L Scott Ferguson – Living a Plus, Equal, Minus Life (336)

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L. Scott Ferguson is a Lifestyle Optimization Artist and the host of the Time To Shine Today Podcast. His mission is to NOT have ANYONE feel like they have NO-ONE.  Scott’s story was highly sought after by people in the entertainment business, which he was not ready to share until now. 

At Time To Shine Today, Scott shares Knowledge Nuggets to help individuals and teams to Level UP both in business and personal. Scott is a Veteran of the United States Navy with multiple deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, etc. in the early to mid-1990’s. Scott loves to give, live intentionally, he loves the beach, fitness, yoga, rescuing fur-babies and volunteering. 

To learn more about Scott, please visit the links below:

And now here’s L Scott Ferguson.

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Video With L Scott Ferguson – Living a Plus, Equal, Minus Life

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Podcast with L Scott Ferguson. Living a Plus, Equal, Minus Life.

L Scott Ferguson (Episode 336)

Wed, Nov 23, 2022 2:28PM • 1:01:37


people, life, coach, book, biological mother, friends, family, mike, scott, shine, philippines, ended, parlayed, man, learned, curiosity, father, adopt, interview, military


Scott Ferguson, Mike Malatesta

Mike Malatesta  00:04

Hey, Fergie, welcome to the podcast, man.

Scott Ferguson  00:30

Malatesta, What’s up, my friend? Thank you so much for having me.

Mike Malatesta  00:34

How you doing? Thanks for joining me today.

Scott Ferguson  00:37

A man blessed, highly favored.

Mike Malatesta  00:41

Cool. So folks, let me tell you a little bit about Fergie whose real name is L. Scott Ferguson so you can get as excited as I am about having him on today. So Scott is a Lifestyle Optimation Artist. And I’d say Transformation Artist too, if you don’t mind me adding that in there, Scott. And the host of the Time to Shine Today Podcast. His mission is to not have anyone feel like they have no one. That’s amazing. As the host of the Time to Shine podcast, which by the way, I was on episode 335 and it was a pleasure. Thank you so much for hanging on, scatters now help you dividuals in Level Up business and personal life. Scott is a veteran of the United States Navy with multiple deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and other places that we’ll talk about in the early to mid 90s. Scott loves to give, live intentionally. He loves the beach, fitness, yoga, rescuing fur-babies I think are dogs, and volunteering. He’s also a real estate expert, I believe a martial artist. Correct? Okay, a speaker, a coach, a micro influencer. Most people just call themselves influencers. I love the micro in front of it. It makes you think like, why? What does that mean? And a super connector, and he’s connected me to multiple people after I had first met him. So Scott, thanks so much for being on the show. I start every podcast with the same simple question. And that is, how did happen for you.

Scott Ferguson  02:28

Awesome. Mike. Again, thank you so much for having me on. And it’s just a blessing. And we rocked the mic back in like just only a few episodes ago, man. Yeah, that’s really quick turnaround, and has so much cred that I have to give you, we talked off camera, or off mic or whatnot, about how I approach coaching after nine years of experience, how I approach it a little bit differently. After just a few weeks ago, we had our interview. So thank you again for that. I want to put it out there. You know, Mike, if you’re listening, squad, Mike said, you know, we all know what we want, but we don’t know how to talk ourselves into it. And if you’re in a situation like that, get yourself a coach like Mike. And it’s just, again, just thank you for that man. But when we get to the How’d it happen? I’m gonna put this in kind of a really quick nutshell. But it goes back to 1972 when I was born. And I was born in the Philippine Islands. My father was an American GI, my biological mother was a lady that lived in the Philippines, and they kind of met and made me, but he was just kind of a stop through, if you will, he was already going off to Vietnam. And, you know, so he just kind of left my biological mother with me. But at the time, mixed-breed males, especially bastard children, were very frowned upon. I’m six one, I’m 260 and pretty well put together. And if you had, you know, an average American man at 190, you had 10s of 1000s of these bastard males running around, they’re afraid at the time that we would take over their country even physically, because Filipinos are, you know, biologically they’re big, physiologically they’re not big people. So they are afraid of that. And the Philippines is, you know, kind of controlled by Spain, the Spaniard. So, my mother kind of put me up for adoption and had an Air Force couple that wanted to adopt me. And they started the process, brought me back to the United States. But then her, the woman who was going to adopt me, her father dies, she goes schizophrenic, and they couldn’t raise me, so they put me in an orphanage. So from the orphanage, I was adopted a little bit later in life by a family in Detroit, Michigan, who I call my mother and father. They adopted me. My father, who’s my best friend the world; he doesn’t mind me saying this. He was an alcoholic from Vietnam, very bad. He couldn’t raise me, so I was passed around from family to family. So early in life abandonment was instilled it was the normalcy for me. So moving through life, I always had a chip on my shoulder, never felt that I fit in, victim, victim, victim, poor me. Poor Scott. Poor Fergie. That’s just how I kind of rolled with life. So I always tried to excel at sports, not so much academia, but sports popularity, whatever I could do. And so when I was good at a sport, some universities were interested, but they didn’t like my 1.8 grade point average, right? My father was like, Listen, man, you can’t live, because I did end up circling back and live with my father from eighth grade, until I graduated high school. And he’s like, You can’t live with me. So I ended up joining the military where I found a family, people that were there that had my six or my back at all times, we went through a lot of stuff together did a lot of deeds together that I felt like I had someone, but also that term came to an end as well. And I got out of the military, instead of being a career man in the military, I got out and got right into personal training in real estate. And so I ended up doing very well in both. I dropped the personal training and really kept up with real estate, really printed , almost to the point of being a vulture, you know, I preyed on other people’s misfortunes. You know how you’re losing your house, I can help you, you know, I didn’t help them at all, except for buy the house on the cheap. And I built my net worth up very substantially. And then this whole thing, I don’t know if you remember it or not, but in 2009, this whole thing hit with a crash, and I lost absolutely everything. And I literally was squatting in a listing that I had where the people had moved to Florida and this was still in Michigan, and I lived in their house while they were gone, and I had really nothing so my surf ‘n turf consisted of tuna and Vienna sausages, like legitly, right, and I just would go to the library for something to do because I couldn’t afford anything. The gentleman said, Hey, I think you should read this. I’m getting a vibe off you to give you the book by Andy Andrews called the Travelers Gift. And the Travelers Gift is a dude that has lost his job, lost his kids, dying. He’s like, I’m just gonna end it. So he runs his car into a tree. And he wakes up in 1945 on the floor of “Give Him Hell” Harry Truman’s office the day before we dropped the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And he talked about responsibility. And responsibility is the ability to respond. And then he went through time and talked to King Solomon for wisdom, Anne Frank for happiness, Abraham Lincoln for making decisions. The greatest book I’ve read, changed everything. And I figured that, hey, this person, the library brought me along, he made me feel like I had somebody. And so I started Time to Shine Today in 2010, where we don’t want to have anyone feel like they have no one, period. So I went through a lot of stages of my life and got to the point now where I’m a micro influencer, meaning I do have 160,000 subscribers to my Time to Shine email list. So that’s micro compared to bigger people out there, but I’m very intimate with those people. Help them out. I answer all emails, answer all questions, and help them level up their life. The kicker to this on the back end, because I’m almost done here, Mike, is that I have a twin sister that my mom kept that I got to reunite with in 2003 when I was 31. And she happened to be a real estate broker, just like I was. So it was kind of a real circle route. So that’s how it happened with me and how we don’t want to have anyone feel like they have no one. I don’t care if you’re contemplating the end of your life, like my little brother did. Unfortunately, I have counselors ready. You know, I have people that come to me for coaching. And I’ve interviewed people like you that I can refer for coaching, other people if I’m not the right horse for the course for him. So I just want and will be that one-stop shop for lack of a better term to have people have somebody in their life that can help level up.

Mike Malatesta  08:51

So, Scott, do you trace this mission of, you know, not to have anyone feel like they have no one to that book? Or is it something else that you trace it to,

Scott Ferguson  09:06

I traced it back to the abandonment that I felt as a kid. 100 percent. Because I felt like I had known a lot of the times, again my father and I were best friends, we talk three or four times a week, you know, he got clean in 1984, hasn’t had a drink since then. So he’s coming up on big 40 years. But it’s just like he did what was best for me at the time, but I still didn’t feel like I had anybody really to lean on because I never felt at home pretty much ever in my life until the military. So yeah, I really trace it back to the younger years, just that person that handed me that book that changed my shift in thinking or like someone wrote this awesome book, if you’re watching, called Ownershift, you know, a shift in how I really work and it’s funny, you and I spoke about shifting and pivoting because everyone’s talking about it. Now we’re pivoting is you’re kind of staying in one place, we’re shifting you can make it and that’s another I got from you, Mike.

Mike Malatesta  10:01

Yeah, thank you. So, thanks for promoting my book on my own podcast. If you’re watching, if you’re watching on YouTube, Scott, I want to make sure I don’t miss anything here. So you laid down a lot there. And I want to make sure I don’t miss the family dynamic. So when you say your dad you know who got clean in 1984? That’s your real dad or this the people who adopted. Okay, your adopted father, so I wanted to make sure that was clear. These folks who were in the Air Force that picked you up from the Philippines, they brought you to where?

Scott Ferguson  10:48

To California. Well, he was still stationed there and her father had gotten sick. So they got me a temporary passport, which I still have to this day, there’s a little passport thing that means a baby in the picture. And, you know, they were gonna finish up the adoption process, make me an American citizen. And her father got sick. So we ended up coming back to California to be with them. And we were gonna go back because, you know, my father was gonna adopt me, he was stationed in, you know, out of the Philippine Islands. Now, my biological father was just kind of, like I said, just kind of like a run-through, he just hooked up with my biological mother. And yeah, there’s a kicker to that, too. I just found out about a month and a half ago that he died in 2019, I figured out I found out who he was, this whole spitting in a tube thing has changed my life dramatically, as well as meeting siblings, half siblings, you know, all across the United States and family members and stuff like that, I found out where I got my height from, you know, being Dutch, believe it or not, you know, I get my dark skin from being a Filipino, half Filipino, but like my whole family is from like Western Pennsylvania, like the Dutch area.

Mike Malatesta  11:55

Ah, so

Scott Ferguson  11:58

there’s a lot to unpack when it’s on. Yeah,

Mike Malatesta  12:01

yeah. Well, I was gonna ask you when you said you had discovered your sister, I thought you would have taken that naturally right to could you discover your biological father as well, it sounds like you actually went did go down that route. 

Scott Ferguson  12:18

But I never knew him. You know. So it was like my biological mother, who is my mom kept. And she gave me up so Spain wouldn’t take me back to their country. Right. And in 2003, I got a little mole in the back of my legs. So I hired a really good friend of mine who’s an awesome private investigator. And he found Jodi, who is my twin sister. He’s like, Dude, are you sitting down? I’m like, no, why? He’s like, sit down because you have a twin. What? So I ended up meeting her. The whole Filipino family, my biological mother ended up meeting another GI that brought the family back to New Jersey. So they’re all up in Cherry Hill, New Jersey in a Filipino town.

Mike Malatesta  13:01

Okay, so your mom had you, had your sister? Yep. Joby. And then she remarried or whatever she had, and she got married and had this other family that correct connected to obviously okay,

Scott Ferguson  13:18

but she also had six kids before us. So I have like brothers that are 70. You know, it’s like, because she’s quite a bit older when she got pregnant with me and Joby. So I got to meet them as well as it was a really fun reunion. I’m not super tight with them. But you know, holiday cards and birthday texts and stuff like that. It’s pretty cool.

Mike Malatesta  13:40

And how about your mom,

Scott Ferguson  13:42

she passed away in 1998; I never got a chance to meet her. My aunt or my sister, Susan, she told me that she’d always had a secret, but she never told anybody. So I guess I was that one. We just came to the conclusion that I was that secret.

Mike Malatesta  14:00

So you go to California with this temporary passport, they decided that they can’t keep you, they put you so you get put in an orphanage in California. And then this couple from Michigan find you.

Scott Ferguson  14:16


Mike Malatesta  14:17

And connects with you and adopts you.

Scott Ferguson  14:19

Yes, sir. And this is the 1970s and it wasn’t really “in” for you know, I’ll say that in air quotes. It wasn’t “in” for a really white family to adopt a dark skin color kid. So for my family to do that, it was pretty remarkable. You know, we went through quite a journey. I mean, after they adopted me, they got divorced a year and a half later. So again, I was just kind of passed around. My mom unfortunately passed in 2019. Me and her were like best friends as well. She kind of disappeared from my life until I was about 14. And you know, so we never had that Mother-Son relationship but we are like really good friends, but I respected her knowledge. If you Well, if that makes sense.

Mike Malatesta  15:06

Wow, you went through a little bit of stuff as a kid. Yeah, man.

Scott Ferguson  15:09

It’s funny. It’s like people got a hold of my story. And like, I had big talk shows back in the 90s that wanted me to come on, Sally Jessie Raphael, Montel Williams, Ricki Lake. But I just wasn’t ready to really talk about it too much. So I kind of went through what I did in the late 2000s. You know, 2009, 2010, I was like, Man, this is a story. If I can make sure if I can find people and feel like I have somebody I want everybody that I know to have a relationship with me and it doesn’t have to be best friends, but to have a relationship with me that if they need something I can provide it.

Mike Malatesta  15:46

And this thing you were talking about, this sort of large bastard thing in the Philippines, right? So you never actually experienced that. Right? But your biological mom was thinking, you mentioned something about Spain and going back to Spain, I just want to make sure I understand that whole sort of thing.

Scott Ferguson  16:13

When I was born, you know, they would know that I was a mixed breed bastard child, and my father’s not around. So you know, at the time the government was literally taking the children and they weren’t treating them like slaves or anything. They just put him in families in Spain. No one really knows what happened to those kids, you know, that were taken to Spain, the boys. So my mother, my biological mother, we call her Connie. Her name was Conchita. But Connie was, you know, she had my back,she’s like, I’m not gonna have this on my conscience. I’m gonna put him with somebody that I know that will take care of him.

Mike Malatesta  16:51

Got it. So then you get to Michigan with your mom and dad, who you refer to as your mom and dad and they get divorced a year and a half later, you’ve raised by your dad, I guess, because your mom. Yeah. Till you were 14.

Scott Ferguson  17:08

Well, I was raised, really I was passed around because my father was an alcoholic from beer. You know, my adoptive father was an alcoholic. So I got passed around from family to family, ended up spending about six years with an uncle who’s very militant, very much a disciplinarian, believed in the belt, you know, and I don’t have any ill will towards them. But I get along with them. I call them my mom and dad. Also, it gets very confusing, my story, but I call them my mom and dad also. My dad who adopted me understands why I call them my mom and dad as well, because they raised me for six years. But my mom, my mom that adopted me, she bailed until I was 14, just left after the divorce. So my father that adopted me and my uncle, his brother, they ended up making sure I got my citizenship. So I’m a legal citizen, I had to go raise my right hand in the courthouse in Detroit, Michigan, when I was like nine years old. So I am an immigrant that, you know, my family did it the right way and got my papers, right. And I’m proud to be an American.

Mike Malatesta  18:10

I’m not even going to go down the road of how you feel about that immigration issue today, you know, because when you said you did it the right way, it makes me think okay, but I am or maybe I will later I don’t know but right now, I just want to focus a little bit on this sports thing. You know, you mentioned that you’re good at sports. I mean, you are built like a football player but never played a down Okay, so you know, open it up. What are you doing?

Scott Ferguson  18:41

I wrestled since I was a very young grappling, which led into jujitsu later in life. So they’re both grappling styles. I was pretty good at wrestling and pretty good at baseball as well. So I ended up playing some high level ball when I was a kid. And when I went the Navy, I played a few innings for the All Navy team. I’ve always been active, man, and I kept myself in relatively good shape until I had some depressive times in my life where I really got fat. But it’s been a great journey where, especially with grappling, because you’re so (for lack of better term) intimate with the person that you’re kind of rolling around on the ground with. But you build families out of that. So I have families that stem back to, you know, five-year-old guys that I wrestled, you know, 1977 and you see him through the years and you see us all still kind of staying within the grappling world. And it’s just a really cool family to have later in life.

Mike Malatesta  19:45

And you mentioned earlier that you found your family in the Navy. So you kind of explained how you ended up there, but you didn’t explain why Navy. So I’m always curious, why Navy,

Scott Ferguson  20:03

You know what, man, it was that I wanted to see a lot of the world, I wanted to go back to the Philippines, you know, and everyone’s like, Listen, man, if you sail out of the west coast of the Navy, the recruiters like, Listen, if we get you stationed on the West Coast, then we can, you know, you can go back to Philippines for free. Because all the ships stop in, you know, Subic Bay all the time in the Philippines. I’m like, Yeah, let’s do it. And so I signed up with the Navy, I graduated June 10, and I was in boot camp June 25. And just really never looked back. And I ended up getting stationed in Coronado Special Ops Base in California, Southern California there and by San Diego, and just built a family. And, you know, we went down-range quite a bit because what I did, which I don’t really want to get into that too much, but we went down-range quite a bit and was able to have, you know, friends that have your back, not so much physically, but also mentally, you know, for life, we’re always there for each other.

Mike Malatesta  21:07

And for those people who don’t know what down-range means?

Scott Ferguson  21:11

It’s like a deployment or a tour, you know, going overseas, and maybe a little bit more aggressive than what most people that might serve in the military do. We had to go and we had jobs to do that were pretty critical. 

Mike Malatesta  21:28

Okay, so special ops of some sort?

Scott Ferguson  21:34

Yeah. Like, I don’t really want to go too much into what I did. But yeah,

Mike Malatesta  21:39

That’s fine. What, you found a family there? What made you want to stop and move on?

Scott Ferguson  21:48

I hated being told what to do all the time. You know, again, I was a very militant adult. Okay, and I didn’t want to be told what to do. Which to me, honestly, Mike, if there’s any regret, which I don’t regret anything, really, but if there’s something I could do over, I would have stayed in 20,and would have been done by the time I was 38, you know, and then be able to build a business and still be young at 38. But when you’re 18, 38 feels old. Right? Now, looking back in retrospect, that’s the only thing I probably would have changed.

Mike Malatesta  22:23

Really, you would have stayed for 20 years.

Scott Ferguson  22:27

Yeah, I would have done that. But without not doing it. And you know, a lot of people have their thoughts on Facebook. But Facebook, to me is fantastic. Because it reunited a lot of the people that I served with, that I probably never would have connected with after our service. You know, I mean, I had a core group of friends. But now, you know, every February 20, veterans come to South Florida where I live now. There’s a huge golf tournament called the Honda Classic. And they have a veteran’s tent, very appreciative of veterans down here. And they all come and visit, you know, people that I served with. Last year, we didn’t have a minimum of 20 people come in was COVID year. Other than that, it was, you know, even this past year, we had 36 people and I also turned 50 during the tournament, so even more people came in and we just we had a blast, it was a really, really good time and be able to connect and share some stories and hang out in the veterans tent with people that served in Nam, or, you know, even World War Two old you know, 100, 105-year old people and then the Korean War. And so again, it’s a family that, you know, is there for you. I can pick up the phone and talk to anybody if I’m having an episode.

Mike Malatesta  23:40

That sounds phenomenal, by the way, I’m glad that that’s happening. The not like being told what to do, I’m like that too. A lot of us are like that, but I was never in the military. Right? So give me a feel for like, what you didn’t like being told to do. Was it the normal stuff? Was it just like the regular, you know, stuff? Or was it something else? 

Scott Ferguson  24:21

It was the structure that I loved, but it was that they owned me, you know, and again, I valued freedom a lot because subconsciously I didn’t know this at the time like, but subconsciously, I valued freedom so much as like, oh my gosh, I had to carry this beeper on me. Because when I did the beeper was the size of like an iPhone 14, it was huge. You called and I got to where they needed me to be. I didn’t like that at the time. I didn’t like wearing my hair short, so it wasn’t like I wanted to have the long hair or anything like that, but it’s just like, Oh man, it’s like I was always ambitious when I was young and I grew up is the poor side of the tracks in Plymouth, Michigan, which is really not poor, it’s actually very affluent compared to other parts like Detroit and whatnot. But I had friends whose families were entrepreneurs, I would see that and would always see them free, see them on the golf course, in the middle of the day, you know, and I was, you know, working at a golf course, when somebody to say, well, how does that happen? And then, you know, having people in the military that were side hustling, meaning they would work the military, but they’d also have jobs at like Gold’s Gym or delivering pizzas. So I realized that there’s more out there that I can attain and go after. My father, I love, him, but he worked on the line at General Motors for 30 years, he wasn’t a very ambitious man at all. So I never had that financial mindset at all. If I did get a lot of money, I’d blow through it. When I did get a lot of money, I was very arrogant. Very, very arrogant.

Mike Malatesta  26:07

Okay. So I want to get into that. But I want to ask you first, when you decided you were going to leave the Navy. Describe yourself. IHow do you remember yourself as like? Where are you when you made that decision?

Scott Ferguson  26:26

24 years old, 23-24 years old. Saying if I can make it through what I made it through, I can make it through anything. You know, my father, because of Vietnam, made sure that I had the help mentally upon discharge, made sure I got with the right people for that. But it was a time of, I’m going to be free. I can go out and do whatever I want. And I did. And I became my version of successful from doing it because I didn’t believe anybody could outwork me or out network me. So I got that work ethic and parlayed that into civilian life. And with the freedom that I had, I really made it in whatever situation that I was in. Now I know. I said, Oh yeah, do 20 years, but it would be more about staying with the family than really succeeding in life monetarily. Because when you’re in the military, you’re serving a nation. You’re consistently serving. When I got out of the military, I felt so much freedom that I didn’t feel like I had to serve anybody. I just got to get mine. And that’s what my downfall was. So the freedom, yeah, it was there. But I did it all from a vulture perspective.

Mike Malatesta  27:48

So let’s talk about that a little bit. You came back to the Detroit area. Okay. And you talked about the real estate. Is that what you started in right away? Or what was your first thing you did when you came back?

Scott Ferguson  28:06

It was again at where I was talking about side hustling when I was in the military. I got my personal trainer certification. So I was training people at Gold’s Gym in San Diego. Oh, that’s right. Yeah. Then I came back to Michigan and I started training people at a studio. It was basically you went in and you paid the owner of the studio a monthly fee. And I had clients and one of the clients is Gary Shapiro, who ended up you know, a very important mentor in my life. And he was training me; it was like so what you do know? What do you see for yourself. It wasn’t like personal training because I love doing it. But I didn’t love love being there every single day at someone’s beck and call and I just told him, Man I see all these outlets. At that time I was also bouncing at a bar at night a little bit. And at the time, I was going home and seeing these infomercials by Carlton Sheets that said no money down, buy real estate, all this can be done. Well. You know, I told Gary that, and Gary was kind of a real estate kingpin in the area. He’s like, That’s not how it works. Once you go find a property, I’ll buy it and I’ll teach you real estate investing. And that’s how it started with him. And it was kind of like the scene from Wall Street where Charlie Sheen walks into Michael Douglas and he hands him a deal. He’s like, That’s a dog with fleas. That’s another dog with fleas. It’s kind of that situation, but I found him that one property. And we bought that in 1999, yeah, ‘99 And we still own it to this day. It was my very first one, on Eastern Michigan’s campus, and we rent it out, keep it rented to college students. And it’s fantastic. And I just kept on working it, working at one time at over 100, 114, 115 properties. I’m down to about 80 now. That’s all overseen but yeah, the real estate kind of came into play with that and with investing first. 

So then I became a real estate agent because I loved working with people. That’s it. It’s arguably their biggest financial commitment that they’re making to that point in their life, you know, buying a house, right? Whether they buy up, buy up, buy up, you know, after time, so I really learned about following up, following through, following back, I really learned the three follows; I learned to stay organized by day, you know, but again, I was doing it from a place of not so much helping but my bottom line and my, my wallet.

Mike Malatesta  30:33

So there’s an important lesson in there with your personal training with Gary Shapiro. You’re connecting with him, you’re helping him, you’re providing value to him, and then he helps you do something that you sort of, you know, were dreaming about, but really didn’t have any idea how to get started.

Scott Ferguson  30:53

Right. And it was great. And, and I do believe in a plus, equal, minus lifestyle. And so, and I live this every single day, and basically a plus is, I find somebody that I’m striving to kind of get to, not be them, but strive to A level. And I work to learn from them. And then the equals is kind of like you and I, Mike, you know, I know you’ve sold businesses and stuff like that, but we can still bounce off of each other ideas and learn from each other. And the minus is what Gary did to me. He saw somebody that was asking questions, who was very curious, and he pulled me up. So I live a plus, equal, minus lifestyle every single day of my life now, with not a day going by because it’s in my journal. What did I plus-equal-minus today? Every single day, well, five days a week, I get myself as I treat my journaling, like a workout where you work out five days and take a couple days off. So plus-equal-minus is very, very critical to my life. And because it was done to me not just by Gary Shapiro, it was done by Sam Azaraka, another influential real estate investor that taught me about mobile home park investing. You know, I’ve had multiple coaches that have come through my life and really instilled in me mentoring others; you know, I believe that the more you mentor them, you become right, you become remembered and you just kind of keep it going and just keep paying it forward, if you will.

Mike Malatesta  32:25

So do you. I don’t want to put you on the spot. So tell me you’re fine. But do you have classes for today?

Scott Ferguson  32:36

Yeah, absolutely. I’m up to the plus, today; you know, I’m blessed. If there’s somebody that I’ve been really, really wanting to meet and I’m blessed to be a member of Mar-a Lago and whatever your affiliation with Trump is or whatever, but it’s his winter White House. And I get to meet him, you know, this afternoon for a bite to eat. And I get to, you know, I’m very curious. I believe curiosity is the biggest power in the world, period. Nothing’s invented without it. Bezos didn’t do Amazon, you know, Zuckerberg didn’t do Facebook. Everybody was curious. And so I’m just a very curious mofo, man. And so I get to do that. With regards to my plus, I’m doing it right now, you know it, with you. And then the minus, I do have a gentleman who’s young, he’s 23, who reached out to me to do a mock interview with him? Because he knows about my coaching program. So he’s getting his first you know, quote, unquote, real job. So I’m going to put him through a mock interview today. Very, very brutal one. Mock and if you’re listening, well, this already be out before you do it. But you’re in for one, buddy.

Mike Malatesta  33:51

Okay, he’s in for some pain. So a little mental jujitsu this afternoon for you, pal. You know, it’s funny, you mentioned the curiosity because I agree with you. I just feel like, and it’s so sad I think, because there’s a lot of people who either wash the curiosity out of themselves, or it’s washed out of them by people over time. Like, what could have happened to the way you grew up? Right? Like your curiosity could have been completely gone. Because abandonment was like the thing you were dealing with every day. And a lot of times when you’re dealing with something like that you don’t really have the currency to spend on curiosity.

Scott Ferguson  34:34

Drew true. Yeah. Best thing about curiosity is it’s free. You know, I just believe that you can have it, you just need to. I have clients that I coach where we really flex the hustle muscle that they have, but also get their curiosity on full tilt, you know, and we want them to be curious all the time. And that just bleeds through because I’m not a consultant, I’m a coach. So I know that I can get people there by the questions that I ask. It’s fun, Mike, when I get to see a lot of myself in the people that I’m coaching because coaching becomes super easy; I’m just paying for what somebody did to me, you know, with coaches for me.

Mike Malatesta  35:19

So, who was the coach or the mentor or the Gary who, in 2009 extended that hand to you or that idea or whatever? That got you out of this hole you were you were in?

Scott Ferguson  35:38

My coach at that time was my dog, his name is Rhodie. He’s a Rhodesian Ridgeback. And I rescued him from the Detroit Zoo in 2006, from the Zoo in Detroit. They had a doctor/buddy day. Okay. Wow. I just went got a wild. I know Rhodies. Yeah, one thing about Ridgebacks is that they are hunters of lions. They use ridgebacks. They’re fearless dogs. They use them to confuse lions, but because he’s fearless, he got used as a fluffer for Pitbull rings. So they would get that Rhodie to get them fired up so they can go in and hurt each other. So which really started a vendetta of mine, you know, for no-kill shelters as well and support as many as I can. But Rhodie was the only thing with a heartbeat that, because of how I was mean to people, when I had money, I didn’t want to reach out to anybody for help. Brody was the only living organism on this planet that had a heartbeat that was there for me. I mean, we squatted in that house together, you know I told you that I listed a house, and we lived there together. And we went through a lot of things together. And I just promised him one thing I go, We’re going to live at the beach. You know, one day, you know and I learned a ton from Rhodie about loyalty, about being humble, about gratitude. And you know, you can learn so much from a dog you know. I just believe my Pitbull now that I rescued, Stitches, is a reincarnation of Rhodie, and the same lessons are being learned every day. So I didn’t have a coach then, I couldn’t afford it. And two, you know, Rhodie was a Ridgeback and you needed to walk a lot. So I did a lot of movement, and he kept me moving even during times, and then going to the library to research a few things and meaning the gentleman that handed me the book, that book changed everything for me. Yeah, with Andy. So. Yeah.

Mike Malatesta  37:43

And you mentioned vulture a couple of times, did I hear you right? Somewhere? Say you actually was the name of your company. Vulture Capital? That’s bold, dude.

Scott Ferguson  37:54

It was, Dude. Again, I was cocky. I was printing money, man. I used to pray on other people’s misfortune. So I actually had Vulture Capital, LLC, which is a subsidiary of City and Suburban Equities, Inc, which is my company that is still around to this day, that holds all of my real estate. But I have it under there. And the best feeling in the world was shutting down that company. You know, so it was good. And if you ever think

Mike Malatesta  38:25

Do you ever think about the 20 years in the Navy, you thought about afterwards, you ever think about who you would be today, if you didn’t have that 2009 experience, the great recession? And you just continued to print money and continue to get what you wanted? Seemingly like you deserved it?

Scott Ferguson  38:59

absolutely, I needed to be humbled. I’m a God-fearing person. You know, I’m not gonna be religious, but, you know, I have a relationship with God. And there was, you know, even when I was being that person, I had a relationship with God. And I just feel that there was time to make a change in my life and my Creator made sure that that happened. And yeah, I mean, I probably would have kept on printing money and living and, you know, blowing through marriages, like I did learn through people, you know, afraid that they’re going to abandon me, so I get rid of them first, and that included friends, you know, and stuff like that and hurting the people that I loved the most. So, I probably need to answer your question. Yeah, I probably would have stayed on the same track back in 2009. By 2022, you know, rich as sin, but like you said, you know, life well lived is life with options, not obligations. Right, this was an amazing interview, Mike, and I learned a lot from you, and I really appreciate it, but yeah, I think that I would be that same douchebag to this day right now. Absolutely.

Mike Malatesta  40:06

Well, and I’m glad that happened to you,

Scott Ferguson  40:08

Me too. It’s up to going through it. But as Robin Sharma says, you know about a huge change you’re gonna make, it’s gonna be tough at the start, messy at the middle, but glorious at the end, right? So it was a hell of a journey through these past 12 years with it and I, you know, I wouldn’t change a thing on anything but that’s one thing that there’s so many lessons learned in that 12 years in building time to shine today to where it’s at. And being able to help as many people as I’m able to, consistently, you know, plus-equal-minus every single day and help as many people as I can. It’s fun. It’s the life that I love living.

Mike Malatesta  40:47

Nice. So how’d you get to Florida, what happened?

Scott Ferguson  40:51

I got an itch to compete in a bodybuilding competition. And, you know, I was weighing about 290 at the time, just fat. And then I hired a coach, and Shelby Starnes got me down to about 220 in 18 weeks, just shredded. But with that happening, I placed very well in the Mr. Michigan. With that being said, it killed my immune system, killed it. And I got this infection that they had to put me on antibiotics that were like making my bones feel like they were just gonna break. And I was just feeling terrible, and it’s documented that warm weather help. This is like absolute, but you can’t fly because the medications you’re on and, you know, just the air pressure inside might hurt your body. And, you know, I have my best friend from womb to tomb. Tim Nardini. He lives in Wellington, Florida, and his birthday is on December 31. So every year I’d fly down and see him for his birthday and hang out and get out of the cold. He’s like, Hey, man, I’ve got an in-law suite why don’t you just come crash here for a few weeks, get you healthy and see you and get you back to Michigan. Well, I came down, never went back. And you know, I was training a gentleman named Mark Wacker that runs the Ferguson team in Detroit now to this day. And he took over and he kept crashing, I molded him. And at the time, I thought I was training my competition. You know, that’s like, this kid’s too good. But God had a different plan, brought me to Florida. And Mark is still running that. So it’s a nice little check I get from up north every year from what Mark closes, and just ended up staying in building and continuing to build Time to Shine Today and the real estate business as well.

Mike Malatesta  42:39

And Time to Shine Today, what prompted you to start that? How’d you get it off the ground and why?

Scott Ferguson  42:47

The name of it goes back to Nardini, my best friend, when we are in the military. We were actually in the military together. We’ve known each other since grade school. But we also went military together. And again, I was talking about side hustling, everyone’s doing side hustling. So we had a car detailing company. He named it Time to Shine, right? And I was like, Oh, that’s cool. So I ramped it up as kind of almost an homage to him. I named it I lost that because I didn’t renew the URL. So I added “Time” to it, which I love it actually. Because if you go to right now, it’s a cleaning company in like Colorado, right? But it’s a redirect to the cleaning company. And they’re like, Oh yeah, we’ll sell this back to you for 10 grand, like, Well, I’m not paying that. So I added “Today” to the end of it, and ended up loving it because it flows and it keeps you present, because I believe that so many people have a foot in the future and a foot in the past, they piss all over the present, right? And if it’s Time to Shine Today, it’s like, you’ve got to do it today. Today’s freakin matter, man. You’re sitting in a car, that rearview mirror is small for a reason, you know, because that’s your history. The windshield is huge, because you see where you’re going. But the car don’t drive without today, what you’re doing now. So yeah, Time to Shine Today came from that. But it wasn’t anywhere near where it is now. Back then, I would go to like Clickbank and JVZoo and find these digital products that people were making, and start writing blogs around them on a platform called E-zine andArticle Naught and all this stuff, I write them and I would make these little affiliate sales. And then I was like, Oh, this is cool. And then people kept on saying, Hey, can you research this and write about this? So, I started doing that. And that just led into picking up some of those people that asked me to research some stuff to kind of pseudo-coach them. What I mean, it’s just like I’d have conversations with them. And then it got into, nine years ago, got into it — yeah, it was 2013, I got into coaching, you know, you know, one-on-ones. And now I’m blessed to the point where I have companies that’s like I’m looking at the Atlantic Ocean right now, but I also have a whole room over here to my left that’s full of swag that companies send me to do product reviews on for free. So I get like a $5 mountain bike or whatever, so I do the review on it. And then they’ll give me a deal for like 24 hours to sell it to my list, you know, for so the mountain bike is I can, it’s an A Scott mountain bike. It’s a beautiful, beautiful mountain bike. I don’t know anything about it, I have a mountain bike, but I just do touring on it, but I took it to some trails here in South Florida, which had some really nice trails and asked a mountain biker there to do a GoPro thing, did that, and I was able to sell it for 2,200 bucks for 24 hours, $5,000 bike for 2500 bucks in 14 sales, they paid me 495 sale, almost 500 sale. So there’s a lot of that where I get a lot of really cool things now protein powders, awesome books, you know, OwnerShift might pick it up, might pick it up, you know, I get really cool stuff. And so I get to, again, live my life with options, you know, and make some money along the way. So it’s pretty cool. And that what we’re doing with coaching right now, with the people that I’m interviewing is, you know, getting them into the Time to Shine Today family where we want to be kind of like Angie’s List, in a sense, where you know, people are running marketing every day for coaching. But when they come in, if they’re not for me, they kind of people that I’m looking to coach, I can put them with people that can get them to where they are and I take a little bit affiliate commission off them as well. You know, so I’m interviewing people for free except for making a nice small donation to the suicide prevention hotline like you, yourself did. And thank you. And I’m able to, you know, touch as many people as I can, it just all goes back to we don’t want anyone to feel like they have no one.

Mike Malatesta  47:04

So first of all, I love the “today” on the end of Time to Shine, because it gives an immediacy to it. So the level up, you got level up on pretty much everything that you do. Once. What’s that? What’s that about? What’s it mean? Why do you have it?

Scott Ferguson  47:37

It started out as a joke, man, it was. Remember Sega Genesis, you know, little, little video games you know, kids had; it wasn’t even kids, I was in my 20s and people were like Fergie, man, come on, hang out with us, we’re gonna level-up, you know, play some games, and I’m like, You losers level up, I’m going to get a workout in, I’m going to get on the mats with somebody, I’m going to go have some fun, do something, keep moving in, level up, level their eye level up, level up. And so it’s just like, You losers level up. And then it just kind of like parlayed into what I call juice meetings with my real estate team, like, Hey, guys, we got to level up today. And this is it, you know, so it’s consistent, it’s like, instead of saying Kaizen, you know, constant improvement, the Japanese word, you just say level up, it’s a lifestyle for me, it’s a lifestyle for my clients that I’m blessed to coach, the lifestyle for my team that I’m blessed to have that helps me, you know, shine in my own way. And so that’s really where it came from. It was a joke, you know, about gaming, before gaming was even gaming, you know? And it just parlayed into, you know, a friend of mine said, Kaizen one day. And I’m like, What’s that? It’s constant improvement. I just loved it. That’s how it was. And that’s lame. It’s my version of kaizen.

Mike Malatesta  48:53

Okay, all right. I like it very organic. Just a response like, yeah, that there’s something to that. Yeah, I like it. You’re working on a book. Right? Speaking of books. What is it? What’s it about?

Scott Ferguson  49:07

I have a business parable. And that is, I can’t say the title yet. But it’s about a real estate broker, a generation X, Gen X, like myself, real estate broker that loses a huge deal in South Florida. And he wants to, he just wants to quit the business. So he goes into his millennial, you know, broker, and it’s like, I’m going to quit and it’s like, well listen, my dad said, if I was ever to quit, talk to these five people. And basically, I get introduced to, you know, a pro skateboarder for staying in the moment and navy seal for taking action. You know, I’d be able to draw out of my experiences with people and make it into a really fun business parable in the likes of maybe like a Bob Burg Go Giver, you know, or something like that. And then I have a second book, which you’re going to be in, actually, you’re going to be in a couple of quotes that I’ve mentioned today within my book. I’ve made some rewrites on that, which is actually pretty cool. And you’ll have credit in the book itself, but I also have a book called Regurgitate, and basically because I really believe that everybody regurgitates other people’s stuff. I did two of your things today, you know, regurgitated, I believe, you know, Tony Robbins, who I’ve been blessed to open for speaking, I do know him as is a person as well. You know, he regurgitates Jim Rohn. Jim Rohn regurgitates Earl Nightingale back to Wallace, wattles, all the way back to Seneca, right? Or any of the stoics were all regurgitating things. So I’m taking everybody’s podcast interview. And I’m actually writing a 300-word summary on each podcast interview, which I got from it. And to also give more love to my interviewees. I’m putting a QR code on every page for them to scan and go listen, or listen, or, you know, watch the interview that I did with them. So it’s, you know, it’s always consistently giving back, but also been able to give something away at a speaking event or something like that, because honestly, I’m losing a ton of commissions, if you will, at speaking events, I get paid very well to speak. But we have a product budget of $1,500 for books, or $500 for books, I’m missing out on that. That’s not why I’m writing the book, but it just kind of parlays on to it. So it’s given me a piece of me away that people can take with them. So there’s just a couple of books in the works, and it’s gonna be exciting 2023 for sure.

Mike Malatesta  51:34

You expect them both to come out in 2023?

Scott Ferguson  51:38

They’ll both be 100% out in 2023, because I’m writing the Regurgitate in volumes where I’m doing 25 podcast interviews at a time. And they’ll be in volumes and they’re going to come out like that. And then my business parable, that’s already complete, Mike, but it’s working with editors and adding in a few different things and little things to the stories because the whole book is written around experiences that I’ve had in South Florida, you know, whether it’s Jupiter, Florida, Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Miami or whatnot. And I have like, different places that the character stops and I was able to learn how to write scenes that way, you know, hey, this is a kava bar and explain what Kava is. I’m a huge proponent of Kava, huge proponent of Kava, the drink Kava Kava. So, you know, I educate them as they go along as well. And I’m not doing it to be a best seller or anything like that. It’s just it’s kind of like a piece of me that I can leave here, and also give away at events I’m blessed to be commissioned to speak at.

Mike Malatesta  52:44

Well, I give you a lot of credit. Those are two very divergent books.

Scott Ferguson  52:50

One of them wrote himself, Mike, all you have to do for the Regurgitate, is go back to the show notes. And listen to the show. It’s

Mike Malatesta  52:59

yeah, but yeah, taking a show and putting it down to 300 words that capture, yeah, the show and are interesting to somebody else, that’s not easy That’s hard. 

Scott Ferguson  53:10

No, it’s not. And I’m doing it a lot more as a way to give back to the people I’ve interviewed. You know, if I can, it’s a great idea. And even more, yeah, it’s great. I got, you know, a good friend of mine, Meg Nocero, which is on my list of somebody to introduce, you know.

Mike Malatesta  53:28

I know mag, I’ve been on Meg’s show.

Scott Ferguson  53:30

Okay, so Meg is a really good friend of mine here in South Florida. And she’s been instru-frickin-mental in introducing me to the right people for my book, okay. And she wrote the book, Butterflies and Bliss. Each one of them is a chapter of 300 words and what she thinks of something. And that’s what really spurred my idea. Really, I can take each interview, put it into like a small little blog post, and give credit back to the people I’ve interviewed, whether it’s a link in the Kindle or a QR code on the actual printed page where they can go and scan. So there’ll be volumes of that, I’m not going to give, you know, 400 interviews in one book, No, it’s just gonna be like, you know, what Tim Ferriss did in Tribe of Mentors, you know, stuff like that, you know, one price-wise, it ain’t gonna work, and two, I’m able to keep brand A Time to Shine Today on more of a consistent basis.

Mike Malatesta  54:32

Tribe of Mentors was interesting because it was he basically gave, you know, subcontracted the writing to the people he asked to be in the book. It’s kind of like, it was a very unique and brilliant way to do it.

Scott Ferguson  54:46

I have an awesome story about Ferris man. I went out to visit in 2007 to San Diego again, I was stationed there, so I had a lot of friends. I’m like man, I want to find Tim Ferriss and a friend of mine said, I know where he lives like, this is right after he wrote The Four-Hour Workweek right? 

Mike Malatesta  55:06

So when he was just getting started. 

Scott Ferguson  55:08

Yeah, I respect the hell out of him, but I like pounded on his door, man, and he lived under this like little not shack, but he was on the water on the Pacific Ocean but it was like this little, like room with a bunch of surfboards and Muay Thai stuff. He’s a martial artist as well. And all this stuff. And he’s like, Can I help you? I’m like, Dude, your book is awesome. And he’s like, come on in. So I got the egg affairs before he was Ferris. You know, he was cool. So I’ve seen him at a few events. And I’m like, Hey, I’m your stalker. He’s like Hey man, What’s up, you know? So it’s, it’s kind of a really cool thing because I just, you know, I believe in no matter where you’re at in life, you know, ask, ask, be curious, bro. You know, and that’s what I do. I’m not afraid. You know, I want to make sure I have something for the person. Now as I get a little older before I do and ask, right. But if I’m stuck, and I know that person can help me out, I ask, even if I don’t have anything in that moment, you know that it was just a pure selfish endeavor, really. And it was during my selfish times, you know, because it happened in 2007, you know, that I reached out or just kind of banged on, you know, Tim’s door. But again, selfish, you know, a lot of people misconstrue that too, you know, selfish is not a bad word. Even if you look in Webster’s Dictionary, just putting yourself first and that’s what I do every single day in my morning, you know, move forward so I can serve, serve, serve, you know; smile, serve, help, whatever I can do.

Mike Malatesta  56:38

Yeah, there’s a great book out there called OwnerShift. The subtitle is “How Getting Selfish Got Me Unstuck.” Well, Fergie, man, this has been so, so much fun. Thank you so much for being on the show. Brother. Anything you want to end with how you want people to get a hold of you somewhere specifically?

Scott Ferguson  57:02

You know, what if you want to call our team directly, if you don’t already have anybody that’s in need to help? You know, if you need coaching, go to Mike okay, but if there’s something that’s outside of coaching that maybe we can help you with 561-4403820, you can visit us at And check out our podcasts, you know, And we’re also on all directories. Make sure you listen to #335 with awesome Mike Malatesta and I just want to remind people, man, that you know, don’t take life too seriously. We’re not making it out alive, man, and lastly, whatever you do, do it for the intention and not the attention, man. Get out there and help people

Mike Malatesta  57:42

Fergie, L Scott Ferguson, thank you so much for being on today.

Scott Ferguson  57:46

You bet. Brother. Love your guts! 

Mike Malatesta

Mike Malatesta

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