okay, any of you listening? is listening. Your beard is it is it’s real. Okay. Hi, everyone. So people need to know that about you. Okay, right. So yes, so when? me so yeah, I’m I’m like, I won’t I won’t pretend to be anything other than I what I am. I’m a classic British privileged upbringing. typestyle boy, who is I? I don’t I’m not gonna pretend that I was from a tough background. And that sometimes people think, Oh, my God, he just fell into where it was happening to him. But I but that’s, that’s true. And so it’s not. So I was very lucky and was dealt so I guess the genetic lottery there. But when I was I followed a path that most people do when they’re from LA, you know, you go to a good university, you go and get a job in a bank and you follow that path of being very much like yeah, this whatever else is doing. Yeah, I should do that. You know, I’m getting good grades at school. Everyone else can be great squash go to a good uni. Yeah, I’m getting. I’ve got good grades at University did a good degree. Now I should go and get myself a job at a good bank or whatever. And I did that for ever. Okay, and for 15 years. And then I was fucking miserable. Now, like, it’s just rubbish. I was getting no sense of reward from it. And then yes, I had the from my mom’s perspective, my mum loved saying, oh, yeah, my son. He’s an investment banker. We waited private equity or whatever, they love that, you know, and like, it’s very easy for, you know, whatever, girl you’re dating to understand, like your job really simply, it’s bit like, Yeah, this is what they do. It’s very easy for you to go to a dinner party and explain what you do. And it’s but it sucks. Jimmy like, it’s like, you know, I thought no reward or no sense of fulfillment. And I felt that my character was being quashed. Okay. Now I am, by nature, incredibly offensive. You know, I, my spare time, I like to do stand up comedy. And I like to I like to perform. And I like combat sports. I like competition. And I lived in a world where that wasn’t really what happens, you know. And as you remember, we spoke about forces with the you throw away, I didn’t drink until I was about 35. didn’t drink at all. And it held back in my career a lot of time because people will add to what people did let you go and tell your boss after a few drinks or whatever, and I wasn’t really my vibe, you know, I like, like keeping in shape I like you know, now it’s very different. And so, I had had an epiphany where, and it really happened with a car, which is bizarre, okay.

I bought a Range Rover, or a tree destroyer, whatever you want to call it.

And I remember being like, this is so freakin cool. And like I was going out and I was hanging out and all my friends are coming my car, they love my car. Like a year passes a new version that Range Rover comes out. And I was like, fuck, I’ve got to get a new one. Got to get every time I saw that new car come past. I was like, Yeah, I’ve got to get that new one. I’ve got to get a new one. Because it hit me that I had the old version. And then I then something clicked in my head and I I live in a place called Hampstead in London which is like I like to think of it as like the Beverly Hills of London you know so quite fancy area. Yeah, love celebrities around there. And I realized that I was being trapped by my possessions are they that age are saying of the things you own end up owning you. And they did own me because I had to have a new car because I was losing self confidence as losing as you talk about hair strength and power as losing is all going away from being taken from me by something that wasn’t me. And then he started taking a look yourself and thinking I fucking hate my life. Like everyone else loves it from the outside, but I hate it. I’m not getting any intrinsic reward from this. And the truth is, I believe that happiness comes from overcoming a struggle. Okay, that’s why I think it comes from I think it comes from getting yourself in a situation where you strike Going overcoming it every single day. You know, like, if you get up in the morning, you don’t want to take a cold to have a cold shower because you know, it’s gonna be freakin miserable. But you come out of Arthur’s you’re like, Yeah, fuck yeah. Did it yummy. So there’s that it’s, it’s it’s part of a journey. And so I just took myself out of it and I said I’m not going to do this anymore. I’m not going to I’m not going to, I’m not going to be that that person that people think I am I want to be the person that I believe I am and what I want to do and so they so I started my venture just took the plunge and started my own business. Yeah. And and that was it, and then I will never look back. And I think the key lesson there for everyone is, you know, like, have some have some self awareness really hard. Yeah. It’s hard to accept that you’re an absolute prick. Except that you’re, you know that you’re just a dictator. No one really likes you. Because they don’t really like you. Because what they really like, is that persona you’re putting out there. So you and you know, it’s not you. Yeah, and yeah, there you go. Well,

george grombacher 6:01
hopefully, Tom, you found that that, that doing what you want to do, and living the life you want to live has probably brought in some people that do like you for you. Or maybe not.

Tom Fairey 6:12
Yeah. Yeah, my kids do my kids. Okay. Yeah.

george grombacher 6:17
That’s certainly positive. Oh my god. So yeah, okay, nice. So you held off on drinking till 35. But you didn’t tell the rest of story and then you just went just both feet in.

Tom Fairey 6:29
That’s funny. So like, it’s the sort of goes way back. I was my co founder was my best friend. I was 15. And I never drank before and drums stubbies so beers that also be beers and I went to went to a party in this. This god awful place in the UK called gospel, which is basically like, you it’s not as nice and sweet as pie that and I’m not an aggressive guy. Yeah. And two things happened to me when I drink George I become both irresistible and invincible. Yeah. I think that no, I genuinely out. The people just don’t seem to understand. Right? And I decided to convince this woman that she was in love with me, but have a boyfriend and his friends decided that i There wasn’t appropriate behavior for me to convince her. And I went through a fairly complicated legal battle for a few weeks and sighs like, you know what? I’m gonna, I’m gonna just not do this anymore. Yeah, I’m just gonna give this just give this a rest. Yeah, so literally one incidence of drinking gets into a fight almost codes getting ruined my life. Like, I’m just gonna stop. So I just stopped drinking. And we’re all the way through uni all the way and then, so bizarre. I was like, the reason I’m not drinking isn’t because everybody say, Oh, you’re so strong willed because you don’t drink. And like, it’s the complete opposite. I’m drinking because I don’t have a strong Well, I’m not I’m not drinking because I can’t control my personality. And I was like, fuck that. This is weakness. This isn’t strength. Okay, and so I started drinking and just trying it now. I’ve never been drunk. Never been drunk never had more than one drink. And fortunately, haven’t been in any kind of arrestable situation since but the but it just showed essentially my my perspective changed. Because there’s like, I don’t you always say just the people think that like, you know quitting something or not like it because you’re not drinking, you’re really powerful. You reach strong. It’s not that it’s not necessarily that it means that you know that you can’t control your own inhibitions. Yeah.

george grombacher 8:38
Nice. I appreciate you sharing that. All right. So you come to this place where you realize that everybody else loves your life, but you hate it. And you say no more. I am stepping away from this and we’ll see what we’ll see what happens. So tell us about 60 or

Tom Fairey 8:56
60. So funny story, so the genuine So have you ever tried need Jiu Jitsu

george grombacher 9:00
or anything like that? I’m a huge fan, but I’ve never actually tried it.

Tom Fairey 9:04
Okay, right. I’ll tell you verbatim what happened. Okay, so I’ve left I went to previous startup and we were super successful. And it was one of the founders that this is when I stepped away like you know, it moves super fast super successful don’t worry, we’re still going really well now and wonderful people by central as I was a little bit like you know, in that moment of epiphany, but also like, people have been through George like, it’s a moment where like, you feel a little bit lost, but at the same time that you realize your run is taking you in a new direction. You don’t exactly know what’s going on. Anyway, I’m on the mat in the gym. This jitsu now just came in. I’m not good at jujitsu, George I am new to the game. Okay. Also I weigh 100 pounds. What’s that like? 170 pounds on 511. I’m not a big guy. Okay. And it’s Russian guy comes in, vest on arms out, walks over to the mat and he says, elect Nigel. You’ll win competition. Yep. And I had won a competition but for more you saw a completely different martial arts a completely different game entirely. And I had one. Thank you for recognizing me. Mr. Russian. I’m assuming your name is Ivan Drago. And it must be. I was like, Yeah, thanks, man. And then all guys around me like knowing that I’m arrogant, but like Don’t say that. He’s like, what? How about we spot some time? Instant escalation here, George. He’s gone from saying hi to me, to me asking me to fight him in the blink of an eye. It couldn’t have been more Russian if he tried. That’s not racism. That’s stereotyping. Like it’s, so he comes in, he says that and I was like, Alright, fine. Yep. And he there’s a whisper now. And I’m like, Alright, let’s buy now. And he goes, he goes, how about we do this for some money? And I’m like, All right. Now it’s interesting. Now, what I will say so I’ve got investors to investors that are Russian. And I tell them this story, George, they’re like, Yeah. And what? Like, what is this like a regular theater? So that yeah, this is how we communicate. Okay. That’s what we do. Like, it’s not what we do in London. So anyway, so get a bit technical. Basically, we get down into that he’s bigger than me. He’s stronger than me. So I literally just pull guard. He gets on top of me to my legs. He thinks he’s got the advantage. I just wrap him up and just triangle taps out straightaway. Yep. Because you achieved you use your legs. And I’m like, bro, this is how the game works. Yeah, sorry, Drago. I said, What, where’s my money didn’t have any money. So I’ll get my phone out and flick through my phone. I’m like, must be an app for this, there isn’t an app, boom. I’m gonna make an app. Now the idea to begin with George was let’s not mix our words, it was fucking shit. The idea was I was gonna create an app, which allowed jiu jitsu

fighters to fight against each other for money. Nice. That’s what we call niche. If it wasn’t gonna look like you didn’t have any money on the mat.

So listen, how not that doesn’t worry you. That lasted that idea about a tube journey. before. It was a terrible idea. But I was really excited. And when I sat at a coffee shop, I sat down. I’m like, Okay, there’s something in this, let me understand my feet. And it’s something I say to people, startup people all the time when I try to give some coaching. I say, look, what have you What have you been through? What have what was the experience you had, which made you want to do this? And as they look for me, the second he said, let’s do this for money, it became more exciting is when I started doing it for something, it became more exciting. So I was like, Okay, there’s something in this. So I ran it. So I did an experiment. I got a I got a bunch of my buddies and I had an idea. So got a bunch of my buddies in a room over my house. My wife lost her mind, as you can imagine, like, what are these guys doing here? I gotta go around, I buy these really crappy heartrate monitors on Amazon. And I get them all round. There’s 10 of us on my right, Robin a fee for nine. They’re like, yes, let’s do this. and I both are a monster and I’m tracking their heart rate as an I strategically very scientifically, keep adding in more stuff to pay for. So it starts off being you know, like, you know, for a bit, and for a pizza, then for money. And I see their heart rate just goes up and up and up. Once you focus on my mind, like if I can manufacture this feeling. I’ve got myself something. And that’s how I was born. And then I literally the next day, I incorporate the business now with vos growing competition platform in the world,

george grombacher 13:37
boom, boom. Straight line. Amazing. The fastest growing competition platform in the world. So So walk me through the experience. It’s it’s an app, I download it.

Tom Fairey 13:51
Yeah. So you download the app, choose the game, you play say you down so you probably aren’t you playing FIFA, we might play NFL cuz you’re in the US or Madden. So you download the game. And then what we do is we’ll match you with someone if you go through onboarding where we assess your skill level and so forth. And then we match it with some of the same skill level for the same amount of money. You both chuck in some coin, and the winner takes the pot

george grombacher 14:13
amazing. Incredible. What what what was the hardest part about? I’m sure there was a million really really hard parts but as as as you look back and putting the whole thing together, what what what was the what was one of the hardest parts?

Tom Fairey 14:29
I can read a good question. So let me answer that in a different way. Everything about starting something is hard. Okay, but the second hardest thing is still going. Okay. Alright, so the hardest thing is getting into the gym. Yeah, sure. second hardest thing is just going to the gym continually. And seeing like, you know, when you first go to the gym and your guys in shape, you know, you can go for six months and see no gains Yep. And you’ve got ripped Jack next year with abs of steel and arms the size of your thighs and you’re like she’s ever gonna get there. No, probably not. You don’t want to. It’s not worth it. The reward isn’t there. Yeah, life isn’t the battle people say life isn’t better with the six pack. It’s but you know, but it’s like you go through that. That journey but it’s the hardest thing is to keep it up. And what makes it easier? Okay. Oh, by the way another one for the listeners here as you see the so George is drinking a Starbucks coffee here. Okay, George, I’m gonna ask you. Is that what coffee is that you’ve got that?

george grombacher 15:38
I think it’s just the pike. But I don’t know.

Tom Fairey 15:41
Just a straight straight Americano. Just just black coffee. That’s it. He’s real man. He’s real mad people. Okay, you can expect to me keep listening. Alright, anyone who ruins coffee, milk, okay, just Chuck’s it in there. And ruins this beautiful creation of nature shouldn’t be drinking coffee. Amen, just drink it for what it is. Anyway. So yeah. And so what what makes everything easier in life in general, but also in business is two things. One, visualization of what you want to achieve have a very clear goal of what you want to achieve, okay? Now that can be a million things. And mine is I want to be the biggest skill based competition platform on the planet. And on a person as a business. And as on a personal level, I want absolute financial freedom for the rest of my life. Similar that to goals. That’s all I’m working towards. Okay, and I have that goal there. Clearly, when I get to be in the biggest platform on the planet, I’m selling the business, and then I will become financially free for the rest of my life. Similar that. Okay, that doesn’t change, that remains the same all the time. But the second thing people don’t talk about this enough, is you the just if you have a great team, you will win. The best teams are just made up of the best people. So I have people around me that just don’t give up. Okay, and if they do give up, they’re not here now. Okay, championship mindset, everyone, and we all work towards the same goal, we all want financial freedom, we all want to be amazing, we all want to be the best. And if you have that every time you have a problem, it’s just a little bit easier. Because you know, you’ve got the people around you support you.

george grombacher 17:28
I love it. Visualize what you want to achieve? How much? How much time do you think about that? Do you think about it every

Tom Fairey 17:36
day, single fucking day. You just don’t take your eye off the prize. You got to keep I think, because I’ve done it before where I have given myself a goal at a business. Because I’ve worked in sales for a long time. So I think sales said I don’t think sales is a dirty word. But like the roles weren’t called sales. They’re called like, commercial director or whatever relationship, whatever you want to call it. Yeah, but I’m a sales guy. Okay, I get measured on how much revenue I generate for the business, whether you’re fun, or whether I was doing fun manager or whatever, the money I generate for the business, is it so you’re a sales guy? Yep. And I would give myself a goal. And I would say, okay, my goal at this business is to get to this great, then I’m out. Okay. And the truth is, when you work in a business, if anyone’s listening to this, you are no more valuable. The second time you hit target than the first time, or the third time or the fourth, there’s no incremental value. Okay? Sorry, arguably, you are more valuable the second time you hit target, because you prove that you can repeat performance. Okay, but the third time you do it that third year, you’re not worth any more. You’re not just the same. So at that point, once you’ve hit target twice, leave, go somewhere else, ask for a promotion, do something, okay? Because all you’re doing is just repeating the same thing. And it doesn’t make you any more valuable as a myth. This guy’s hit target 10 years in a row, that is a fucking idiot, and he’s got an easy job. Okay? All right, get him out, go and get another job, but he will pay you more, you’ve got more opportunity. And I fell into that trap. Where I didn’t, I had those goals, and I would hit the goals. And I’d be like, Okay, I’m gonna ask for a promotion. In three months time after I’ve hit this two, I’ve closed this account. And I hit it and I’d be like, maybe I’m not going to like I’m not going to ask for each now maybe I’m just gonna close another deal, idiot. I could ever go promote three months earlier. It’s that same thing. So now I have to make it very clear what that goal is.

And I think the problem is if you don’t have those goals, you can and if you don’t, it’s okay to set new goals and redefine them, I suppose.

But if you don’t have clear goals, and you aren’t working towards something, why are you doing it? Yep, that’s my view.

george grombacher 19:51
I love it. I love it. strong and powerful. Tom Ferry. Thank you so much for coming on. Where can people learn more about you? You and how can they start betting on themselves through sticks there?

Tom Fairey 20:04
Okay, well okay, so you can learn more about me and I think the best place to go is follow me on LinkedIn yeah I post all my content that so I’m just at Thomas ferry you find me I’m the only one all the others are just had lumps yeah she said Chicago Tom Ferry who looks a lot like me and is also works in a gym and a lot of people think. Yeah but he’s got the same problem with his hairline I do maybe it’s because maybe that’s just something about the name. But the if you want to learn more about steaks that go to steak And if you’d love to listen to the podcast, I’d love to have you guys come on Listen, it’s back yourself dot show back yourself dot show.

george grombacher 20:48
Excellent. Well if you enjoyed this as much as I did your time, your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas and funny and dynamic people. Follow Tom on LinkedIn under Thomas ferry, go to steak and download the app and then check out the show it’s back yourself dot show. Thanks good, Tom. Is that right? And until next time, keep fighting the good fight. That’s we’re all in this together. Tom. We are. Oh man, that’s awesome.

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