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Eugene Remm

Building a Hospitality and Wellness Empire


We always make fun of dogs chasing their tails.

It’s funny to watch- they spin and spin and spin trying to catch the impossible.

They eventually flop onto the ground exhausted.

What’s the “tail” you are chasing? 

You probably think something will change when you finally catch that thing that is just out of reach, but the reality is that it probably won’t.

I’ve accomplished so many goals that ultimately left me feeling empty.

Stop spinning around reaching for things that won’t ultimately bring you happiness. Instead, focus on the process and the impact you have on others. 

On today’s episode of The School of Greatness, I talk about figuring out what really matters with a King of New York hospitality: Eugene Remm.

“You have to be a hundred percent sure to have a fifty percent shot.”@Eugene_Remm  

Eugene Remm is an entrepreneur and wellness expert whose companies include Catch Hospitality Group (Catch Restaurants, Lexington Brass) and the boxing-inspired group fitness concept Rumble. Forbes Magazine dubbed him one of the “New Kings of New York Hospitality.” 

Eugene has been able to leverage social media in truly innovative ways by staying ahead of trends and being authentic.

He had to learn through failure to be a team player. He now teaches that looking out for the benefit of all benefits you as well. 

So get ready to learn how to play big and stay humble on Episode 842.

“Manage everyone else’s ego by controlling your own.” @Eugene_Remm  

Some Questions I Ask:

  • What happened to your nightclubs? (27:00)
  • How do you handle relationships when their investments are lost? (28:00)
  • What was the moment you had the biggest ego slap? (34:30)
  • Why does a nightclub guy think he can start a fitness company? (47:00)
  • How do you attract such high profile investors? (52:00)
  • How do you manage 1000 people? (1:04:00)

In this episode, you will learn:

  • Why you should focus on the process and not the goal (7:00)
  • Why it’s important to know your limit (21:00)
  • The power of taking accountability for your failures (25:00)
  • Why you need a balance of gut instincts and data (38:00)
  • The three things you need to be successful (40:00)
  • When to lean into a trend and when to go against it (42:00)
  • Why paying people isn’t the number one thing (1:06:00)
  • Plus much more…

Transcript of this Episode

Male Announcer: This is episode number 842 with Eugene Remm.

Lewis Howes: Welcome to the school of greatness. My name is Lewis Howes, former pro athlete turned lifestyle entrepreneur. And each week, we bring you an inspiring person or message to help you discover how to unlock your inner greatness. Thanks for spending some time with me today. Now let the class begin.

[background music]

Lewis Howes: Walt Disney said, “Do what you do so well but they want to see it again and bring their friends.”

I’ve never had someone on quite like Eugene Remm. And most of you probably don’t know his name, but you might know his brands. And Eugene is an entrepreneur and wellness expert whose companies Catch Hospitality Group and Rumble have achieved notable success as bi-coastal, multi-market operations. 

Forbes Magazine called Eugene, “One of the New Kings of New York Hospitality”. Eugene, along with his business partner propelled their seafood restaurant, Catch, from a standalone New York City flagship to an international phenomenon with successful locations in LA, Playa Del Carmen, Las Vegas, and additional outposts slated for this year. 

He is currently the Chief Brand Officer of Rumble, which is blowing up in LA and New York and taking over the social media world, just one of the fastest growing fitness concepts with numerous locations opening up all over the United States in a recent minority stake acquisition by Equinox Fitness Clubs, with a new boot camp style running concept Rumble Treading. Rolling out this fall Rumble is further poised to take the fitness and wellness space by Storm. So watch out for Rumble. 

And in this interview, we talked about Eugene’s definition of success. And why he thinks money is like sugar? We talk about how he got his chops in the New York club scene, and all of the mistakes and failures that he learned by opening up too many restaurants and clubs too fast.

What investors need to understand about all industries out there, the importance of constantly innovating, and when to lean into trends that are happening in the industries?

How to find branding that works for you, and will have longevity, and the most powerful ways to manage teams and egos when you have hundreds or thousands of employees, it’s challenging to manage all the egos and build teams within your business. He talks about how he does that, with all of his brands.

Excited about this one. And a big thank you to our sponsor today, NetSuite, it’s the business management software that handles every aspect of your business in an easy to use Cloud Platform; giving you the visibility and the control you need to grow. With NetSuite, you can save time, money, and unneeded headaches by managing sales, finance and accounting orders and HR instantly right from your desktop and your phone. And that’s why NetSuite is the world’s number one cloud business system. 

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Again, if you’re building a multiple seven figure business, or you have millions of followers on social media and in your email list, but you haven’t figured out how to monetize that for your business, then go to right now, and apply, and see if you’re the right fit for this influential group. Check it out right now at 

And now without further ado, let’s dive into this episode with the one and only Eugene Remm.

[background music]

Lewis Howes: What would make this the most impactful thing you’ve ever done in your life, this conversation?

Eugene Remm: If one kid out there, who was similar to me at 21-22, got some information that shifted his perspective and then he went out there and did some cool stuff.

When I was 30, I made some money; I put 50K into a basketball foundation in the town I grew up in Queens. And I thought I was going to find a bunch of Russian Jewish kids that wanted to like play basketball and hear about life. And I was super disappointed that none of them gave a darn about life and just wanted to come play basketball. I could care less about any information on their growth. And I thought that other 14-15 year old kids would have questions and opportunities when they met me or the other people that I brought in to speak with them after the basketball that they would be into it. And they weren’t. 

And I was disappointed initially. And I spoke to someone and they said, it’s not result driven, it’s the process driven. So as long as your goal was there, if you want to be just driven by the result, you’re going to be disappointed way more often in life than you’re going to be happy. So focus on the process. 

So in that scenario, I wasn’t able to reach one single person to do something successful. So why I go on these things, is if I can communicate to young people who are trying to do something they can take something from this and pivot that’s awesome. 

So I know I’m not going to have a chance to have one on one lunches or dinners with 10,000; 20,000; 30,000, whatever amount of people, so any opportunity to share an authentic message with no personal agenda for me, that would make my day.

Lewis Howes: Right.  It’s great. I love it. We’ve got Eugene Remm in the house, very excited about this. It’s good to see you man.

Eugene Remm: Thank you brother. Thank you as well.

Lewis Howes: Thank you for being here.

Eugene Remm: Thanks for having me.

Lewis Howes: I love what we were just talking about because I think in my life I was so driven by results and goals of needing to achieve my dreams. As an athlete, I wanted to be an all American, a professional football player. And I achieve those dreams and I was always disappointed by achieving them.

Eugene Remm: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: And you were just talking about having this goal of, you know, having these kids be impacted and really want to be hungry for mentorship. None of them were.

Eugene Remm: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: Isn’t it interesting that it always comes back the process in life. Like even when we achieve the goals, I remember being miserable for days, weeks afterwards being like, I did everything I wanted to do, but I’m still not happy.

Eugene Remm: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: And so it doesn’t matter if we achieve it or not, it should always be focused on the impact, the process, what we learned in the process, and how we help people.

Eugene Remm: Yeah, I agree. I mean, I educate your storytelling. So for me, it’s, you can give a statement like, “Hey, enjoy the process. And people are like, “Cool.”

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Eugene Remm: But for me –

Lewis Howes: I really want this thing.

Eugene Remm: I really want this thing. So for me I could simply say that every time I look back on a successful moment, the moment where something sells or something happens is the most uneventful part of the entire process.

Lewis Howes: Like raising all the money.

Eugene Remm: That’s right.

Lewis Howes: Or selling the company.

Eugene Remm: The whole thing, the day to day journey. So I remember sitting with someone and I own two nightclubs, and they said, “What do you want next?” I said “Three nightclubs.” And he goes, “And then what?” “Four nightclubs.” He goes, “And then what?” He goes, “A restaurant.” He goes, “And then what?” “A hotel.” “And then what?” And then you start thinking like, oh my God, I don’t even know what I really want. And I always compare it to the way we make fun of dogs, when they chase their tail, they spin and spin and spin and they get dizzy, and then they flop. And I feel a lot of times; people are just chasing a tale. They never catch it. And then they just flop, and even if they do catch it, then what? They just sit there. 

So I think sometimes you’re wasting a ton of energy on the goal. And I can tell you, at certain moments where you hit financial success, I thought something was going to change, right? And nothing changed.

So if you think that your happiness is based off of financial success – and by the way, what a wonderful thing to put in front of people because say, when you make a lot of money, you will be happy because most people will not make a lot of money. So then they can go on that journey for their whole life and never reach their goal, which is kind of fun, because then the process is there for them.

Lewis Howes: Right.

Eugene Remm: So no one’s really crying for people who are super successful, or wealthy, or doing the best at what they do, but they should have a little bit of empathy because when they keep achieving things, they realize that it’s not enough. 

So it’s really, really important to think that money is dangerous. And the idea that getting it is going to fix life’s problems and the world’s problems. It’s so not true, but most people like, “Yeah, right. You say that because you have it.” And they don’t, so they won’t be able to really understand but that’s just a fact.

Lewis Howes: I think Jim Carrey said something like; I wish everyone becomes rich and famous one day so they can realize it’s not the key to happiness or something like that.

Eugene Remm: Absolutely.

Lewis Howes: It’s not going to solve all your problems.

Eugene Remm: Look, I think I compared to when you’re in an airplane, and they tell you to put your oxygen mask on first so that you can help other people. I do think money is energy and energy is oxygen. So I do think it’s important to like, have enough money, where you look feel safe.

Like I will admit that I can sit here very comfortably talking about, how I’m going to create relationships in my business, how I’m going to grow our teammates, because financially we are doing well as a business. And if I didn’t have that financial security as a business, it’d be much harder to sell this into myself and to others. So I do think there’s something about a level of a platform that money can give you.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Eugene Remm: So that you could take that next step that by no means is it a pill, or a silver bullets, any sort of happiness.

Lewis Howes: Yeah, it might give you a sense of peace around safety, but there might be a lot of other emotional challenges are faced with. I think people with money have a weight of responsibility that people that don’t have money will never face and that can cause a lot of stress and anxiety in itself.

I’m not saying like, poor people that have money, they have so many problems, but I know a lot of people with money, I’m sure you did too.

Eugene Remm: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: Aren’t happy, who are struggling more than anyone. It seems like.

Eugene Remm: I was making $65,000 in 2005. I was working for a gentleman named Steve Hansen. I was running one of his 30 stores. And every night, people would come in and they were incredibly wealthy. And it was the first time I saw wealth, because there was no Instagram. So when I was growing up –

Lewis Howes: Yeah, it’s all like —

Eugene Remm: Yeah, you sell stuff.

Lewis Howes: The cash coming out of the bottle buying is telling you.

Eugene Remm: That’s right. So you know when I was growing up and someone said, “Oh, I’m going away on a ski trip for vacation.” I didn’t know what that meant. I only saw the little tag on their jacket.

Lewis Howes: Right, right.

Eugene Remm: That you knew they went skiing, but I don’t even know what that meant.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Eugene Remm: So I didn’t understand that they were, they had means to go skiing, and where they stayed and all that sort of stuff. So I just thought like, I went to the Poconos and stayed in a hot, and they went to Florida there was probably a hot in Florida. I didn’t realize that there were different layers of it. So you don’t know that growing up.

In 2004 and 2005, you start meeting these really successful people. And at first, you’re enamored with their ability, with their title. And then they are kind to you because you are the key holder to their fun. So they communicate with you and share with you, and then you with time you find out that most of them have just as many problems as your buddies from college.

Lewis Howes: Right.

Eugene Remm: And have just as many issues. And you would think that they are unstoppable and completely secure with their wealth, but they’re not. So being in that industry, and seeing all these successful people, and understanding that they are no different other than this outer layer that they show to the world that was really interesting, because that’s the first time you really understood what wealth did. It was a thing you heard about.

Lewis Howes: Um-hmm.

Eugene Remm: So again, when you hear about it, and you never accomplish it, you just think when I get there, I’ll be really happy. So let’s spend my entire life –

Lewis Howes: Getting there, trying to get there.

Eugene Remm: Trying to get there. And that’s kind of a scam. And I think that needs to be flipped on its head and people need to really focus on –

Lewis Howes:  Its true man.

Eugene Remm: –on doing things that make them happy.

Lewis Howes: I think, you know, if you’re financially rich, but you’re spiritually, emotionally relationship poor, you’re just like trapped or dead.

Eugene Remm: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: You’re gonna feel exhausted, you’re gonna feel lonely, you’re gonna feel sad, resentful, angry, all those things.

Eugene Remm: Money is a sugar rush. It’s an immediate Hi with a very, very, very long love.

Lewis Howes: That sugar taste good for a second.

Eugene Remm: One second. So I really, I really believe that like in your 20s, when you’re starting out, you try to, you can take as much sugar as possible and you’re willing to give up while I’ll call the broccoli.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Eugene Remm: Great in fiber, great in minerals really healthy for you, really will give you long term energy. Doesn’t taste like sugar, but that’s the process, that’s the food that will actually make you feel great. And people that are driven by the sugar, they’re going to burn out, and they’re going to need a lot more sugar to be one bit of average. 

It’s like on the beginning, one cup of coffee, you’re flying, right? Then you need four or five to get that same results. So that’s what I find that successful people do with – successful, when I say successful, I mean financially successful.

Lewis Howes: Yeah, yeah.

Eugene Remm: They need more coffee.

Lewis Howes: Um-hmm.

Eugene Remm: So they need to make a million, and they need 10; and then they make 10, and then they need 50; and they need 50, they make 100 to try to reach that same thing that that first cup of coffee did for them in the beginning.

Lewis Howes: So what’s the difference between, “Okay, you’ve got one restaurant and now you want to have multiple restaurants, and you’ve got another business for the gym, and now you want to have scale it to 20 gyms, like why not just stick with one each?

Eugene Remm: It’s a very good question.

Lewis Howes: Why do we need more? [chuckles] I’m not saying it’s right or wrong.

Eugene Remm: No, no, no, I think about it often. And I think about what life was like when we had, when Mark and I had one nightclub. And we lived in a cool apartment three blocks from the club. And I think it’s growth, and I think it’s evolving, and I think it’s opportunity to grow other people, because at the end of the day, if you’re not in service to others, you will be incredibly lonely. 

Lewis Howes: That’s true. That’s true.

Eugene Remm: And I really feel that if you’re given a platform to create things that more people can enjoy, that it can employ more people, that can then make them enjoy things and do more things like that’s exciting to me.

So at 25, or at 30, one club would have been enough. But that’s not enough if you want to grow. It’s really important to know what your limit is.

Lewis Howes: Um-hmm.

Eugene Remm: And then, you know, I’ve gone through several times where I think my limit is this, I push it, and then the world slaps me back.

Lewis Howes: So how did that happen?

Eugene Remm: I mean, look, we had, unlike from one venue to June –

Lewis Howes:  Which was the hottest nightclub in – 

Eugene Remm: 2006 —

Lewis Howes:  — New York and the country.

Eugene Remm: It was certainly something special and it was something we certainly weren’t expecting –


Lewis Howes:  Every celebrity and all the models, all the important people came, right?

Eugene Remm: Day one was Kanye West, Jay-Z, Penelope Cruz. Our first birthday party Mark and I are both born on the 10th of June, so we call the 10 June, because we really want to make sure everybody knew its ours.

Lewis Howes:  That’s cool. [laughs] Know we go involved at all.

Eugene Remm: No, no, no, of course not. And I think it’s okay in 28-29.

Lewis Howes:  Yeah, of course.

Eugene Remm: Like you want to make a name for yourself and there’s no – that’s why I said when people say like, “Oh, what’s the keys to success?” I was like, “I have what has been successful to me and what has failed to me, and I’ll share that. And I think everyone has their own different version. I think there are times to be, to have ego, and to be positive about who you are. And then there’s times to pull it back. There’s no one strategy. I think at 28-29 to make it about yourself, because it was about us, and we were driving it.”

So that went to one, and fast forward to 14.

Lewis Howes: Fourteen nightclubs.

Eugene Remm: And restaurants.

Lewis Howes: And restaurants.

Eugene Remm: Yes. Atlantic City, Miami, New York, New Jersey, all of it. And we had to go back down to three.

Lewis Howes: So you went to 14 is that you said?

Eugene Remm: Fourteen to three.

Lewis Howes: What happened when you go down to three?

Eugene Remm: We –

Lewis Howes:  Got slapped in the face?

Eugene Remm:  We thought it would be great to just continue to do it the way we did it, and grow it. And that’s where you have to learn about structure, and strategy.

Lewis Howes:  Operations.

Eugene Remm:  Operations, and stuff where it’s not just the sizzle and you need the substance. So now in 2019 its structure and culture, and we’re in a seesaw in our business on how to balance the culture, which is the fun, because we’re in the business of fun. That’s the challenging thing about the business of fun it can be really fun, but you better find the structure to it. And if you’re all structure –

Lewis Howes:  You’re boring.

Eugene Remm:  You’re boring and then you’re a widget company, and then people won’t come to your restaurants, or your gyms, or anything like that. So we went through this us of 14, the world told us that the way we did it was wrong, and it snapped us back down. But that was the best thing that ever happened to us because it allowed us an opportunity to retreat, reset, refocus.

Lewis Howes:  Progress, and coaching, and mentors from people have done before.

Eugene Remm:  Yeah, absolutely. Look, it was – because again, going from one to 14, who’s going to tell you you’re wrong when everything you do is right?

Lewis Howes: Is working.

Eugene Remm:  Is working. So and that’s important, too because if you came to me right now and said, “I’d like to open up a restaurant.” I’m gonna say, “You’re gonna fail.” Like, “What? You didn’t even tell me the idea.’ And I’m going to say, “I’m 95%, right just because you said you want to open up a restaurant, it’s going to fail.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Eugene Remm:  So you really want to make sure in the beginning, you do listen to that 5%.

Lewis Howes: Um-hmm.

Eugene Remm:  Were like, “Yeah, I get that most are going to fail, but that’s not this. This is going to be different.” And you need that to be successful in the beginning. But after a while, you have to start understanding that I should probably start listening to a few more people because we know how this story ends.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Eugene Remm:  Just like every athlete that makes $150 million and burns it all. How’s that possible? Their whole life since they’ve been five years old, they’re the best at what they do. They’re the best kid in their middle school. They’re the best kid in their high school. They’re the best kid in their college. Why would they ever think it’s going to end?

Lewis Howes: Yeah, their talents never going to run out, yeah.

Eugene Remm:  Absolutely. Why would they think it would ever going to end? And you can understand it now and even I can understand it now. You get caught up. And that’s when you slap back, that’s when you reset, and with that reset, we found this diamond. The diamond is catch. And it wasn’t 4 am nightclubs seven days a week. It wasn’t multi concepts, Mexican food and this. And it wasn’t multi city, it was catch. And yeah –

Lewis Howes: In New York?

Eugene Remm: In New York City. And that property was reshaped and it was led by great food, great service, great vibe. And that was put into place in a basic core principles of running the business take care of the staff, staff will take care of the guests, guests will take care of the bills. 

In the past it was I need money, so I’m going to take care of you, the guest; and staff, you better work, because you’re making money too. So I had it backwards. And I take full responsibility for that. In the past, I was the other thing, I blamed other people, I blamed employees that worked for us, I blamed developers and partners, and other people, but quite honestly I made the decision to hire all those people, so as soon as you take accountability and responsibility for your failures, and yes other people may not have executed, but you hire them. You decide to put them in that position. You chose not to pivot earlier. You chose to go down the path. You didn’t instruct and inspect.

Lewis Howes: You kept them on for a year, two years.

Eugene Remm: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: Hoping they’ll change, yeah.

Eugene Remm: And hope is not a strategy.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Eugene Remm: And that’s a big one, hope is not a strategy. “I hope this works.” That’s not a strategy.

Lewis Howes: [laughs]

Eugene Remm: That is almost just blind faith. And you know, occasionally blind faith works. But I think if you’re trying to be successful in a percentage game, you need more than blind faith.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Eugene Remm: So 14 and two, focus on catch, expand to Los Angeles, understand that –

Lewis Howes: The nightclubs – sorry, the nightclubs stop then?

Eugene Remm: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: You said we’re done with a nightclub business.

Eugene Remm: But it wasn’t one moment where 12 places close.

Lewis Howes: Alright.

Eugene Remm: But you know Tenjune was in its eighth year, stop being successful. We gave it back to our partners who own us the SDK upstairs. Even Arthur’s had run its course the club below it has run its course, Atlantic City, which was a $2.4 billion casino, where we were doing incredibly well the casino went bankrupt.

Lewis Howes: Wow.

Eugene Remm: It went bankrupt. So these are things that – you couldn’t write this in a story but it happens. Miami, the project didn’t work. So here you are. We did this project on the Lower East Side called The Finale and the General, 22,000 square feet. And we’re supposed to open and then Hurricane Sandy hits.

Lewis Howes: Oh man.

Eugene Remm: So we go about one and a half million dollars on overages to get it open, is not successful, is not soundproof, the concept was improving, the neighborhood was improving, and we’re in $12 million.

Lewis Howes: Oh.

Eugene Remm: Bye.

Lewis Howes: Oh!

Eugene Remm: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: What do you do about that when you’re down 12 mil?

Eugene Remm: You –

Lewis Howes: Your own money or investors’ money or – ?

Eugene Remm: Both.

Lewis Howes: Oh, man.

Eugene Remm: Both. I mean, you have to have honest conversations. You have to accept that the process wasn’t executed and there is many reasons for it.

Lewis Howes: Wow.

Eugene Remm: And you have to figure out how to pivot and move on.

Lewis Howes: How do you handle those relationships when – I’ve never taken investors and my brands. I’ve had a lot of different offers.

Eugene Remm: Um-hmm.

Lewis Howes: I’ve always been timid. I never felt like I needed it yet.

Eugene Remm: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: But how do you deal with that when concepts may pay dividends these investors for a while, but then 12 million loss and they’re out and you can’t really do anything about it. How do you have that conversation? And is that relationship done forever? Do they back you again?

Eugene Remm: I’ll tell you this. As an investor myself, when I get anyone money in anything like a restaurant or a nightclub or anything along those lines, I basically take the money handed to you, and in my head, I expect to throw it in the toilet.

Lewis Howes: Oh, yeah.

Eugene Remm: And anyone who invests in some of these industry, even these venture capital guys –

Lewis Howes: Especially a restaurant, right?

Eugene Remm: Actually, today anything.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Eugene Remm: If you want to invest in a tech startup, if you want to invest in an “App” –

Lewis Howes: Its icon, yeah.

Eugene Remm: –you better hope you better just assume that your money goes into the garbage. So I think everyone comes into it with eyes wide open. And they were definitely, investors at that time were definitely older than me, and definitely had more experience than me. 

Again, I’m in my late 20s, early 30s, no financial background when I did these things. Now, with real partners, with real capital, we run in different. So the conversations today are super easy here’s our risk tolerance, here’s our P&L, here’s how much it’s going to cost to build, and here’s what we think we’re going to do. Here’s your low case scenario. Here’s your base case scenario. Here’s your high case scenario. And yes, there is always a shot –

Lewis Howes: Of losing all.

Eugene Remm: –of losing it all and anyone knows that. So I think at the time, honesty is really what you do, but it’s it. The biggest challenge wasn’t the conversation with investors. The biggest challenge was swallowing of your own pride.

Lewis Howes: Ego and pride.

Eugene Remm: Yeah, because you believe you’re the – so I think honestly most people were super understanding and understood what they got involved in and that’s part of that game. But I think in general, partnerships are challenging, investors are challenging, so pick really good ones.

Lewis Howes: Wisely.

Eugene Remm: And don’t go into businesses unless you are 100% sure. I use this line a lot. You have to be 100% positive to have a 50% shot.

Lewis Howes: Wow, interesting.

Eugene Remm: Right.

Lewis Howes: So don’t go in like, “I think this is gonna work.”

Eugene Remm: In anything.

Lewis Howes: Wow.

Eugene Remm: In anything.

Lewis Howes: Say it again.


Eugene Remm:  You have to be 100% positive to have a 50% chance.

Lewis Howes: Okay.

Eugene Remm:  So we’re in the middle of opening up a restaurant right now. We’ve hired 16 Front of House Managers, 24 Back House Managers.

Lewis Howes: Yep.

Eugene Remm:  And when we interview them, openings are challenging. There is no system in place. It’s not a spokes on a wheel. There’s no structure. We’re winging it. We’re building it. It’s a six, seven day a week. This company is really about work life balance, but not for those first 90 days.

Lewis Howes: No, no, no.

Eugene Remm:  So I say to a manager, because sometimes managers who’ve been through an opening or concerned about an opening like, “oh, my work life balance, my family.” And I say, “I want you to be 100% sure that you want to be part of this opening, because that’s the only way you have a 50% shot of making it through this.”

Lewis Howes: [chuckles]

Eugene Remm:  So if you are not —

Lewis Howes: If your wishy washy –

Eugene Remm:  Yeah, if are not – if can be you can have a little bit of nerves –

Lewis Howes: Down like a head security.

Eugene Remm:   Down like little bit, but like –

Lewis Howes: You me all in though.

Eugene Remm:   And I’m going for it, right? And I actually think that goes for anything in 2019. People smell –

Lewis Howes: Relationships.

Eugene Remm: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: Intimate partners.

Eugene Remm: Absolutely.

Lewis Howes: Businesses.

Eugene Remm: Yeah, look, everything is challenging, owning a dog is challenging.

Lewis Howes: So hard. [laughs]

Eugene Remm: You’re gonna love your dog. Because when it poops on the floor, you’re not going to be happy unless you really love the dog. And when it’s 11 pm and the dog doesn’t want to pee outside, and you’re freezing, and you’re like, “Why am I out here in 24 degree weather?” You better be 100% loving of that dog to have a 50% shot of being like accepting that situation. 

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Eugene Remm: So, I really think that in general, you got to have that attitude. You have to be 100% believer. So, in the beginning, you play craps, right? You throw a bunch of stuff on a bunch of thing and see what hits. But as you get a little bit older, like – and Tilman Fertitta, our business partner in Landry’s, he always says you know, “Pick carefully. Make your decisions pick things that are smart. Pick things one by one. Don’t just spray it all out there and do a bunch of stuff. Just pick the things. And then also be conscious of your time.” If this one project can generate 10 times the revenue of these 10 small projects, what is your time worth?

Lewis Howes: Right.

Eugene Remm: So we do big box restaurants and always I want to do like, I’ll go to like chick-fil-a and I’m like, “Oh, I could do this better.” Or I go to like a small 12-seat of Omakase. And I’m like, Oh, I’d love to do a 12-seat of Omakase, and then you’re like, “Wait, it’s the same effort to do a 12-seat restaurant as it is to do a 300 seat restaurant.”

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Eugene Remm: So Mark Tillman and I are always of the mindset that, if you’re going to put in the time, “Go big”.

Lewis Howes: Wow.

Eugene Remm: And again, someone who owns a 12 seat of Omakase restaurant should really think it look at themselves and be like, “Am I a 200 seat restaurant guy? Or am I a 12 seat guy?”, and that’s okay. And Why do I want to do a 200 seat restaurant versus a 12 seat seat restaurant. 

I like blockbuster movies. I have no interest in making independent movies.

Lewis Howes: Interesting.

Eugene Remm: So for me, I want to make movies that reach as many people as possible not just for financial gain, because it also allows me to hire talented managers because I’m not looking at a P&L dollar by dollar where a small restaurant has to really focus on the nuances of the details. And I want to make hits. I want to reach people who travel from New Jersey and Connecticut. I want to reach New Yorkers who live locally; I want to reach them all. I have no interest in just like doing this really needle type restaurant that focuses on just a specific demographic. I’m trying to connect large groups of people of all different ages, all different demographics and put them in the same room because that’s what I like.

Lewis Howes: Yeah, yeah, trying to make the maximum impact.

Eugene Remm: And exactly. And I also, I live four blocks from – the majority of our businesses is Mark, my business partner, he lives here in the West Coast, and he breathes, catch LA, and he breathes this vibe here and I do the same for New York. So it translates to our properties.

Lewis Howes: It’s amazing. What was the moment when you had the biggest ego slap where you thought you were the man like, everyone wants to be a part of this, everyone loves me, everyone’s showing up their own money left and right, and then the big wake wakeup call?

Eugene Remm: I think it was during the closing that probably 12 month process where those properties were closing. I remember –

Lewis Howes: Twelve of them in 12 months? Just like —

Eugene Remm: I mean some of the 12 were like 3-in -1 building.

Lewis Howes: Yeah, right. I’m sure.

Eugene Remm: So, yeah, by name but it was really like four projects.

Lewis Howes: Wow. It’s gonna hurt just like every couple months, boom, another one.

Eugene Remm: Yeah, but it hurts but it feels really good once it’s done.

Lewis Howes:  Free.

Eugene Remm: Free. And like most things in life, the idea of doing it is much harder than actually doing it. The build up to telling someone you want to break up with them is way worse than the breaking up of the six months of agony of what am I going to tell this person about this that, that is way worse than actually doing it. Because if you’re doing it from a place of love and a place of honesty, it is what it is but it’s the buildup. So honestly, the buildup was the hardest part and not knowing how to do it.

Lewis Howes:  How to wind it all.

Eugene Remm: How to wind it was a challenge. But after, it felt great, it felt great. It didn’t feel great to downgrade your office, it didn’t feel great to have to let go of people that were super close to you. It didn’t feel great to do those type of things but it certainly felt great to get back out of a big corner office and move your desk to the middle of the office surround – it felt great to sign every check over $200 again. It felt great to reconnect with every single host, server, bartender as opposed to not even knowing their names or where they’re from because we had so many.

Lewis Howes:  Yeah.

Eugene Remm: So having that those principles – so that was super challenging. And I remember sitting with five friends, my best friends from college, and we take a ski trip every year. And we were sitting –

Lewis Howes:  Poconos?

Eugene Remm: No, no, no. No more Poconos.

Lewis Howes:  Nice speech for me though.

Eugene Remm: I actually – now we go to ski trips, we go west. I actually don’t know what East Coast skiing is, and I hear its –

Lewis Howes:  Icy.

Eugene Remm: It’s not good. I only started to ski when I was 32. But I remember we were sitting there and we all said, “What would you like to change in this upcoming year?” Just in a conversation. And everyone answered, and he came to me. And I said, “I think I’m doing everything right. I think I got it all handled.”

Lewis Howes:  Wow.

Eugene Remm: “I think I’m working on my business. I’m working on my health. I’m working on my spirituality. I’m working on my relationship. I’m just great.” And I came home from that trip and I think literally, there was a light switch of just, that’s when every challenge started coming. 

Lewis Howes:  Wow.

Eugene Remm: So I think it’s almost comical that what your ego will allow you to believe first the reality that sets in. And I think ever since then I’m just more, I’m much more cautious and much more checks and balances. I had no checks and balances to feel that way. It was just a feeling. And that’s a challenge between gut and data, right? Like, I’m a big gut guy but you better have like, that’s like, if you can run a five minute mile, but I can run a 10 minute mile, but I got GPS of where we’re going to be you’re running in a circle. So you may be more of an athlete than me. But without that GPS, you don’t know where we’re going to reach that mile point. So I think data as I’ve gotten into my late 30s, and now my 40s, using data to support my gut is the best balance of both and anyone in any extreme is a terrible way to do business a minute. It will work once in a while but if you want to keep, if you want a good batting average –

Lewis Howes: Right.

Eugene Remm: It doesn’t work.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Eugene Remm: It doesn’t work.

Lewis Howes: That is true man. You got to know the data of like, okay, this pitchers usually throws a fastball.

Eugene Remm: That’s right.

Lewis Howes: There is a first 70% chance he’s gonna throw fastball, this but you got to know the time when the situation and have just like natural intuition as well.

Eugene Remm: That’s right.

Lewis Howes: When do you swing the bat?

Eugene Remm: That’s right. When we open the Rumble – 

Lewis Howes: 2016?

Eugene Remm: 2017 January.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Eugene Remm: So we’re two and a half –

Lewis Howes: Two and a half years.

Eugene Remm: Two and a half years, we have seven open.

Lewis Howes: It’s crazy man. It’s so fast.

Eugene Remm: He was never part of the plan. And look, growth comes with its own challenges and its own excitement. So to grow is awesome and every person’s into it, and then it comes with its own learning curve. But if you did one a year, less learning curve, but less growth, and less opportunity.

Lewis Howes: Less stress.

Eugene Remm: Yeah, yeah. So it’s really, I think it’s a balancing act of finding it, but we opened that in 2017. And it wasn’t like, “Oh, I think boxing is going to work. And I think group fitness is a good business. So let’s go do it.” We had, we knew what every other group fitness concept that was doing within a one mile square radius.

Lewis Howes: You knew their numbers?

Eugene Remm: We knew they’re – we knew some basic numbers of what people do, were able to figure that out and most people could. We knew what it would cost to build. We knew what it would, what are low case scenario, base case scenario, and high case scenario it would cost to return the capital. And that’s how you go into. And then you still gotta feel like, I’m going to kill this thing and these numbers won’t matter because we’re going to –

Lewis Howes: Come out the crap out of it. 

Eugene Remm: We’re gonna destroys this culture. That’s right. I got great people with these amazing trainers are so much better. But you still, it’s like, I think there’s three parts, right? There’s an amazing team, there’s capital, and there’s timing. And there are great teams that have failed projects.

Lewis Howes: Um-hmm.

Eugene Remm: Howard Schultz, one of the best people in the world, he has not always been successful, but we know he’s an amazing leader. And we know he has amazing capital, right? So sometimes its timing or the idea but I think you need all three to be successful, but most importantly to me, in my opinion, is timing. 

So we open that nightclub in 2006 – by the way, economy on fire, everyone is making a ton of money. I just wanted, we would walk in on Tuesday night, we would do $60,000 on a Tuesday and we’d have crazy celebrities and I make, “Oh, I guess this is what” –

Lewis Howes: Every day?

Eugene Remm:  — this is – and again, I’m 28, I don’t know any differently. So, oh, I guess guys buy buildings, and sell buildings, and make $100 million all the time. I didn’t even realize that they were like was a profit economy by like mortgage, and like crappy mortgages, so I didn’t know any of that. So that club opens in 2008. I don’t know if I have an opportunity to be sitting here with you. I don’t know that we have the catch hospitality company and all these amazing people. I don’t know that you can get an attempt to do Rumble because I just fell in a nightclub and then I go work for somebody.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Eugene Remm: That’s it. And that’s it. And then I got a house in the suburbs and I’m doing that thing.

Lewis Howes: Right.

Eugene Remm: Probably don’t have tattoos, probably don’t do any of these things, probably don’t get the hang out here in LA, so timing. And in 2017, group fitness hit its peak and social media really hit its peak.

Lewis Howes: Crushing.

Eugene Remm: Stories has just come out. Instagram just starts doing paid posts. And we have this hot new thing. So I always find that like, celebrity and trend, it’s either gasoline or water. If the product is good, all of these factors make it gasoline and make it explode. If you have celebrity and you have hype, and you’re – you know, my friend likes to call it “born famous” as a business.

Lewis Howes: Uh-huh.

Eugene Remm: If you don’t back it up with – 

Lewis Howes: It sucks.

Eugene Remm: –product, its water.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Eugene Remm: So your flame…

Lewis Howes: Put at a the [00:35:48 – inaudible].

Eugene Remm: That’s right, and there’s no time to build it or pivoted it.

Lewis Howes: Wow.

Eugene Remm: So what was great into 17 is now super challenging in 19 because now everyone has mimicked what we’ve done in branding at –

Lewis Howes: We’re like the cool group fitness class.

Eugene Remm: Yeah, and like, it’s like, “Alright. Oh look, you want to do a boxing photoshoot with attractive people in a warehouse and alright, got it.” So what we have to do in those situations is pivot and counter programs. So recently another business started doing warehouse photos with attractive people in a boxing gym. And I saw it, and I forwarded to our marketing team and I said, “Remove every image on our social that connects to this sort of thing.”

Lewis Howes: Wow.

Eugene Remm: We did it and it was awesome. But now that’s it.

Lewis Howes: I gotta innovate.

Eugene Remm: Back to the avocado toast, right.

Lewis Howes: Yeah, right.

Eugene Remm:  Right now that avocado toast became popular everyone took a picture of avocado toast. They put the egg on top of it. They cut the egg and ooze, it was great. You have no interest in seeing another avocado toast on anyone’s social media. So there’s time to lean into the trend, there’s times to completely go against the trend. So we leaned into it in 2017 same with catch. There were many nights where Mark and I would sit I catch, “Mike, I wish people can see what’s going on here right now.” The Rangers, the Knicks, the Knicks we’re playing the Lakers, and the Lakers were there, and celebrity X, Y, & Z is there. I wish people can see it and they couldn’t. And then all of a sudden social media comes out and they could.

Lewis Howes: Right.

Eugene Remm: When Drake performed at Tenjune in 2010, when we just handed him a bottle of Grey Goose –

Lewis Howes: Then no one knew?

Eugene Remm: There’s no social media, nobody knew. So it was cool, but I have no – you have to be there.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Eugene Remm: So you can lean into that with the restaurant and the fitness business now because people who are there if they choose to be seen, you could tell the whole world. So you don’t need to be there.

Lewis Howes: But now everyone’s got an Instagram of a wall or experienced –

Eugene Remm: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: Everyone takes photos in front of an every gym.

Eugene Remm: That’s right. And I think we were really big on that in the beginning and that is something that I think set us apart, but you could put anything somewhere. But the connectivity to that image still has to be backed by the brand.

Lewis Howes: Products, yes.

Eugene Remm: That’s right. So it’s not that people were like, oh, if that moment was at a bad gym, I don’t think anyone takes a photo in front of it because it’s not, it’s an entire package.

Lewis Howes: I don’t care.

Eugene Remm: It’s not one or the other. It’s not like so like, if Coca Cola calls me right now, like, “Hey, we got to make this product really cool. Can you just give us one of your designs that you did at Rumble and we’ll just take a picture of it?”I was like, “No, no, no, no. First, you gotta move back 10 steps. Coca Cola, you have to be cool.” You have – yeah, there’s 25 things for that person to take that photo in front of that.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Eugene Remm: So like I said, you lean into that, right? Everyone did it. And now, uh-oh, that’s not working anymore. So when we’re thinking about our design for the Rumble’s, 2020-2021 –

Lewis Howes: New studios.

Eugene Remm: New studios, I’m scrapping it back to simplicity.

Lewis Howes: Really.

Eugene Remm: That’s right.

Lewis Howes: With all the gyms? Or with just with the new ones?

Eugene Remm: With the new ones. And it doesn’t we won’t have Instagram mobile moments because it’s something people want to show what they do. And I think our product is unique in the way that they will want to show something, but it’s not going to be the same thing.

Lewis Howes: Um-hmm.

Eugene Remm: So we put Basquiat up in the first couple of studios.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Eugene Remm: Not real ones obviously I can’t afford that, but I thought it was cool. And I had no really reason for it. I just said, “You know, I really love this artist. And people don’t really get to see it. So why don’t we just put up a print of it a really good print, and let people take photos of it.” And that was done. But now it’s done.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Eugene Remm: So that’s challenge. You need to stay constantly relevant, constantly evolving. And sometimes you just have to take risks. I always use the analogy of like a basketball game, right? Teams up by 20, they stopped shooting. They just try to run the clock out to get to the 22nd defense to get through the end of the game and that’s where the other team goes on a run. I don’t want anyone else to go on a run, so a catch constantly innovating with the food, constantly innovating with the design, constantly innovating with our social media. So our social media campaign and our marketing campaign, we have no care for critics. We’re opening catch steak in September.

Lewis Howes: I gotta try it out, man.

Eugene Remm: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: In New York, right? Not in LA?

Eugene Remm: In New York. Lighter, brighter, fresher take on steaks, smaller portions, shareable a really unique experience on steak or it doesn’t just like you get the filet, I get the strip, here’s our side of potatoes. Everything comes as it’s ready so it’s fresh, taking out a lot of the like lard and everything like that so super lean cuts, but premium cuts, so every bite has an amazing flavor.

Lewis Howes: Wow. I’m sure a lot of people have asked you was like, “Why does a nightclub restaurant guy think he can start fitness?”

Eugene Remm: Right.

Lewis Howes: Why I’ve been successful and –?

Eugene Remm: Because that’s that 5%. And that’s that 5% where we were – I was working for a gentleman who owned 20 restaurants and nightclubs. And I was able to spend enough time to see his organization. And then I said, “I think I can do that. Maybe a bit arrogantly, maybe a bit naive but we did it.”

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Eugene Remm: And then when we opened up that first nightclub, there was a restaurant above us.

Lewis Howes: Um-hmm.

Eugene Remm: And we got to watch how they operated that restaurant. And Mark and I looked at ourselves and said, “I think we can do that, because we got to see it.” So we did have some data.

Lewis Howes: Um-hmm.

Eugene Remm:  We were able to see what they do on a day to day basis and then they will say, “Well, why don’t you open up a 60 seat restaurant for your first one?”, but we opened up a 350 seat restaurant for our first one and then that was successful. So why wouldn’t you think you can do it?”

And in 27 – 2016, I barely drink anymore. I don’t go out late at night. I wanted to do something in fitness. And I was – I trained all the time, and I really enjoy it, every aspect of it. But it’s so confined that thing for me. And I enjoy Soul Cycle Class, but spitting isn’t my personal preference. But I joined once in a while but I was trying to find that thing that I can do. And I was going to the gym, but boxing became something I really loved. And the idea that I couldn’t find a boxing version of something that I love to do in a group setting with likeminded people…

Lewis Howes: Um-hmm.

Eugene Remm:  To find a white space in New York City is really, really hard. There’s nothing –

Lewis Howes: Everyone’s thought of someday of doing it and trying it.

Eugene Remm: That’s right. You can get anything you want in New York City at any hour of the day —

Lewis Howes: Anything.

Eugene Remm: — at 3 am, there’s a place that serves burrito into the tray.

Lewis Howes: Anything to the food, yeah, yeah.

Eugene Remm:  That’s right.

Lewis Howes: Burritos with ice cream, or chicken or whatever it is, yeah.

Eugene Remm:  Anything. There is never a moment that something can happen in New York City. So when you find that – and that’s actually what happened with our restaurants, we wanted to go to a restaurant that was shareable, that played hip hop, that wasn’t white cloth, that wasn’t classical restaurant, where we can see the people who were going to a nightclub before they went to a nightclub. We couldn’t find it. So we did it.

We wanted to open up our first nightclub because we thought that people weren’t as kind to people when they walked into nightclubs, and that they weren’t getting the proper service. We wanted to play the music we wanted to play. We wanted to invite the friends that we wanted to invite. We wanted to have control over that. So we did it.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Eugene Remm:  And that’s really what happened with fitness was the team that came up with the idea together we cumulatively thought, there’s a white space here. Our partners, great at scale, and other partner tech, and me with the nightlife restaurant experience came together. Another partner that came from five years of group fitness experiences as the leading instructor known even at Barry’s Bootcamp, and he was a beast, and he happened to be a kid who went to the same school as me. He probably was one of the only kids I knew in group fitness.

Lewis Howes: Wow.

Eugene Remm: Right. So I thought – time some say like, “That’s where you can put it in a piano.”

Lewis Howes: It’s the magic.

Eugene Remm: That’s right. And it happened to be when Instagram started. And it happened –

Lewis Howes: It was three years sooner, maybe one of them worked.

Eugene Remm: Most importantly, I only knew it because I followed him on Instagram, and he started posting videos of him boxing.

Lewis Howes: The trainer?

Eugene Remm: The trainer, know who’s our partner –

Lewis Howes: That’s when you were like, “Oh, this guy’s amazing.”

Eugene Remm: This guy’s amazing. I know him from Barry’s, but he boxes. So I sent him a text, “Hey, if you know anyone in group fitness who really loves boxing that is looking to make a move into becoming a partner into this new business, not you of course, but anybody else, please let me know. And that’s where the conversation started from. But that doesn’t happen without social media.

Lewis Howes: Right. Wow, man, this is crazy.

Eugene Remm: And then that all came about and then the first one on 23rd Street similar story on 2016 June that timing, the location, and everything hit at the same time and then obviously, celebrity relationships that build it. And there you go.

Lewis Howes: How do you – I think I read you have what Sylvester Stallone, Bieber, like Mike Kosky. You’ve got Scooter Braun, like even probably more investors, how do you want to attract those investors? And these are a lot of people with a lot of big egos, a lot of big success who are saying, “You know what I deserve 30%.” Whatever it is. How do you divvy it up all the investment, and still make it worth it for you with four partners, tons of investors.

Eugene Remm: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: Everyone thinks that they’re responsible for the amount of clients is getting or the success, the promotion. How do you manage all the ego and energy of that all?

Eugene Remm: You manage everyone else’s ego by controlling your own. So you start by saying that this doesn’t happen because of me. And then for me personally, Eugene Remm says, “I can’t do this by myself.”

Lewis Howes: Without this team.

Eugene Remm: Without this team. I’m a team guy. I do not like doing businesses by myself. I love my partnership with Mark and Tillman. I love my partnership with the Rumble Founders. I love my investment community from Equinox and Harvey’s Feedback, and Scooter, and Blake, and all the other celebrities. So to manage everyone else’s ego, you must not have one. And for me, that’s super important. 

So to me, I remember Tommy Hilfiger said it one day at a speech, he said, “I’d rather be a small piece of an elephant than a large piece of a pea. And I’m interested in doing big things, but I certainly know that I do not have the skill set to do all aspects of this business.” So that’s the first thing you need to do.

The second thing you need to do is treat everyone equally. So everyone involved is an equal participant and everyone’s money is the same, and everyone’s belief is the same.

Lewis Howes: No matter how much they put in?

Eugene Remm: Yeah, everyone’s treated the same.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Eugene Remm: And no one’s responsible to say, “I love Rumble, here’s 10 bucks.” Now say it again and say it again. So that’s the other thing with our social media. 

We have never done a pay to play in our entire life. I’ve never paid a human being to walk into cash and say, have dinner and post about it. We have never paid a single human being to walk into Rumble and say, I’ll give you $5,000 for this post, never. But what we do –

Lewis Howes: Will you [00:46:37 – inaudible] meals, or classes, or –

Eugene Remm: Yeah, but we would do that; I would do that to you. I would do that some friends because that helps and adds value to everyone else’s experience. So that’s part of the business model. But as far as a pay to play thing, we don’t do that. So I think it’s really important that everyone gets treated the same. And then for me, it’s, they have, it’s not one thing like “Oh, I know a lot of people.” A lot of people know a lot of people. So you have to know a lot of people, you have to have a great track record, or at least a track record where you’ve been honest throughout the whole way where people want to do business to you. So great product and honest track record, and then you really just got to make sure that they love it because if they love it, they’re down to do it much more. And then you have to make a decision. He or she wants to do it for the right reasons, down to have them. But if someone’s trying to get more or less, or think they’re more important, no one is more important than the whole.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Eugene Remm: Rumble Boxing is the brand that is the important product. The team and the people who work at Rumble Boxing are the most important thing.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Eugene Remm: And a Catch, Eugene Remm, Mark Birnbaum, Tilman Fertitta is not the priority for Catch it is the brand, it is the food, it is the services of vibe. And if last night it’s Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan, they’re important but no one individual makes it. We did 785 covers last night on a Wednesday. Everyone enjoyed seeing Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan –

Lewis Howes: How verses were you mean covers?

Eugene Remm: People.

Lewis Howes: Oh, yeah.

Eugene Remm: People in the room. I’m sorry.

Lewis Howes: At the restaurant?

Eugene Remm: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: Seven hundred people –

Eugene Remm: 755 people –

Lewis Howes: In LA or in –?

Eugene Remm: In LA. I was here last night.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Eugene Remm: We’re in Los Angeles. So those six gentlemen had a great experience.

Lewis Howes: Right.

Eugene Remm: But if we just focus on them, the other 700 plus, that’s a miss. So I think the best way to get all of this to work is make sure that everyone is hand on. There are people with way more relationships than I do. Way more people in their cell phone than I ever have. And they are many, many businesses that start with celebrity that are complete and total failure.

Lewis Howes: They are big time.

Eugene Remm: And in fact, I think if you did a case study on it, I think it would be probably nine to 1, 10 to one of successful business started with celebrities versus those it’s over for everyone –

Lewis Howes: Why is that?

Eugene Remm: Well, because for everyone, Rande Gerber and George Clooney, who absolutely love their product and create Casamigos. There’s 999 who are inauthentic to the brand.

Lewis Howes: Just want to make money, went out , be cool.

Eugene Remm: That’s right. Or maybe they are authentic to the brand, but don’t have the business practices involved or don’t have the timing, or don’t have –

Lewis Howes: Or the partners.

Eugene Remm: Or the partners. So they maybe they don’t have the capital. Maybe they don’t have the team, and maybe they don’t have the timing. So for every time someone refers to Casaamigos, which I really just enjoy the billion dollar business, amazing.

Rande Gerber, who I who used to work for his love tequila, since the day I met him when I was 24 years old.

Lewis Howes: Wow.

Eugene Remm: He knows this business, and they both enjoy their product, Mike Meldman as well. So that’s why everything had to work. They had their authentic, they’re backed financially, they probably ran a great business, and they also had all those relationships. It’s never one thing. It’s right. So someone’s listening to this, looking for a silver bullet for success, it doesn’t exist because if there was one everyone would just mimic it and as soon as they mimic it, it will change.

Lewis Howes: Yeah, you’re gonna renovate, yeah.

Eugene Remm: Yeah, you’re no longer unique.

Lewis Howes: So how important have relationships been for you over the last 15 years since you started in Tenjune and have been in the business? Have you cultivated these relationships consistently for 15 years? Have you burned a lot of relationships from certain things?

Eugene Remm: I think I’m a relationship guy, I work really hard on relationship. I try to put relationship before dollars in almost everything I do, which is why I love having partners. So to me – and this isn’t the case in my business, but if I did 90% of the work, and you did 10 and we were co partners, I wouldn’t care splitting it 50/50 with you, because the end result is I wanted A.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Eugene Remm: Because to me that 10% that you do might be really special and allow us to create this 1% product. So I don’t really have an issue that. So my relationships are a priority to me. I care about friendships, I care about relationships. I hope I haven’t burned any relationships. I’m sure everyone has burned a relationship. I would never want to. And sometimes though, you have to look at someone in the say, what you’re asking for is unreasonable.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Eugene Remm: I would love to make you happy but it doesn’t work for me, and if that’s a burning of a relationship, then that’s a burning of relationship. And I think the better you get in business; you better get some thick skin for some of that, because burning a relationship and ending a relationship are two very different things, sometimes things don’t work out and people have to extreme different points of view on things and then it just has to end.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Eugene Remm: Countries go to war. And people willing to die because both of them think they’re 100% right.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Eugene Remm: So, of course, there’s gonna be differences of opinion. And of course, you can’t maintain every relationship. I think it’s how you do it. And as long as you can keep to whatever makes you sleep at night really well.

Lewis Howes: Um-hmm.

Eugene Remm: That’s the key because there is no amount of money that makes up for a good night’s sleep.

Lewis Howes: That’s true man.

Eugene Remm: There’s no amount of money for me to wake up this morning. I’m not nervous when this and to go look at my phone and see what’s coming in.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Eugene Remm: I’m certainly confident that no one, nothing wrong in a big scale is going to happen. Now 10 more dollars in my bank account is not going to be worth the potential of creating those conflicts. And that’s another thing; people need to know their own threshold, their risk tolerance in business, who they are. I’m sensitive.

Lewis Howes: Yeah, me too.I’m very sensitive.

Eugene Remm: I know I’m sensitive. And that’s a hard thing to say as a man in this world today. But I’m generally a sensitive person. And that’s also made me really good at taking care of people because I’m sensitive to their wants and needs. So in the restaurants, I’m really, I don’t want people waiting that I know. I want them to really enjoy the experience. They’re on a date or if they’re with their mother, I would be heartbroken if they sent me an email that said, their experience was anything less great.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Eugene Remm: So I go a million times over to make sure that that’s taken care of, and that’s partially due to my being somewhat sensitive to being upsetting people. I don’t like to upset people.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Eugene Remm: But some, you know, there’s consequence called bread of shame. It’s don’t give people bread they don’t deserve, it’ll come back and hurt you. So that’s my line. I want to take care of people. But if I’m paying you, and you’re not delivering on the service that I’m paying for you, I’m hurting you, because you should go do something else.

Lewis Howes: Um-hmm.

Eugene Remm: And I’m hurting myself, because everyone around me is like you’re continuing to pay someone who isn’t delivering. Well, I am delivering –

Lewis Howes: Bust on my bud hair.

Eugene Remm: That’s right. So now, these people aren’t happy, you’re not happy, and that person is not happy. So that’s where you just make the decision where like, “Hey, you might not be happy that I let you go today, but I know it’s the right thing for all parties involved because you need to go find that.? How many people have been fired from a job and say it’s the best thing that ever happened to them because then they found –

Lewis Howes: Yeah, their next thing.

Eugene Remm: Their next thing. How many people have ended a relationship or a marriage, and then two years later, find the love of their life and couldn’t be happier but at that time…

Lewis Howes: It’s miserable.

Eugene Remm: Miserable.

Lewis Howes: Miserable.

Eugene Remm: So they just, people got to play more chess and less checkers.

Lewis Howes: That’s true. I’m pretty good at checkers though. [laughs]

Eugene Remm: I’m terrible at checkers. 

Lewis Howes: Chess, I’m not good at.

Eugene Remm: Yeah, and I’m terrible at chess as well and that’s because I don’t have the patience.

Lewis Howes: Yeah, I don’t.

Eugene Remm: And I don’t care about the result. But I think in life —

Lewis Howes: Yeah, emotional chess I’m good at.

Eugene Remm: That’s right.

Lewis Howes: Mental chess, but not the game.

Eugene Remm: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: You’re 41, was that [00:54:17 – inaudible]

Eugene Remm: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: So, what was the biggest lesson you learned when you’re 30 after four, five, six years in the nightclub business? I mean 30. What did you learn about yourself in that decade? The biggest lesson learned by yourself from 30 to 40. Running the city at 27, 28, 29, the big shot in town, you know, building things, everyone’s coming to your club.

Eugene Remm: I know nothing.

Lewis Howes: That was the 30?

Eugene Remm: No, that’s what I learned from 30 to 40.

Lewis Howes: Okay.

Eugene Remm: At 30, I thought I knew everything.

Lewis Howes: Oh, wow.

Eugene Remm: At 40 knowing way more than I did at 30, what I have learned, I know less than ever.

Lewis Howes: Wow.

Eugene Remm: And every year I look back at the gentleman who I was a year before, and I hope you this to be the case so the day that I die is like, that guy was silly. That guy was an idiot, because I constantly want to grow and evolve and I want to look at the 42 year old version of myself, and look at the 41 year old and be like, Wow, he didn’t know. And I really love the idea that I keep pushing myself personally through business coaches, through personal coaches, through mentorship, through spirituality, through all of these things to constantly evolve. But what I learned at 30, was that, at 30, I thought making money was everything and I may I had my first exit when I was 29 years old. I had our partnership with Tilman Fertitta, when I was 39 years old. And I can tell you…

Lewis Howes: Wow.

Eugene Remm: The such a difference in those two experiences of what I felt at those times. At 29, you just feel this –

Lewis Howes: I’m the king.

Eugene Remm: I’m the king of a moment. I’ll never have to work again. I’m just gonna – I could just live off of this for the rest of my life. And Boy was I wrong because when those things did not do well, every dollar that we made went into to keeping this business afloat.

Lewis Howes: Um-hmm.

Eugene Remm: And at 39 when we had our experience, I learned that it was about relationships, I learned about was sharing with small groups of people, not bragging about anything, removing all – at 30 years old, we would take pictures of like bottles of we were buying, and crystal.

Lewis Howes: Right.

Eugene Remm: We would take pictures when we were on private planes of other people. We would take pictures of fancy hotel rooms. At 39, I have no interest in any of that stuff. I have no interest in showing any of that stuff off. I have no interest in any of that. I just care about building businesses. The business and other people’s success is my success. And I try to like really minimize my own personal wants and needs and keep it pretty basic.

Lewis Howes: And how do you manage a thousand people, a thousand employees? From like, you know one nightclub of whatever, 30 people to now thousand?

Eugene Remm: I don’t manage a thousand people, I probably manage 50. And putting the care, I’ve always managed 50. So when we had Tenjune, Mark and I managed 50 people.

Lewis Howes: Manage to everyone.

Eugene Remm: That’s right.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Eugene Remm: And when we try to manage 500 people ourselves, we failed. So the shift there was managing, still managing 50 people. When I say managing, really day to day, maintenance of those 50 people growing them, that’s how you do it, you just hire amazing and talented people. You have to recruit. You have to constantly evolve them. They don’t have to inspire you. You have to inspire them. That’s my job. My job is to continue to be inspiring to our operators, to our marketers, to our talent, so that they continue to want to work here. So what do I have to do? I have to keep elevating. I have to keep, I have creating a better offering financially, but not just financially, I found that financial paying people represents this much. I spend my entire day trying to focus on a work life balance for myself and my employees; I try to find ways to grow my employee so they can take the position of the employee above them, so that that person can then grow above them.

So to ask your question, why do I want to keep growing and not just stay with one nightclub? Because I will create stagnant growth for the people who work with me. So at this point, we are creating projects that fit the people that we have. And I tell my team all the time, our team, in both properties, the only thing that slows down our growth is the lack of people that we can put in the position to do it, so the more of you that become capable to take on bigger roles, the more that we can open.

Lewis Howes: Wow.

Eugene Remm: Because financial, we have the finances and we have the ideas.

Lewis Howes: We need people that can implement.

Eugene Remm: We need the people because Mark, myself with Catch, and our partners at Rumble, were limited unless people below us, not below us, next to us, want to continue to grow. So if they stay limited, then we can’t grow.

Lewis Howes: Yeah, you’ve got the cap, you’ve got a tons of investors that want to have fun new—

Eugene Remm: Yeah, we’re public. Short ventures, but those ventures have to be successful. So you better, as soon as you stop being successful, that capital dries up real quick.

Lewis Howes: That’s true. And people jump ship and go on to the next step.

Eugene Remm: Yeah, and that’s also important to remember. Be careful of who you think all your friends are because one failure —

Lewis Howes: There is no front anymore.

Eugene Remm: That’s right. Someone told me that you should spend your entire 30s building your Rolodex from 50 to 5000. And then you spend your entire 40s taking your Rolodex back from 5000 to 50.

Lewis Howes: Really? [chuckles]

Eugene Remm: And I thought –

Lewis Howes: I’m 36 right now. I’m learning that.

Eugene Remm: And what you realize is New York, Los Angeles, the guys at the top, stay on the top and everyone else is just visiting. You want to be great at a business stay in a business. Guys, who do this for two years, and do that for two years, and do this for two years, they don’t stick but the head of a record label is still the head of a record label, maybe a different one. The guy who runs the hedge fund still runs the hedge fund. The guy who’s the best restaurant tour, 10 years later –

Lewis Howes: It’s doing restaurants.

Eugene Remm: It’s still the best restaurants where is very, very few people –

Lewis Howes: Who stay there.

Eugene Remm:  — who stay there and there’s very even fewer people in 2019 that make it into that group. 

So in 2006, there was an elite group of nightclub guys, and we were the new kids. And we made it in and we stayed, and it’s the same people that are still the elite today. Same people, there’s been probably one or two big restaurant groups that have come up with us, maybe one that I can really think of that’s been super popular and has a growth the way we have, one in 10 years, nationally.

Lewis Howes: Crazy.

Eugene Remm: That’s how hard, excuse me, that’s how hard this business is.

Lewis Howes: It’s crazy.

Eugene Remm: It’s a hard, hard business.

Lewis Howes: What’s the regret you’ll have by the time you’re 50 if you don’t do something? What’s the thing that you know, like, “Man, if I don’t do this in the next nine years, I’m gonna really regret it. Or if I keep doing this and don’t stop doing it, I’m going to regret it.”?

Eugene Remm: I don’t know. I’m not regretful of anything that I have been doing.

Lewis Howes: Um-hmm.

Eugene Remm: I find that the biggest challenges have given me the biggest opportunities. So I’m not sure I regret. I don’t think I regret anything. In anything I’m, like, for example, I’m trying to have a great work life balance.

Lewis Howes: Um-hmm.

Eugene Remm: So I don’t put my iPhone in my room when I go to sleep.

Lewis Howes: It’s great.

Eugene Remm: I don’t check my phone for the first hour that I’m awake.

Lewis Howes: It’s amazing.

Eugene Remm: I do my 20 minute meditation. I drink my one liter of water.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Eugene Remm: I work out six days a week. I’m unapologetic for that hour and a half. So I will not regret starting another business in order to the not have to do those things. So I think I’m trying to accomplish those things. But I will regret, if I do not continue to grow, if I do not continue to listen to people, if I start to believe my own BS again.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Eugene Remm: If I revert back to the guy–

Lewis Howes: Twenty six year old.

Eugene Remm: Or 26, or 31, or 35 year old version of myself that stopped listening to others, that started to believe my own BS. If I revert back to that guy, I will be really disappointed and I will be very regretful that I could not have learned from these opportunities that I had. That would be the biggest regret. If I could go backwards, instead of forwards to that guy or be any other version of myself from the past, I would be really disappointed.

Lewis Howes: Yeah, wow.

Eugene Remm: That would be a real disappointment.

Lewis Howes: I’m inspired man I didn’t know what I learned from you but I’m really inspired to go to catch more.

Eugene Remm: Did I get you into Rumble too?

Lewis Howes: Yeah, what I go to Rumble it says right like a mile away not even, and how can people support you? I’ve got three questions for you finally but how can people support you with your endeavors right now?

Eugene Remm: I continue to support what we have. You know, we have cash, we have Rumble, we’re opening Catch Steak in September in New York City. It’s a 15,000 square foot, 450 seat restaurant steak house. I think steak houses needs to be redone and I think there’s a 2020 version of it and we’re excited to give it a try to try to hit that. So that’s a big one and a new one for us. 

We’re opening our second concept for rumble which is our trading concept which is half treadmills, half weights, and Rumble boxing is half the class boxing and the other half weights, so we’re just unboxing. We taught you something, we didn’t think, you didn’t think you know how to do and we got you to do it and in treading. In treading, we’re going to make you enjoy something that you do but don’t like doing which is running.

Lewis Howes: Right that’s no fun. It’s not fun to run.

Eugene Remm: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: When you have with an experience.

Eugene Remm: Well look, you – music.

Lewis Howes: The passion you have and the lighting, like a SoulCycle feeling.

Eugene Remm: Look, I think SoulCycle was the king of group fitness. They’re certainly the, they’re the “oh geez” of this game. They are what inspired me to get into the group fitness. And I think what they’ve done with cycling, we are really we were very excited to do with boxing and we’re very exciting to do with – now with training. So that opens at the end of October, and that opens in 23rd Street down the block from Rumble Boxing, and also in San Francisco simultaneously in the marina.

Lewis Howes: Was is it here in LA too?

Eugene Remm: It is.

Lewis Howes: Twenty, 21 maybe or 20 –

Eugene Remm: We were work – trust me –

Lewis Howes: There’s one about space.

Eugene Remm: And the team is – the one thing I can guarantee that the team that we had a room was working hard to get it wherever it make sense to have.

Lewis Howes: Wow.

Eugene Remm: So for me, those are the things that are great. But honestly, if anything here is valuable and in some way can help you use it and then if anything more importantly you use it and it works, share it.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Eugene Remm: That’s what –

Lewis Howes: You’re on Instagram, Twitter? Where do you spend time on personally online? 

Eugene Remm: I’m on Instagram. My name is Eugene Remm. I think I have a Twitter, but I think it just connects to my Instagram, but yeah, I’m on Instagram, Eugene Remm.

Lewis Howes: A website to for you personally or no?

Eugene Remm: No.

Lewis Howes: Okay.

Eugene Remm: No.

Lewis Howes: So Instagram, messaged you, tag you, all those things?

Eugene Remm: Instagram’s where I’m at and, you know, I take breaks from Instagram now on a regular basis.

Lewis Howes: It’s smart.

Eugene Remm: I take probably, you know, a week a month off.

Lewis Howes: But I think if people there’s a lot of entrepreneurs that listen, I think if people want to learn about branding, and culture, go follow Catch Instagram, and Rumble because you guys do an amazing job of creating like this experience for people. And I think they can learn a lot in their businesses. We have a small business, you’re a solo entrepreneur, where you can learn a lot from what the way you branded and created a culture. And I think that’s what’s really cool.

 Eugene Remm: Thank you. We work really hard on that. And I think we just try to do it authentically. If I were to give any advice to any brander, don’t brand the way someone else’s brand because you see it working for them. Brand, what you would like, what you would enjoy, what you think. If you can be authentic in 2019 – In 2017, on authentic this work, because it was the first – we were flooded with it in social media. But in 2019, right now, everyone smells, everything.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Eugene Remm: In 1990, whatever, Pepsi needs to sell things; they put Michael Jackson on a commercial for 30 seconds and everyone, that doesn’t work anymore. So find what works for you and make sure you have a point of view.

Lewis Howes: It is amazing. This question is called The Three Truths.

Eugene Remm: Okay.

Lewis Howes: So imagine it’s your last day on earth, in many years from now, and you’ve accomplished everything you want.

Eugene Remm: Um-hmm.

Lewis Howes: You’ve created every restaurant, concept, fitness, written the books, whatever you want to do, you’ve created it.

Eugene Remm: Yup

Lewis Howes: And you’ve got no regrets.

Eugene Remm: Yup.

Lewis Howes: But for whatever reason, you’ve got to take it all with you, so all the restaurants gotta go with you wherever you pass.

Eugene Remm: Um-hmm.

Lewis Howes: And you get to leave behind three things you know to be true about all of your experiences on life that you would share with the world, kind of like your three lessons to humanity. And that’s all people would have to remember you by. What would you say your three lessons or three truths?

Eugene Remm: Oh, wow, this is a two people pause on this one because this is a –

Lewis Howes: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Whatever is off the top of your mind right now, you know, it doesn’t have on three purpose.

Eugene Remm: Three things I would want to leave this world to know is that –

Lewis Howes: Three lessons.

Eugene Remm: Three lessons?

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Eugene Remm: Have real relationships.

Lewis Howes: Hmm.

Eugene Remm: Many likes, many friends doesn’t equal many real friends. One partner and one best friend is bigger than any of that.

Lewis Howes: Wow.

Eugene Remm: One love and one best friend if you can die with that you are way better than most people on this planet.

Lewis Howes: Wow, yeah. Okay, that’s one.

Eugene Remm: That’s one.

Lewis Howes: That’s powerful.

Eugene Remm: Two, do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.

Lewis Howes: Um-hmm.

Eugene Remm: First above on what you are doing and you’ll never work a day in your life. If your work is fun, it’s not work.

Lewis Howes: Um-hmm, yeah, number three?

Eugene Remm: Take care of your body or none of this is possible.

Lewis Howes: Right, that’s true. Health is everything, right?

Eugene Remm: A healthy man has 10,000 problems, a sick man has one.

Lewis Howes: That’s a good one right there. Is that your line or is that’s  –?

Eugene Remm: That’s someone’s else line.

Lewis Howes: [laughs]

Eugene Remm: Definitely. Anything is smarter I’ve said today is mostly from someone else and any of the silly isms, my friends call it Eugenisms, our mind. But anything that actually had some real – the 150 thing, that when I’ll take credit for everything else is things that have been taught to me and I pull those.

Lewis Howes: Wow, that’s great. I would acknowledge you Eugene because I think someone like in a position of yours who was in the top of the world in New York City in your 20s can continue to ride off of this energy of getting all this attention, all this acknowledgement, all the celebrities, whatever came with this, and the fast, money, and the success it would be really easy to stay there. But you decided to continue to reinvent and live with humility in the process of all the attention celebrity acknowledgments that you get.

So I acknowledge you for constantly doing the work. We talked earlier about you doing Hoffman stuff, and working on the emotional intelligence, and getting coaches, and really diving into your health, and you’re not drinking as much. I think it’s cool that someone who lived this lifestyle that was working –

Eugene Remm: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: –realize it’s not what it’s all about.

Eugene Remm: No, no, it’s –thank you. I mean –

Lewis Howes: And you’re trying to create new innovative products and businesses to serve your employees and staff as opposed to have them serving you.

Eugene Remm: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: And you just keep reinventing yourself. So in our limited time, I really appreciate your wisdom, and your reinvention of yourself. It’s really inspiring.

Eugene Remm: Yeah, I appreciate. I enjoy talking about failures more than successes because I feel that people learn better from failures. And when the winners write the history books, they never talk about their failures. So I enjoy talking about things that don’t work and hopefully that can resonate to other people.

Lewis Howes: Yeah, that’s cool man. Final question for you is what is your definition of greatness?

Eugene Remm: Consistency.

Lewis Howes: There you go. Eugene thanks brother. Appreciate it man.

Eugene Remm: Appreciate it. Thank you for your time.

Lewis Howes: Thanks bro.

Eugene Remm: Appreciate everything.

[background music]

Lewis Howes: And there you have it my friend I hope you enjoyed this interview.If you did, make sure to share with your friend’s. Text one friend today the link and be an inspiration in someone’s life today. If you know someone that could be inspired by this, that can learn from this, that could help them in their career, their business, or their life, then send them the link that you’re listening to on Apple Podcast, or Spotify, or anywhere you’re listening to this podcast. You can be a champion in someone’s life by sending them some powerful wisdom and information absolutely free.

As well share it on social media, tag me, @lewishowes on Instagram and tag Eugene Remm as well. I’m sure he’d love to hear your thoughts on what you got out of this episode. So make sure share it with him on Instagram and let him know what you thought about this interview. 

Big thank you to our sponsor NetSuite. Again, They’ve got a free guide that you can download right now called The Seven Key Strategies to Grow Your Profits at NetSuite is the world’s number one cloud business system to help you save time, money, and unneeded headaches by managing sales, finance, and accounting. Orders in HR instantly right from your desktop or your phone. It’s one of the reasons I love it. It’s because got a leveling up software and solution to support you, build, and manage your business. 

Again, check out your Free Guide: Seven Key Strategies to Grow Your Profits, when you go to And if you’re a seven figure earning entrepreneur, or you’ve got a massive following, but you haven’t figured out how to tap into the audience to build your business yet, then go to and apply to see if you’re the right fit for someone to be a part of this group, a yearlong program to support you in building your income and building your impact on the world. Check out and apply today, if you feel like you’re the right fit. 

I hope you guys enjoyed this one. Please leave your feedback over on Apple Podcast. I don’t care if you leave a one star review or if you go five stars like most people do. Leave a review and share your thoughts write a sentence or two about, how this podcast specifically impacted your life? How we can improve this moving forward, and how it can improve your life with other great content? For free for you. So leave us a review, leave a comment and let me know your thoughts. I love to hear from you over there. 

As Walt Disney said do what you do so well that they want to see it again and bring their friends. I love what Eugene has done with his brands. I just went to his restaurant Catch Today in LA and it was packed, lines, people taking photos everywhere. They created an experience to really captivate you to want to always come back. Make sure you’re doing that in your business and in your brand. And you’ll never have to do marketing ever again. I love you guys so very much. You know what time it is. It’s time to go out there and do something great.

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