Posted July 20, 2020 in Podcast

A 7 Figure Business Born on the Golf Course with RT Custer

A 7 Figure Business Born on the Golf Course with RT Custer

What’s your story?

Every business has a story, and every story is unique. Maybe you’ve undergone a massive weight loss transformation, and now you’re passionate about helping others do the same. Or perhaps you grew up volunteering with animals, so you’ve started a nonprofit to help pets find happy homes. Whatever work you do, wherever you are in life, you have a unique story.

And I believe that the best way to market your business is to tell that story. Customers and clients connect with people they can relate to, and they pay for products and services made by real people. 

To demonstrate, I’ve got an amazing guy here on the show to tell the story and offer some of the wisdom behind his company, Vortic Watches. If you’ve never heard of RT Custer or Vortic Watches, you are in for a treat today! RT has an incredible story behind his company, and I’m so grateful he’s here to share it with you all today.

I’m also excited to be making a big announcement today! RT and I have had something in our pipeline for a while now, and today, we’re finally ready to share it with you! Make sure to read all the way to the end — this is HUGE, and I don’t want you to miss out!

So with that, let’s get into the episode. RT had a lot of wisdom to share, and I think you’re going to enjoy hearing his story. Grab a pen and some paper and don’t be afraid to take notes because this is a special interview! Let’s get started.


Who Is RT Custer?


Fun fact: RT Custer is actually a descendant of the famous American military general, General Custer, who died at the Battle of Little Bighorn. But that’s not even the coolest thing about him…

RT Custer is one of the founders of Vortic Watches, one of the most unique watch companies you’ll ever hear of. They find old American-made pocket watches and repurpose the insides to create truly one-of-a-kind luxury watches. And because they’re repurposing old pocket watches made by American companies, their timepieces are also fully American-made.

Vortic Watches has grown into a seven-figure business in just a short period of time, but guess what — it began as just an idea born out of a golf course conversation. RT and his friend and co-founder of Vortic Watches, Tyler, were out on the course one day, just chatting, when they hatched their idea — who knew it would become such a special and lucrative business?

I’ll let RT share a little more of the story behind Vortic Watches in a minute, but before we move on, I have to mention a few of the other things RT does. He’s a true family man, and he strives every day to model a strong work ethic for his two sons. He’s also the co-host of the podcast, and YouTube show, Products Worth Talking About.

In each episode, RT and his friend Tyler — a different Tyler — take a look at different consumer products and the people who make them. They look at everything from the quality of the products themselves to their marketing, packaging, and every other element that makes a top-quality product great. They’re continually uncovering the best new consumer products, so make sure to check that out!

RT is an inspiration to me, and I believe he’ll be an inspiration to you, too. He’s creating timepieces that become one-of-a-kind heirlooms and memory-keepers for his customers, and he’s truly passionate about that work. So without any further ado, let’s jump into our interview.


The Vortic Watches Story


After class one day, two Penn State students — RT and Tyler — decided to play a round of golf. Tyler had an interest in vintage Timex watches, and RT had an interest in American manufacturing as an engineering major. The two of them conversed for a while about watch manufacturing and about how most watches today are manufactured in Switzerland or China. But they wondered: Would it be possible to make a unique, high-end watch in America?

In the days and weeks that followed, the two set forth on a massive research project. They developed ideas for the kinds of watches they would make — the features they would have and the unique qualities that would make their watches unique and different. And in the course of their research, they discovered that for 150 years from 1800 to 1950, America was the world’s center of watchmaking. In fact, there were ten different companies that manufactured watches in the United States, and between them, they created over a hundred million pocket watches.

Then one day, the two guys walked into a pawnshop. They spoke with the pawnshop owner, who told them that he often received old pocket watches. He would strip them of their gold outer shells, but the insides were all but trash. He handed the two college students a box of pocket watch insides, which they took to a watchmaker.

The watchmaker had been restoring vintage and antique wristwatches for some time, and he recognized the quality of the parts RT and Tyler had gotten from the pawnshop owner. He explained that these were some of the best-made watches in the world, even compared to modern watches.

The guys realized something — if they could take these old pocket watches and turn them into wristwatches, they could upcycle these old pieces of history, tell the stories of the companies who originally made them, and bring back the lost tradition of American watchmaking. What an excellent way to market a product!

RT and Tyler put their idea out on Kickstarter in 2014, received $40,000 from 60 random investors, and Vortic Watches was born.


Running a Business Has Never Been Easier


When RT and Tyler started Vortic Watches, they were two 22-year-olds who had no real business experience. They didn’t know what they were doing, they just knew that they had a cool idea, some financial backing, and a desire to create something special. Thankfully, in this day and age, it’s never been easier to launch a business.

RT and Tyler started by posting their business plan to Kickstarter, an online platform that entrepreneurs and content creators can use to share their products and receive financial support from investors. RT highly recommended the platform for aspiring entrepreneurs. His advice — make sure your Kickstarter page has a high-level business plan.

“… Kickstarter is a great method of starting a company, but if you look at our Kickstarter campaign, it’s really a website. And if you look at our website or the Kickstarter campaign, it’s really a high-level business plan. … And so if you have an idea, you have to put all those ideas on paper, formulate it into a business plan, and then either pitch it to yourself … or you pitch it to your spouse, your significant other, your friends, [or] your family. … And then if all if all of those conversations go well, then maybe you’re pitching a bank or investors, or you start a Kickstarter … but the root of all your pitches … is some sort of business plan.” – RT Custer

Do you have a very specific business plan? Have you answered all of the questions like, “How many do we need to sell to start a business? How much is each unit going to cost? What sort of facilities do we need,” etc.? If you have a strong and detailed business plan, it will be much easier to find investors.

And here’s the good news: Once you have your business plan worked out, the rest is actually simpler than you might think. 

“In today’s world, there is no excuse. If you have an idea and you don’t do something with it, it is 100% on you — There’s no one else on [the] line. … Shopify is what I use for my website. It’s what Kylie Jenner uses for her multi-billion dollar website. And it’s what everybody in between uses. … Just build a website — it doesn’t cost a whole lot of money.” – RT Custer

Starting a business doesn’t have to be complicated. It truly can be as easy as building a website for just a few dollars and getting your idea out there. As long as you have a rock-solid business plan, you’ll find investors who want to support you.


What Is It About Golf?


A simple golf course conversation paved the way for a unique business, and some of the most truly unique products in the world. Why does golf have that power? Why is it that so many masterminds, business relationships, ideas, and connections come together on the golf course?

“For me, golf isn’t about the sport. Like today when I play, the act of playing gold is really the excuse to get together with … my friends, have a beer, chat, catch up, and you’re kind of locked in the same room … for four hours. And when you’re together with other people for that long, you have to talk about something other than gold. It’s just a thing!” – RT Custer

The golf course is a great place to have conversations that lead to building seven-figure businesses. It gives people the opportunity to talk about things that interest them, trade ideas, and offer wisdom and knowledge to each other. Vortic Watches started on a golf course — maybe your next business endeavor could start on the golf course too! Which leads me into my big announcement… 

This October, the 11th through the 14th, RT and I are going to be offering a once-in-a-lifetime experience for a group of about 16 guys, including us. We’re going to spend three nights in Pinehurst, North Carolina, and guys, we have a ton of incredible events planned.

Pinehurst is home to some of the best golf courses — it’s ranked #16 in the world — and we’re going to play three rounds of golf there. We’re going to have private dinners for the group with guided conversations to help us move things forward in life. And we’re even going to spend a half-day doing a NASCAR experience where we train shoulder-to-shoulder with a professional pit crew and even have a simulated pit crew competition. Oh, and by the way, RT will be there, and he’ll be giving away one of his one-of-a-kind watches for free.

Friends, this event is going to be awesome. Again, we’re going to be hosting this incredible experience in Pinehurst, North Carolina, from October 11th through the 14th. We’re going to do a lot of fun stuff, and RT and I are super pumped. But you know what? I think the conversations are going to be the best part of the whole trip. I’m looking forward to talking, sharing, and getting to know a whole new group of guys. I know this is going to be an amazing and inspirational experience for all of us, and I sincerely hope you’ll consider joining us.


Reach Beyond with RT Custer


I love RT’s story. He had an interesting idea, and he used the tools that are at all of our fingertips to make it a reality. That’s all business is! And now, he gets to help people create unique keepsakes that they pass down for generations.

“I get to have the coolest conversations with people, and then I sell them an heirloom. You know, these watches are very valuable. We don’t make very many of them. And so most of my customers get [a] custom engraving put on it with their last name or their children’s names or their wedding date, and they’re going to pass this watch down for multiple generations. And for all of those reasons, it’s just so much fun to do what I do.” – RT Custer

What do you love to do? What passion fuels you? This episode will inspire you to take that next step to pursue success in your business. And if you choose to join us on our retreat in Pinehurst, you’ll have the opportunity to network with an incredible group of men who will inspire you and encourage you even more.

Thank you so much for joining me today, everyone. If you loved this episode, please consider sharing it with your friends on Instagram. I’d love it so much if you could share your biggest takeaways from the episode and tag RT, @rtcuster, and me, @kyle_depiesse. I’d love to hear what value you got from this episode!

And if you’re enjoying this podcast, it would mean so much to me if you gave us a five-star rating and review over on Apple Podcasts. Your reviews really do help new listeners find the podcast!

Until next time — cheers to your success. I’m rooting for you.

Kyle Depiesse Signature