Tom Nardone is a former mailman who left his job to become an entrepreneur. He joins Super Power Kids host, Neva Lee Recla, to share his insight on the freedom of being an entrepreneur. After working for the post office since the 80’s, Tom quit his job to explore entrepreneurship. Now he calls himself the millionaire mailman. Listen in to learn about the freedom and fun of being an entrepreneur.
Hi kids! This is your Super Power Kid, Neva Lee Recla, and today I’m so excited about what we’re talking about. We’re talking about the freedom of being an entrepreneur. And I think that’s such an amazing concept because ever since I was little, my parents gave me the freedom of what I’m eating, what I’m putting in my body, and the fact that I’m homeschooled and I’m actually done with fourth grade now and that’s so exciting.
To talk with us today is Tom Nardone. He and I met at New Media Summit. He was a mailman, which I thought was so cool, and he left that to become an entrepreneur.
Without further ado, will you help me welcome our guest, Tom Nardone.
Hi, Neva. Thanks for having me on your show. I’m honored today.
Thank you for coming. I’m so excited.
What are your super powers?
My super powers are I take kind of run-down, like beat-up-looking houses and I buy them up and I remodel them and turn them into pretty-looking houses. We make ugly houses into pretty houses.
That’s really cool. So, what was it like for you to be a mailman? Because I know for me, when I’m a kid, it’s like, “Oh, it’s so exciting to go to the mailbox and get the mail!” and that’s probably like it for other kids. What was it like from your point of view to be in the truck giving out the mail?
Well, it was a great job and like, you’re in Phoenix where it can get really hot in the summer, I’m in Florida where it also gets really hot in the summer. But, aside from this millionaire mailman hat, which is what the MMM stands for, I also happen to have my old mail hat that I used to wear.
I used to wear this out in the heat to keep the sun off of my ears, my neck and my shoulders, and it was a great job. If somebody wants a good government job, being a mailman is a fun job because you get to work outdoors pretty much all day long.
And nobody’s kind of watching over you, if you know what I mean.
Yeah. That’s awesome. I think that’s so cool and it’s exciting to know you get mail, you know?
And how long did you work? Did you work from a certain time or was it just until all the mail in your truck was gone?
Well, yeah, you pretty much said it right there. We would start at 5:00 in the morning, which it’s usually still dark out when we would go into work.
That’s way too early for me.
It’s early for most adults and everybody in general. But the reason we go in so early is because all those individual letters and those packages, they all need to be put in proper delivery sequence. We line them up so that when you’re walking down the street, you know 123 Main Street will be right next to 234 Main Street and so on down the road. So, we put it in delivery order and then, as you said, we go through our day and pretty much when we have it all delivered is when we’re done for the day.
And do you get like, I noticed that sometimes, in order to open a mailbox, you have to use a key. Did you get all of those keys for the mailboxes to open them?
Yes. And people don’t realize this, but that one key the mailman has, pretty much opens up every single mailbox in the whole entire city.
Believe it or not, yeah. It’s really weird, because they put a big sense of responsibility on you to not ever lose that key. In fact, if you ever noticed, mailmen, when they use that key, it’s usually tied to the end of a chain, so unless that chain breaks, which is really strong, it’s made out of a really strong metal, then you should not lose that key. But I’ve seen guys lose them before, and it’s a big deal because now somebody has access to open up other people’s mail, which is a bad thing.
Yeah. And that’s kind of interesting how one key can open a bunch of mailboxes because like if our key were to use it on somebody else’s mailbox it wouldn’t open then.
Right. And same thing for people’s houses. You know, most houses, everybody’s got their own door key and it probably would not work in somebody else’s. But when you think about it, one mailman delivers to like five or six hundred houses. So if everybody in an apartment building, per se, had a different key that they had to use, they would have to have hundreds of keys. Therefore, they bring it all to just using one key for everything.
Kind of cool.
Yeah, it is. That’s awesome. So, what inspired you from doing that, which I thought was amazing, to becoming the exciting entrepreneur? What inspired you to change to being a mailman to becoming your own entrepreneur?
Excellent question. The mailman job is a really good job and it has good benefits and by benefits, I mean, they pay for your health insurance. So if you get sick, you can go to the doctor and a lot of those expenses are covered for you, and they have great life insurance. You lose a loved one or something, your family will get compensated. It had all those benefits. But, it was still a job. At the end of the day, I still had to punch a time clock.
My wife and I, we actually operate very independently ourselves. In fact, I went to public school, but both of my boys who are now grown were both home schooled. My wife and I home schooled them all through kindergarten and they had one or two years where they went to a Christian school, but then they graduated and it was a lot of fun.
So, we always believed in being more of an independent, entrepreneurial type, and not doing what everyone’s doing. So being a mailman, I noticed that there were all these ugly looking houses on my routes and some of them were abandoned by people and the grass would be getting tall, like up to your knees, and the wood would be just falling off the house. So I thought, “Wow. This is bad for the neighbourhood because it makes the rest of the neighbourhood look bad. Maybe if I could buy these homes and make a business out of seeing ugly houses on my mail routes and fixing them up.” My actual mail job helped me to get started as an entrepreneur. And that was how I used my job to actually move into the next part of my life, which is being an entrepreneur by being a real estate investor.
That’s awesome. I think that’s cool because I like to do something similar but more mini, and I like to take old boxes and stuff and turn them into dollhouses or things I can use for, like outdoors. Even though she doesn’t really like it, I tried to make my dog a house out of cardboard with glue and blankets and she didn’t quite enjoy it. So, most of the things that I end up making for my dog end up for my dolls.
You’re very resourceful. It takes a resourceful person to make a doghouse and then remodel that so that it’s made for dolls, but that’s cool.
Thanks. So, we can actually talk a little bit more about this, but really fast. Can you tell people where they can go to find out more about you?
Yeah. I have a website which is called MillionaireMailman.com. Millionaire Mailman was kind of a nickname that people thought up for me when I still worked at the Post Office. And hate to admit this in like a mean way, but sometimes when you work at a job and people don’t want to see you get ahead of them or just kind of break out on your own, they got mean towards me and they started teasing me saying, “One day you’re going to be the millionaire mailman. One day you’re going to be the millionaire mailman.” And that’s how the nickname kind of got stuck with me. And then I said, “You know what? I’m going to prove to you guys that I can do it. I’m an entrepreneur. I’m going to work until I get enough properties that I can quit my job and I’m going to leave the rest of you behind.” And that was kind of what I did. I just got my will up to say, “I’m going to do this and I’m going to make a better life for myself.” I used my job to help me get there.
And it was a journey, but it was a fun journey.
That’s awesome. And definitely go check him out. And we’ve been talking with Tom Nardone about the freedom of being an entrepreneur. We’ll be right back.