The FORT Podcast: John Marsh – Taking Wise Counsel, Influence, Our Blind Spots, Forgiveness, & A Little Thing Called Humility

John Marsh is the Co-Founder of Marsh Collective, host of the Redemptification Podcast, and investor helping steward over $1.5b in redemptive real estate in 12 small towns (with populations of 800-180k) around America.

Over the last 25 years, John and Ashely have guided over 60 startup businesses in various industries, such as Hospitality, Construction, Real Estate Investing, Advertising, and multiple Restaurants. John and his wife have renovated 280+ buildings within ten blocks of downtown Opelika to help save their city. Today, John’s current focus is helping others make generational differences in communities and companies. By helping patrons bridge the gap between redeeming vision, financial sustainability, and execution to pioneering a new asset class of real estate which they have coined “Irreplaceable Real Estate.”

On this episode, Chris and John discuss:

  • The power of influence
  • Humility
  • Blind spots of entrepreneurs
  • Divorce & money
  • Changing the hospitality landscape

Listen on:
Apple Podcasts


(00:00:00) Intro

(00:02:41) The Power to influence and love

(00:10:07) Why is humility so attractive?

(00:13:06) Blind spots in the entrepreneur type

(00:33:19) Learning forgiveness

(00:37:26) Being hard on yourself

(00:40:41) Reversing bad momentum

(00:44:25) Divorce & money

(00:53:13) Taking counsel

(00:54:43) Applying these lessons to business partnerships

(00:59:21) What’s wrong with hospitality today?


Episode Summary

Marsh’s conversation opens with a reflection on the value of connecting with local talent, as he reminisces about meeting an outstanding university student, underscoring the significance of nurturing young minds and the mutual benefits of such relationships. He segues into discussing exceptional customer service, recounting an encounter with a fast-food worker whose attentiveness was a reminder of how rare and impactful genuine service can be. This sets the stage for a broader conversation on character and the use of wealth, where Marsh emphasizes humility and the empowerment of others over self-aggrandizement.

The narrative then shifts to the topic of “enough,” with Marsh exploring financial goals and the wisdom of setting a number to live and give purposefully. He tackles the challenging subject of wealth’s impact on family, particularly children, and shares personal challenges related to managing his financial success without compromising his family’s values. He extends this to the pitfalls of sudden wealth, advocating for a purpose-driven life to avoid the potential destructive boredom of affluence.

On the topic of personal relationships, Marsh and Powers delve into the complexities of forgiveness, self-awareness, and conflict resolution within marriages and partnerships. They discuss the importance of being present and truthfully recognizing self-deception, with Marsh sharing intimate details of his own marriage to illustrate the hard work involved in overcoming conflicts and ensuring communication channels remain open.

Marsh discusses the difficulty of ending or changing long-standing business relationships, and the care with which such decisions must be made. The conversation extends to the process of seeking and following advice, where Marsh shares his practical approach to counsel—only seeking it when he’s prepared to act on it. The discussion then contrasts the sacredness of marriage with business partnerships, noting the latter often require transparency and a support system.

The dialogue evolves into a case study of the food and beverage industry as Marsh describes the challenges of launching successful restaurants in small towns. He highlights the importance of cultural significance in dining experiences and the strategy behind intentionally sourcing local food to create a community-centered business. Marsh’s business savvy is on display as he explains how spreading costs across various dining concepts within a single property can create operational efficiencies and increase profitability.

Marsh brings a unique perspective to real estate investment, describing it as a long-term game. Unlike some developers who focus on short-term gains, Marsh’s strategy involves creating enduring assets that require a deeper understanding of the market and a commitment to the community’s welfare. This approach is evident in his dedication to providing fair wages and benefits to his employees, underscoring his belief in businesses that contribute to human flourishing.

The episode rounds off with a forward-looking discussion on creating valuable real estate and food ventures that prioritize long-term community engagement over immediate financial return. Marsh’s perspective on investment is holistic, considering the long-term effects on communities and the environment. He stresses the importance of a business model that not only generates profit but also elevates the quality of life for the people it serves.

Throughout the podcast, Marsh conveys the message that success in business comes with responsibility—to one’s self, family, and society.

The FORT is produced by Johnny Podcasts

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