Live on the Alcoholic Entrepreneur with Erik Frederickson and Rocky Singh Kandola


Rocky Singh Kandola is a WWASP survivor....twice. If you don't know anything about the World Wide Association of Specialty Programs (WWASP), it was a horrendous way to try and modify behavior of young adolescent boys and girls. Torture and emotional/physical/sexual abuse were endured day after day usually for months at a time. Children were abruptly removed from their beds in the middle of the night, as if it were a kid napping, and taken far away from their home to one of the WWASP camps. If enduring two tours of WWASP wasn't bad enough for this young man, he also had a destructive past with drug and alcohol.Rocky graciously takes us into his past experiences before discussing his amazing career as an entrepreneur and owning his own hair extension business called Hair Maiden India.







Host:

Yo-Yo thank you guys so much for checking back into another fantastic episode of the alcoholic entrepreneur podcast. The entrepreneur that I have on the show for you guys today, his name is Rocky Singh Kandola, and he runs a successful hair extension business at a Beverly Hills, California called Hair Made in India. Now, before we get to all of Rocky successes as an entrepreneur, he has a pretty horrific past with this company called WWASP that we're going to touch on. And if you don't know anything about this company called WWASP.WWASP take in troubled youth and ''rehabilitate'' them in a very unusual way. And I'll let Rocky explain his experience and let you decide for yourself. If this is rehabilitation, Rocky goes in to talk about his drug and alcohol abuse, and then we close the show discussing hair made in India and why his company is different from those other companies selling and doing similar things in a saturated market in Southern California.

Automated Speech:

Enjoy the episode. Welcome back to another fantastic episode of the alcoholic entrepreneur podcast. The show that features amazing stories of recovery and success, experience the ups and downs of entrepreneurship and sobriety and the mindset it takes to be successful through the lens of our guests. Now here's your Host

Host:

Yo-yo-yo. Welcome back to the alcoholic entrepreneur podcast. My name's Justin. I am Of course your Host, my guests this evening, his name is Rocky Singh Kandola. Now Rocky reached out to me on LinkedIn. He said he's got a pretty powerful story. He said, he's got, he's got some things that he wants to talk about. And I think I believe him. We got to chat and just a little bit before I hit record, not too much because I w I want to hear the story with you guys, but it sounds like he's got some pretty powerful things to say. So without further ado, Rocky, welcome to the show.

Rocky Singh Kandola:

Thank you so much for having me here, brother. Yeah, of course. Of course.

Host:

Thank you for reaching out to me. You know, it's funny, all of the avenues of communication are opening with, with the COVID restrictions. And so you were the first to reach out to me on LinkedIn one and two to chop it up a little bit on the alcoholic entrepreneurial podcast and talk a little bit about your story. So, so that's what, what we're going to do. We're going to rewind the tape right now on you take us back to the beginning. Where did you grow up? What was family life like? What was it like through your adolescents teenage years? You know, the show's called the alcoholic entrepreneur. So what was substance alcohol abuse, anything like that in your past as well growing up?

Rocky Singh Kandola:

So I'll just hop right in. I was born in New York in the Bronx now and my parents are like, you know, first-generation from India out here. A father, he knows a cardiologist still training at that time. Eventually, when I was about four, we moved the entire family and brother and sister and I down to Mississippi you know, basically following this career path without there being not many cardiologists in the south and him seeing a good opportunity to kind of get down there and get his business running and set up. So, you know, being down there, we kind of started to do what the kids around us would do, which is kind of normal. You know, kids are out and about playing sports, you know, hanging out at their friend's houses in this kind of the same thing I wanted to do. My parents travel, you know, kind of traditional Indian back then, especially, and they really wanted us to stay home, to study, you know, to not really be out with friends and to not be trying to, you know, go out and about at nighttime and listen to them. So that kind of was like the spark of my childhood when I started really with my parents a lot and a lot of, you know, talking back and then get in trouble in school and in sneaking out of the house and things like that kinda got me into being sent around. So, you know, at 11-12 years old, the first time I was sent away to India, I was living there as a kid, you know, with a family and you know, it wasn't really horrible. I had some really pretty good experiences. I actually got to help a kid out there. The family, I was a little bit his servant in India. They have servants, like, you know, people that do their stuff and stuff like that. This kid was like 10 or 11, maybe a couple of years older than me. I was 11 or 12, but he was half my size and I used to play tennis back then. So I sneak them into my tennis bag, put them in my backpack and then sneak them out. We'd go shake it in the market and walk around to do kids stuff, you know? So it just like, it was, it was one of those things I can like kind of, I had, I didn't have anything, almost a kid myself. I had freedom and it made me look at life like, wow, like, like this kid and me are in the same situation we built on having to both a lot of our families, our parents to take care of us and look how much more I have of how much I'm blessed with a freedom to be able to walk outside with my bag and to be able to actually bless him and put my bag with me and take him with me. You know, obviously, the kid didn't see it like that. I just saw it as me helping my friend and having fun, but looking back and as an adult I'm like, wow, that's pretty powerful. That that was even in me too since day one back then to just be able to whatever whoever's around me to like elevate and help, you know, as much as I can.

Host:

What part of India is your family from?

Rocky Singh Kandola:

My mom's side is from Calcutta like east Southeast San Diego and my dad's side is Punjab, northern.

Host:

So when they sent you back to India the first time where were you get sent to?

Rocky Singh Kandola:

So I got sent to Junagadh, which is basically near Punjab. It's a union territory. Okay. But it's like the same kind of culture as Punjab and it's close to my village as well. Okay.

Host:

Talk to us a little bit about the culture I've never been to India. So tell us a little bit about, you know, just a little bit of back background about the Indian culture. I honestly, love Indian food. I love Indian people. I'm a banquet captain part-time and so I do Indian weddings and I think they're gorgeous. I think, I think they're, if never been to an Indian wedding, they are at least the ones that I've managed they're colourful, they're beautiful. There's they're long, there's a whole processional, you know, that comes in with the groom, right. With the groom coming in. And, and so it's, they're gorgeous, gorgeous weddings, everyone that I've, that I've managed has been absolutely gorgeous, but that's about the extent of my knowledge of India. So tell us a little bit about the culture of India and what you moved from and we're going to.

Rocky Singh Kandola:

Yeah, definitely. So I mean, India is a huge, huge, vast diverse country which is very small. We can fit, I think, three of India, like the whole country into of America, you know, just the size, the comparison, I believe India has roughly three towns of the population as well. Wow. within the population there are over 120 dialects multiple different religious traditions on all this in India happens like when you move one hour, one way or one hour in another way, pretty cool. Actually like my family's religion, we're Punjabi sick. They keep their hair in the south of India. You know, they keep their hair and wear turbans in the south of India. There are other hindered religions, religions that follow other, you know, gods and they cut their hair. So, you know my business's a hair business has been kind of a cool thing to talk about and let you know, clients might even know that as you know, this hair is actually a big thing, a donating affair, sacrificing affair, as well as the keeping the hair. But for different reasons, both in admiration, respect for you know, their own respective gods. And you know, Indians are one of those people, like you said before, the weddings are crazy. That's a huge part of Indian culture. You know, people saved their entire lives and, and mother-in-law's put away jewellery for years. No, did they give it to their daughter-in-law one day? And they go all out at weddings. On top of that Indians, like are very big believers, you know, from the heart type of people. The country just a diverse and beautiful man. You can be walking down the street and see a palace and a temple. That's a billion dollars. And on one side on the left-hand side, a housemate of so Cal you know, where people don't have enough money to, to get clean water, right. It's a very diverse, very, very beautiful country. For me. It's a recharge now is from our business, Rebecca back here to help out my business to maintain a factory to source, but it puts me back in touch, with real life. And it reminds me of why I'm so blessed and grateful to have what I have and be where I am.

Host:

Right, right. And I want to get more into that. So tell us a little bit, I know we kind of got off on a tangent, you got sent back, continue on from there. Why'd you get sent back?

Rocky Singh Kandola:

The beginning of India was just, I was just like a tough to deal with kids. You know, my parents are just like, it's a cultural thing. We want you to go forward later in life. There's like, you're tough to deal with than from there when I got back, you know, I kind of got a taste of freedom and I got back in it again. The next years from 13 to 18 in and out of boot camps, military schools, private and public schools, some of the boot camps I went to were actually shut down and names change now to the child abuse, rape torture, and all kinds of things. Paris Hilton we all know Paris Hilton, the famous celebrity she's actually recently done a documentary on Netflix called this is me. And that documentary really details one of the schools in particular in Utah that, you know, it was very, very abusive and traumatic too, to kids even currently to this day, as we're speaking of the ones I went to were called the worldwide association of specialty programs where you were kidnapped out of your bed, your parents' bed at two o'clock in the morning by two guys that are so tall, they have to turn off the fans in your room just to go to walk in. These guys, escort you across the country to a program where when you walk in the lights, get dim, the air gets cold. People start screaming at you and grabbing at you. Your clothes are stripped off. Your hair is cut. You sleep in the hallway for days at a time. You wake up at 2:00 AM to stand outside in the rain and count. You're not allowed to have any communication with the outside world nor with the person right next to you. The medical care, the food that the patient has is next to nothing. You're not taken care of daily. You face mental manipulation, brainwashing verbal, physical, and sexual abuse. I had all three done to me, you know, just in my short time in Mexico at the Bootcamp I will send to and Baja, California, you know, everything from being kicked down the hallway, put on my stomach and my chest on the ground and my feet and my hands tied behind my back and forced to stay there for hours and days at a time and keep them on. I was 12/13 years old, you know, at this time after I got out, that was different. You know, I told my parents a little bit about how, you know, essentially play with I was physically messed with. And I don't think they believe me. You know, these schools are very smart. They manipulate the parents and the kids into not believing each other, not trusting each other and make the parents want to have to keep sending them back and make the kids feel like they can never get out. And, you know, they didn't really, my parents didn't believe me anyway, at that point. So I just made a rule to myself to never talk about it again, three years later, after going through military schools and then a Catholic boarding school and some other schools that got kicked out of, for fighting all my teachers for drugs, for alcohol, for all kinds of things. I was sent back to the same place I went to as a kid in Mexico, the same guy, Jason Phillips. And they kicked me down the hallway. The top of my hands, my feet behind my back that, you know, kind of had nightmares about, honestly, till this day, I still have nightmares about this stuff. I was going back there again and that's when I finally graduated high school. And once I got to the point of being 18 and graduated high school, I knew I was, a man. That was it. You couldn't tell him anything. I didn't respect authority. I didn't want anything. Except for alcohol drugs, girls, parties, cars, money, be the man, Rob shoe, steal her, whatever I had to do, whatever happened to me, I dove headfirst into that lifestyle. I didn't have to do it. I didn't, you know, get the circumstance and, you know, come from me. I picked it. I was like, this is me. This is who I am, is what I'm gonna do is what I vibe with. And that's what I'm doing. And that was my identity. There was really no question about it. Shortly later, I ended up in prison for prison. There were rehabs, there were jails, there was inpatient outpatient. There were addictions to opiates, to marijuana, to alcohol, to pills, to cocaine, to selling all those things, to being addicted just to the lifestyle and to the money into the craziness. And, you know, even to the women, to the sex, it just almost became a game, like show off and see how much he can get and you can do. And the type of person I am, you can't scare me. Trick me, change me, hurt me into changing and become better, has to come from me. And you know, when I got out of prison, I dove right back in the same lifestyle and I'll kind of want to fast forward here, but I said it to say that at a certain point, it finally took outside energy, a higher power greater for us to just be like, you know what, maybe there's something else where I can, maybe you don't have to hold on this identity. Maybe you want to be a dope boy, party, animal player, whatever, you know, everyone started calling you, whatever, you know, you started kind of believing yourself. You don't really have to, you know, identify that you can do something else if you want to. And I was scared. I didn't know if I was going to work or what I could do, what friends I would have again if I would have girls again if I would have fun again if I would be validated as a person again, you know? But I try, I just let it all go. And David is shot and started over. And, you know, seven years later, like I was telling you before it has been a journey, but blessed to be where I am. And I'm in a place now where I never really thought that it was possible in the past. Not monetarily, not materially, not anything besides spiritually and internally. I never really thought any of that was possible before.

Host:

That's, that's a lot, you just packed in there, brother. And thank you. Thank you so much, for going there. And, and for letting us in a little bit, I want to go back to this, to this boot camp. Like what, how do you think your parents come to the decision? Like, what are they fed? What's the information that your parents hear, about these boot camps? You know what I mean? Like where do your parents have to be in? And I guess like, were you just like the devil child that they just didn't know how to take care of? You know what I'm saying? Like, where does, where do your parents have to be? Because I was a pretty bad kid too, in my PR. And I think, you know, my parents would scare me with about like sending me off to a boys school and things like that because I had a bad temper and like, you know, I was dealing with a bunch of and I didn't know how to deal with my feelings. I'm just curious, like where do your parents have to be? Or what kind of information did they get sold to say like, let us come steal your kid in the middle of the night and not talk to them for X amount of time and not know what's going on.

Rocky Singh Kandola:

And that's a good question. An important question. It's a question that I told you like there's other people that went to the schools with me, my brothers and sisters survivors, we talk about and I envisioned it like this. Imagine you're a father and you have kids and you're working really hard and you're trying to throw a family together. And then, you know, you have a kid there's just crazy. You can't deal with him. He's running around outside. He's talking, the back is getting in trouble. You're getting calls from here and there making babysitters cry. What you said about the devil. If my parents were here, they'd probably be like, yup. That's, that's the one right there. That little kid, you know, I don't think I was that bad that, I mean, I that's up to them. I was definitely, I'll still have to deal with it. You know, I'm still kind of them the same way. Like when it comes to even present relationships, I'm very strong-willed, strong-minded. I taught back, I stayed on point of views. I know that I can run into, hot water, sometimes being so passionate about saying it, but I do anyway. But I envisioned like this that father's tired. Working comes home late at night. He's dealing with all of these taxes, life, whatever. And he knows this kid has trouble. Doesn't know what to do about them. And eventually comes across a newspaper ad that says you know, troubled teen, want to get your family life back, looking for help to, you know, bring your family together and have love again and make it all work and make your kids successful. Call us now. And back when I first went, I don't think the internet was really a thing. So I think it was like a newspaper ad from there. You know, they've gotten more elaborate. And as I said, these are a for-profit company. They know they need a market and they know they need to sell a certain story to parents and the kids and to make it, you know, work. And I think that's what it is. I think it's just a good ad. Good people talking, you know, that sounds good because they said to my parents like he's going to be on jet skis. He's going to be swimming. He's going to get the best medical care. Isn't get this and that. And like that, none of that could be farther from the truth. And finally now, and then thank God for technology. I don't have to say that with being kind of scared to like, because I can't prove it. Right. I was a kid. I was there. I didn't have it recorded with, but now enough of us have found each other because we want to know each other's names were there. We found each other, our Host brothers and sisters survivors. And we talk about, and we all know, we call it, talk about it out loud saying, yeah, this is what happened. This is what they did to us. It wasn't, you weren't dreaming it or thinking it or exaggerating it, it happened all of a sudden, what was the name of this place? So the place that I went to is called the worldwide association of specialty programs. Say it again, the worldwide association of specialty programs, wasp, if you Google it or YouTube at BBC CNN, a lot of people have done some big coverages on it that the Mexican ranchers shut them down. What blows my mind is it that some of the videos that literally like give me chills and I'll watch it. And we had like 20,000 views. So it tells me that people still don't really know this is a problem in our country and in the world.

Host:

You know what is funny?. And I was, I wanted to hear more about it because, because this, this happened to one of my buddies at school and I want to say it was probably freshman year, sophomore year, maybe early on in high school. And it, what you explained, how they took him out of his room and the kid has never been the same. Like after he left and came back, we, we never really, he never really fit back into the, to the group. I don't even know that. I remember him back in school. Really. I remember maybe seeing him here or there, but what you explained about and he said, it's so nonchalantly, there was something off about it when he tried to explain. But he said basically, you know, he was taken in the middle of the night. It was like a kidnapping. And they dropped him off in like the middle of the wilderness or in the middle of the desert or something. And like he had to survive, you know, by himself for a long extended amount of time. And then when they finally got him, then it was something similar to what you, it sounds like what you experienced with was like beatings and, and just like kind of mind washing. And you know, I envisioned when I envisioned Bootcamp, I envision grown men getting broken down from everything that they know so that they follow, they kind of get brainwashed and they follow a structure of our, of our military. And so, you know, to have to call this a, a boot camp is a little bit light hearing. You know what you guys actually had to go through, but it's, you're the only, the second person in my life that's ever said anything like that. And, and I didn't know whether I believed him or not. I mean, I did believe him, but he's the only one that I'd ever heard. And, and after he came back, he just was never the same. And his name was Chris and Chris best man. And if Chris best is out there, bro, and you listen to this man, maybe, maybe you guys, maybe this was, maybe this was this something similar. Maybe you guys are brothers. And that was another kid. And so I know what you're talking about because I personally experienced it with one of my best friends growing up. So you went there. Do you know how long you were there?

Rocky Singh Kandola:

You w I was there twice. So the first time I went, I was there for six months. The second time was about six, seven months as well. Every time everywhere I went was about six to eight months and then back six to eight months and back and forth my whole life basically until...

Host:

You found out you're going back there with those same guys. How old were you when you were going to go back?

Rocky Singh Kandola:

When I was 17 and that was when the dudes woke me up and I remember it so clearly I came home. How was that with a couple of friends who had passed to go that night were bottled water at a wrap out just having a beer or something like that, hanging out talk and came back? So my dad's sitting on the couch with a glass in his hand and a drink. I knew something was off. I had already had a feeling that they are thinking about sending me off somewhere again. And I walked into my room and put my desk in front of my door, put my door, put my dog in my room and put like a hammer and a knife under my bed and went to sleep thinking that, you know, they won't be able to get past the door. I'll wake up. I'll be like, get out of my room. I'm going to run away. If anything happens. And I woke up with my, my ankle cuffed and then in my room on top of me, I remember that they had to turn the fan off without saying, because they were so tall that if the fan was there, they would have got hit. I was pretty calm because I had been used to it, I've been institutionalized at this point. I've been used to getting military school with jail cuffs, you know, comply. I get an order, boy, get in line boy. You know, I knew what it was. So I was calling and freaking out. But I remember when they drove me from passing school to the airport, we stopped at a gas station near Gulf port, Mississippi. It was crazy. I came back and right now that's when Ryan Ford then is when they told me, you know, Hey Jason Phillipson is the admin at the program. You're going to right now. And that's when I was like panic. I was like, holy, could I run Sharon? And I was in the bathroom in the bathroom. I had cuffs on still. And I was like, man, how do I get outta here? I kind of had a little window and I just chickened out. I guess I didn't do it. I didn't run. But when I got there to the Bootcamp finally, a day later, man, when I saw Finland, so he walked out, I remember it's the same, his voice he has. He was like, Hey dude, like, you know, what's going on? As I swear, I don't think I've ever wanted to stab someone with any like, oh, like literally a pen, a paperclip, whatever it was. I wanted to hurt this too. And like my bed at 17, I was a lot bigger than I was at 12. Right. The second time I went there, they didn't really, they grabbed me. I got grabbed with our strain once I think twice maybe, but they didn't physically try me like that. Like they didn't, especially not one-on-one or someone in a corner and I'm like that like, oh, because I was large. I was like almost a soft lamb now at that time.

Host:

But you look like a big guy. How big, like how big are you? How tall are you? What's your, how much you weigh?

Rocky Singh Kandola:

Like 6'3 200.

Host:

Okay. Yeah. Yeah. You're a big guy.

Rocky Singh Kandola:

Close to back then as well.

Host:

Man, like that is, that has got to do so much damage to a young kid, like a pre-teen and then like to come out of that and expect anyone to be normal. And, and you know, I don't know, like your parents were naive, you know, and, and I'm sure your parents didn't want you to suffer like that, you know? And they, I'm sure didn't know what to do. You know, they're trying to do their best to, you know, and it's, I can't believe that there are companies out there that make money off of like this. Like some people put together schemes like this and you know, and, and prey on kids and, and, and families. It's just, that's, it's just unbelievable. But you know, I, I believe you like that. And if it happens, it happened to my best friend and you're like I said, you're the only, the second guy wasp I'm going to, I got to look more up and I'm going to maybe try to find, find my buddy. What's your, what's your relationship like now with your parents?

Rocky Singh Kandola:

Well, I mean, if you look at how we were 10 years ago to now, it's actually like a totally different world. You know, back then, I didn't want to talk to and be around them. I would, I was even, I was stealing money from my parents. Like I would take my dad's credit card and rent a limo for three nights and spend like 20,000 on his card and sneak away with friends. Like we were just, we had no relationship whatsoever. Now, you know, when I go home, we still like, they're still a little at times, here were a little bit tough talks, a little bit argument, Toms type of thing, but we have a relationship, you know, we talk, we chat, they would like me to talk, chat way more than I do obviously. But you know, it's, it's much better than it was a four where there's not like as much like fighting there's the level of respect now as well. My parents know that you know, not out there taking their money and buying drugs and selling drugs and partying and doing things like they see my work and they see my success through learning about business and staying attached to it and doing it properly, you know, from the heart and then see a lot of the changes I've made. You know, so I'm not saying that I had to earn their love and respect like that because a lot of big part of it was me. I was holding so much hate towards decisions that they didn't make to hurt me. They made to try to help, you know, at the end of the day, whether they did or not, it's a whole different story. But that's what we're trying to do. So I think there's a lot more work to be done still. I mean, I'm just hoping they just, hang on as long as they can. You know what I mean? Because I'm still a baby in, in, in growing up and being an adult and spirituality, even in business, you know, I consider myself those a newbie and I love being new. I love learning along the journey I'm going. And I know that you know, a talk and a longer talk and more connection with them is just to do time for that. And I'll go home more than most, anyone other siblings in LA across the country from them. I've been back four or five times since COVID and you know, we've had, had better talks and we've learned about each other more and they learned about me more. The first time I left, I sat home and chilled around them and then okay. Versus I got to get out of the house, I've got to go this route. I go to that. We won't see this person or that person, which, I mean, I don't know if they'd agree. They would want me, they want me to be home all day all the time.

Host:

Well, that's your parents, you know, I think, yeah, all parents are going to be like that. Right. And you know, I struggled my relationship with my parents is strained to do too. I think my, my mother could do better with opiates. Let's put it that way. And we, I lost a sister to an opiate overdose. And so it's, it's strain and, and it's taking therapy right now between me and my parents and you know, it's so I get it. It's a, it's a lot of work and kudos to you, you know, for even being willing that's that gets scar kid. And, and no matter who sent you off there, but to know that your parents sent you off there like as a little kid, you got to be thinking like, wow, my parents know what's going on here. They purposely sent me here. They're not coming to get me. They must hate me. You know? They're like, there must be a ton of things you go on in your head and you must have been so confused about what was going on. Like, yeah, you're a bad kid, but you didn't deserve to get sexually, mentally and physically abused. You know, you know, kudos to you, for being open and willing to do that for, for cleaning up your life. Because you, you did, you were set up to, to be an addict and have issues with substance and nobody would blame you. You know, nobody could blame you for the that you, that you went through. So, you know, I'm, I'm glad you're here. Glad you're telling your story right now. And I hope eventually, you know, listen, your, I know your parents and I don't know what your relationship is with your parents, but you know, I hope everybody just takes their response. I know your parents didn't do it on purpose. They didn't know what was going on, but you know, I just hope everybody owns their part and you guys can, can heal together and, and grow because I want that for my family too. And I know families are tough, man. Families are tough and, and I don't have kids. So I can't imagine what it's like to raise kids. So, and I know that's tough, you know, I just, I wish you and your parents the best and, and healing and, and, and you know, we need healing now more than ever, you know, in, in the world. So I wish you the best, all the best there with your family. I want to move on to, your entrepreneurial journey now. And I guess touch on a little bit. So you got cleaned up, you got cleaned up, I'm assuming because of business or I guess how, why did you get cleaned up? Why did you decide to get cleaned up all of a sudden?

Rocky Singh Kandola:

Well, first of all, it wasn't all of a sudden I had a lot of back and forth with that. And I mean, to be honest, I'm not 100% clean. Like we're not, I don't just like, I haven't made like a pact of never drinking or never. Usually, I don't use drugs as far as pills and stuff like that goes anymore. I do, you know, dabble in, you know, drinking here and there and smoking weed is a big problem for me. I actually totally quit this year in February, took a break and then they're now again like I'll, I'll pull up here and there it's in a very different like manner like before I was literally, I would wake up to do these things and party. And I definitely understand that the 12 step method and understand recovery and how most of those programs would definitely say that, you know, I'm not making the right decisions and choices from what I've learned is it's all a journey and the healing is all a journey and it's all kind of personal to how we make it, how to be gentle with yourselves as well. Definitely advocated for, Hey, go drink and go smoke or this and that. But I'm also not going to judge and say, it's a, it's a horrible thing. Especially some of the, you know, having a drink at night or having a joint, conversely, versus having a drink, whatever it is I made the decision seven years ago, after prison, after I was getting back in the same lifestyle to never get back into that lifestyle, selling drugs anymore, no selling dope, no dope mentality, no looking over my shoulder, no throwing away a cell phone note, the late-night Cornerstore CVS meeting, random people that, you know, none of that. And I've stayed away from that. I have stayed away from that since the day I said that I'm done with this. And that was huge for me. I was so ingrained in that lifestyle and I wasn't even like the kingpin. I was just, you know, I'm making enough money to have fun and do what I want to do, you know? And I was just ingrained in it. I was, I never thought I'll be anything else. But I made that decision when I left prison and went to India to live clean in prison, actually pertaining to you asking about my entrepreneurial road is where I made that one-page business plan about hair, the hair company on now, me and my cellmate job. We used to sit there, but it'd be else also smoking or doing whatever they're doing. And we use snuck in cell phones in prison to call his sister, his girl and find out prices on bundles and inventory costs and marketing plans and strategies and what we needed to have and make a business plan for hair, for clothes, for investment pool and companies and all kinds of stuff that we're doing. And eventually, I got out and I decided to give this new life thing a shot, let go, my girlfriends and my circles I was selling with and hustling with and the identity I created the house I had there. When I look at all of that and went to India and started living clean, that's when this little one-page business plan came back to my mind. So hell rock, you want to do something new you're not selling dope or not. I didn't just sell. I was always an entrepreneur. I used to be the kid with lemonade, selling baseball cards, cutting grass, you know, talent management companies, all that sounds like it's time to do something legit. Rob, stop bucking the system, stop being mad, local, follow this and that local if the politic and the girls and the guys, the friends and this and that, and just do something. And then at that point in my life, people caught up on a purpose and a vision to plan. It didn't matter what it was. I needed to do something. I mean, something was going to allow me to have other opportunities in the future to go beyond what I think. I know what I think I can do. And for me, that happened to be air made in India and hair extensions brought me to a place in a short six years, man, where I understand business, understand people, understand money, accounting, marketing, wine, media, everything. I can literally a 10 X level and understand that I'm comfortable. Now. Now I know that you know, business-wise I'll always be okay, things will go up. Things go down, situations will happen, viruses will come. And I'm sure I'm a hustler. I'm a mindset of a person that can adapt and shift to that. And that, in my opinion, is what are Trump's number is. And I'll be able to do that. And on top of that, I've been humbled enough about life to not have these aspirations of a Lamborghini on top of the mansion with a helicopter. And I just, I don't need all that stuff. I know what I need and what is needed for me, you know, financially live and have a good life as well as spiritually to where I need to do and give back to fulfil my heart. Right. And that's not to say I've detained either of them yet, but I know the path now. And I've worked on them in speaking like this to you and sharing with my followers and my clients that I work with is a huge part of that spiritual fulfilment for me, I've found the hair company I started with my ex-wife, but I'm not with anymore. And people don't know that part behind the scenes about like the crazy struggles in the time when I was still running the business and going through a divorce and separation and how much I hated it for a time. And I was like, I never want to do this learning that, you know what, like it doesn't have to be about the hair. The fact that I'm in a woman's industry, it's about the way you do it, the way you live your life, how beautiful and how magical you make, even taking out the trash or washing dishes, whatever it is, you do, you do it to your fullest and you rise to a level of mastery in that field. And once you're there just to possibly as if everything to do are endless and open up so crazy. And that's kind of where I am now, you know, I'm just like, sometimes I'm almost overwhelmed with like options, like, you know, which option should I choose? There are so many, so many ones out there. And I want to kind of pick one that's with everything I've learned is aligned on those learnings and moving forward kind of thing.

Host:

You said so much, so much in there that, that I wanted to touch on. So I hope I can remember all of it. I tried to write some things down, but you know, thanks for sharing your journey through, through getting clean through whatever you want to call it sobriety or, or, or just, or just man, life management. Like, listen, I'm not here to judge who, whatever you want to do in your life, how you, how substance, how you interact with it. I'm just telling people, you know, what, you know, what my experience was, but I don't do it perfectly either. You know what I mean? And it is a journey. It is a journey. And I don't think there's, listen, everyone has their own definition of sobriety, whatever sobriety is to you. Right. I think that's another word that we need to maybe look at, but there's no wrong way. There's no wrong way to get sober. And if you're cleaning your life up and you're making, you're making moves and you're making progress, my, you know, one of my therapists says passivity comes with addiction. So if you're, if you're using substance whatever it might be, if you're drinking, if you're smoking weed for, you know, whatever you're doing, right. And, and you become passive in the things that are essential in your life, meaning that you're not there, they're not a priority anymore than that. Then you might, there might be an issue there. Right. And, and for me, I couldn't do that with alcohol, but that doesn't mean everybody can't. And that doesn't mean you can't. And that doesn't mean like, so I like having you on here and having that perspective because I am not one to say that people can't get sober, get clean, get right. And then, and then figure out how to manage because maybe some people do that, you know, and, and maybe that is an option for some people. For me, I've just gotten to the point where I just don't even want to drink anymore. Like the thought of a hangover. If I ever think about drinking, I just think about the hangover and that's enough for me to just, not even want to drink anymore. Like, no, no, I'm good. Like, think about the hangover. Nah, I'm good. You know, and that's just one of my coping mechanisms to, to play the tape forward and feel that, and then you went into, you know, your entrepreneurship and the mindset and, and, you know, I love, you know, just the way you talk, you talk in, in such a way that it's not, it's, it's very like, a matter of fact, like you see it, like, you know, you're going to be good. You know, you're going to be successful. You know you don't know how it's going to happen. You know what you're going to do, but you know, the virus has come and things happen. Business goes up and down, but you know, you're going to be successful. And that's the life of an entrepreneur is dealing with change, dealing with change because you, as an entrepreneur have to change people change and, and what they like and, and fashion for, for someone in the hair industry, fashion changes how they wear their hair changes. What's in, what's not like people change and, and you have to be able to change. And the best entrepreneurs can look at and not and complain about them. But look and someone I just spoke to said, live in, live in the solution, you know, living in the solution and manifesting the solutions into your life instead of living in the problems. And, and that's the difference between employees, I think, and, and entrepreneurs. And I'm not saying there's anything wrong with being an employee. I was an employee for a long time and, and we need employees. I'm not saying we don't, but there are, there are some, there are people in this world meant to be entrepreneurs, risk-takers, people who see the world just a little bit different than like, like Rocky and I. And so the mindset and the ability to see a situation and be able to change and look at it in a positive way and look for solutions is just something that, that sets us apart. And it's the little things I think you touched on that, doing little things, always, you know, it's the little things that you do every single day that nobody sees. That's what makes a great entrepreneur from a good entrepreneur is doing the little things every single day. And I've talked about this before, what are you doing when people are sleeping on you? You know, what are your, you know, I always looked at it from an athletic standpoint, you know, I'm here for athletic references as well. You know, what, what are, what were my opponents doing? You know? And, and that would drive me to want to practice harder or be sharper or, or watch more film. When I think about like, what are they doing? What's w you know, if they're doing it as much as I am right now, then I need to be doing it more than what I'm doing it right now. You know? And that was my mindset in sports. And I think that that carries over into the entrepreneurial world. You know, what am I doing right now to push the envelope? What am I doing to be a trendsetter and not follow trends?

Host:

What am I doing to set the market on things? You know, how do I become the absolute best at what I do? And I do that by doing the little things every day, like getting up at 4 35 in the morning and working out and taking time for, for me, a lot of it is mentality because I, I think I was born with not, I was born with a very sharp mind, but I didn't, I didn't know how to harness it. And it was all over the place. So I really have to be very, very intentional with my mindset, what I think about how I think about it, how much time I spend thinking about it, because with a temper and with an addiction problem, and with substance abuse and with sexual abuse and with a dad that was gone in the Navy and a mom that did her best raising, you know, two kids and having to grow up quick and babysit and take care of a sister that was four years younger than me, all of these things happening, you know, it's, it, it, it turns your life around a little bit, and it makes you a different person, but I loved how you touched on the little things. And so you talked about tradition in India and how hair is such a tradition, and whether you cut it or not cut it. So how did you end up in, the hair industry in a country that seems like it's divided on what's should be done with hair?

Rocky Singh Kandola:

It's a very weird, very deep, very crazy industry. Hair extensions, there are documentaries on it. There are videos. There's misinformation lies to all kinds of games. It's a funny industry for me, man. It was simple. I was in prison. We were brainstorming business plans. When I got out, I had that piece of paper in my hand, and I thought about it. And I was like, oh, let me see if this works. I made a Facebook post after that. And all my homegirls from high school were just like, oh, Rocky got hair. You got bundles. Probably don't learn it. I was like, I'm going to try this then. And like I said, I haven't looked back since then.

Host:

Didn't have any hair. Like you would never cut hair before you had never picked up a pair of Clippers, thought about being a barber or nothing like that.

Rocky Singh Kandola:

I never cared how my hair looked. What knew what the kind of shampoo I use was

Host:

It's so crazy. Like, and because I mean, there, I would say that there's probably a stigma around men in that industry. You know what I mean? Like, so you're not only fighting what's the word culture Thing with haircutting but, but you're also jumping into an industry that has a huge stigma. I'm assuming around men. Like, I feel like it's if you're a man you're gay or you're just a woman like I think like if I'm being as like honest and shallow as I possibly can, that's exactly what comes to mind when I think of hairdresser or salon.

Rocky Singh Kandola:

You're right. I mean, it's one of the other people either, if you're a guy in the Harris street or gay you know, one or two, you are a people think of us guys, the industry as either a threat or a possible good thing. And a good thing in the sense that if you're a guy in Heron street, you're a hustler in your hood and that's how you're going to be. I mean, given, I mean, I've hustled most well if I know how to hustle in many respects of the word. But you know, there's obviously more to that than when you're running a large business there catering other businesses. Not that girls could shows come up to me before and be like, you think you're a guy and you can come into this hair industry and just like take over and do this with girls. I've had an Indian lady walk up to me at a hair show one time and, you know, start getting either Indian, like you you're disrespecting a culture and yummy, like, why would you have a company called red dot import? And I was like, red.is Indian people call Indians that are like me, Red dot Indians. And I'm Indian. So I've named my company Reddot Import. You're Indian also. Why aren't we talking about this? I don't understand what's going on right now. But I mean, what I learned about that is people are always going to have something to say, man, like whether it's gender sex, finance, politics, whatever it is, people always have something to say when you learn. And when I had to learn that, you know what, it's cool. They're allowed to have a viewpoint that is totally in opposition to whatever I think and believes in totally rocks my world they're allowed to. And I mean, the biggest thing is I shouldn't have any kind of reaction to it. You know? Like I can just be like, oh, that's a pretty weirdly, a crazy cool little point of view to have. And that's awesome that you have it. You know what I mean? This is mine as well. And that's not a thing we get into talking about your health, you know, self fuse and boundaries and stuff like that, which is, I mean, as addicts are people that do substance elite, all have our fair share of issues when it comes to, you know, boundaries and, and self fuse and the way we see ourselves and talk for ourselves as well.

Host:

So I loved what you said about allowing people to have their points of views because you're right. Like, and I think as addicts, we have learned that, that everyone is allowed their own opinion. And your opinion of me is none of my business. So you're allowed to feel you and I think that that's a huge issue with the United States of America right now and why we're all so divided is because we don't, we don't allow people to be unique and have unique perspectives on things and allow people to disagree. That's allowed no, nobody, there's nothing written anywhere. It says we all have to agree on everything. We wouldn't be here successful as a society if everybody did the same thing, the point of a society is that everybody does different things, really well, there, their way. And we add that to the society as a whole, you know, and, and do not allow people or to be judgmental about these and listen, I don't do this perfect at all, you know? And so I'm not saying I'm perfect. I, I judge as much as anybody, but I judge myself harsher than anything, but, you know, it's, it's difficult. We, we all need to practice and learn and it's mental health it's practice. It's, it's, it's healthy. Communication is what it is. You should be able to sit there in front of someone, allow them to disagree with you in front of your face. And like you said, look at it as a point of view, like, Hmm that's an interesting point of view. I don't know that I, I look at it that way. In fact, this is how I see it and be okay and both be okay with it and, and listen, this, you know, this is just a small pebble in this ocean that we're talking about, but, but I agree with you a hundred per cent, man. And I love that you touched on that. And I think you handled that well. And I think addicts do a lot of digging and people with substance abuse that, want to make a change in their life, have to do a lot of that. They have to allow people and, and you know, what, for me going to meetings taught me that because it made me patient. It made me sit in a room and listen to people that I didn't necessarily give about that. I didn't want to hear about who I thought were rambling, who I thought was whatever. And, and sometimes that was it, but I still had to sit there and I had to be patient and, you know, a sponsor, I'd hear someone else say that, like they're allowed to, they're there, they're living their own truth right now, too. And they're trying to better their lives too. So who am I to judge them, whatever they had to say, you know? And that's, it's not easy because we all, we, we have we're, we have our own opinions and that's, that's okay. We hide our opinions though, because of the conflict. We're scared of what someone else is going to think because we're, you know, we're scared of this. And so less communication is happening, which is causing more turmoil between people because there's no communication, we're all assuming what people are thinking. And that obviously makes an out of you and me. So, so I want, we're running up on the hour now. And I, and God, this conversation has been tremendous. I didn't know what I was going to get out of this. Because like I said, he, Rocky and I met just on LinkedIn. And you know, I'd have a very little background, but I've enjoyed this conversation. And as we run upon this hour, I want to make sure I need to touch on what you're doing. I know you touched on your business name a little bit, but we've got to a few things what you're doing now. So, so tell us about your business. Where are you open? How long have you been open? What are you doing with your hair? What do you specialize in, in like, you know, how is how's your growth been? You know, what's it like since you've been, you know, what's your life like right now, since you've kind of gotten yourself kind of cleaned up back together and doing hair?

Rocky Singh Kandola:

Definitely, definitely. So I'm Hair Made In India is the name of the company where human hair, extension company, we catered up, you know, businesses, distributors, salon, owners, and stylists worldwide. We do both wholesale as well as retail, online and offline. We have a showroom now in Beverly Hills, in west LA where they meet our clients seven days a week for appointments for wholesale, as well as retail. Well, we do things differently is twofold. One is I, travel back and forth to India maintain factory connections, labour connections, and customs, and make sure everything is running smooth. And I'm also available here in the US to deal with clients. It's one of the biggest things. And two, we strive to inform, educate, and help and be there for our business clients in a business and a personal sense, and a lot of them to grow as a company, how they need to grow. And we give them the tools, the resources, the raw materials training, videos, guides, and other class that I'm making as well to kind of guide them through that when everything else I'm doing, I'm going to have a CBD company. I have a vacation rental property company. I just bought my first condo. So I am going to get my hands out there in small things. So I'm just taking a lot of my time is speaking and writing now, and that's, you know, aligned, well, I want to do, I do want, you know, a large portion of my time in the feature to be spent towards doing things like this, helping to talk, speaking, being part of organizations that are doing all the same things, and I'm constantly working on all those things. Now my life man, it's I couldn't ask for more. I have, you know, what I want I I've lived from a pretty simple, you know, living, God always had like, as I said, Lamborghini needs and five-star this and that recently I let go of my loft downtown LA that I had to, you know, became an idea of success for me. It was right there at staple centre and I gave all my things to the homeless, my suits, my shoes, my clothes, my furniture, my electric tonics, my towels, everything, and started this lifestyle and living for four months now of living in Hostels and hotel rooms and just going where I want to go. I handle our business right now. I have 1, 2, 3, 4 monitors in front of me, iPad cell phones. I handle the staff that works for me at the showroom and Beverly Hills. Electronically we promote cameras in electronic locks. She runs a show on there and I help her out. My chief of staff Miranda. She was operations, Miranda, in Alabama. She helps me out with everything else, social media with backend systems. And I'd spend my days touching base on the laptops with them going out into nature, reading, writing, and talking to clients on the phone, you know? So so I wanted something I can handle on my phone and my laptop, and still be important, help people out, be there for my business owners and be able to do something crazy. Journeys have been as tough. It was a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. Like I'm getting to that point now.

Host:

Yeah. Well, listen, I mean, you're just scratching the surface. Like we talked about bro. You're young, you know, we're both young. We both have, we're both just starting this journey and I thank God that, that we were able to start this journey early or fairly early in our life and get some things turned around. How long has your business been open and how did you grow? What have you seen your growth do? And it's gotta be a pretty competitive market, especially in, in Hollywood, in LA. Right. So how do you set yourself apart from other businesses doing the same thing as a new business coming into one of the biggest cities in us?

Rocky Singh Kandola:

For sure. Yes. I mean, Airbnb has been around for seven years now, the first couple of years I was teaching tennis to make money on the side. I was a lot of struggling. Barely, barely making enough revenue. However, one thing I have noticed is from year one, all the way up until now, the first three years, we had a steady 15 to 20% revenue growth rate. The past three or four years, it's been a steady 50% growth rate year on year. So we've been drastically doing, you know, better and better every year. One thing to come to LA, he says the biggest city in the world. It's very intimidating to most people that I love that intimidate me. Give me a challenge, tell me I can't do it. I'm going to come all at it. So I came to LA getting out of a relationship, homeless, living in a minivan, drinking and partying and clubs in Hollywood and doing coke in the bathrooms in a bad state of mind. But I was working every single day. I wake up, I answer my phone. I drive all around LA, go to salons, go to stores, meet people at their house, meet people at a coffee shop, bring them my product. And I was real with them. I was like, look, man, you know, I know this little phrase right now and all my shirts, not clean. I'm in a minivan and there's hair in it. I'm going to work hard for you. I'm not quitting. I'm here, I'm in this. I'm going to do it. And those are some of my best clients. I have that today. Also to answer your question is just like we're talking about earlier. It was just like working harder than anybody else around me. And four seven all day, all night. I was in the past say the mile and I was even drinking and stuff like I said, but I was continuing to do the business every single day.

Host:

Yeah. Well, you know, it doesn't change who you are, you know what I mean? That's and that's a huge message of mine is that the substance doesn't change the person underneath. Right? As you said, you had the entrepreneurial spirit, your whole life. Right. And you had the sharp mind and you were special and you had, you had your gifts and you knew you had them. Right. And you know, and unfortunately, people who are gifted between your ears, they sometimes have issues with, with substance and, and you know, there's a lot of theories why, and I have my theories. Why? And I think, I think we're just a little bit crazy. I think we also like the challenge a little bit, you know, for me, honestly, and, and until I started talking about it on this podcast when I worked in banquets and you know, I was drinking like a bottle of a day and you know, it was booze. Like I was drinking first thing when I woke up. Right. And I think that's tremendous what you're doing with your business. I think as I said, that's a tough space. And I'm in the real estate industry. I'm a real estate investor out here in New Jersey. And I did s