Self-made multi-millionaire Mike ‘Rooster’ McConaughey is starring alongside fellow business tycoon Butch Gilliam in a Dragons' Den style pitching show set against the rough and rugged terrain of Texas.
Texan Million Dollar Dealers, known as West Texas Investors Club in the US, features a hopeful entrepreneur in each episode. He or she will pitch their business or start-up concept with the hope that the incredibly wealthy and successful Rooster and Butch will welcome them into their business empire.
We chatted to Rooster (the older brother of Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey) and Butch about why this show is more than worth a watch:
Rooster and Butch are the real deal
Rooster’s CV far exceeds simply being the sibling of an A-list celebrity. He told us he made his fortune from the oil industry and started from the absolute bottom:
“I started out in high school working in the fields. I tried various businesses, went broke two or three times and just hung in there and had a lot of help from a lot of good people. I turned it around and realised a lot of making it is about holding on,” said Rooster.
He is now worth a purported $55 million and his co-host and business partner Butch Gilliam’s success is equally impressive and humble:
“I got my start with a broom and a shovel. I started from the bottom, learned, stuck with it, learned the course and took advantage of opportunities,” Butch said.
Butch is one of the most successful pipe salesmen in the USA and sold his patent on a flush-joint connection for a whopping $100 million in 2006.
It’s like Shark Tank but with a heart
Many comparisons have been made to both the UK’s Dragon’s Den and the American Version Shark Tank. However, Rooster said it is the feel-good factor of the show and the genuine connections both he and Butch make with the competitors that reel the viewers in.
“The biggest downfall of the show is your heart does go out to them and the time we spend with them... that’s the toughest part of it,” said Rooster.
“We’ve stayed friends with just about every single person that’s been on the show. And I think we may actually have closer relationships now with the people we turned down than those that we got involved with!” Butch added.
They have plenty of advice…
“We hope to preach to people on the show is that Rooster and I didn’t get rich overnight. We started at the bottom, we worked hard and we stayed the course,” explained Butch.
Rooster said he hopes viewers will realise that it’s not about getting rich - it’s about the product and the passion behind it:
“My biggest advice to viewers is - find something you like to do, stick with it, and don’t get frustrated. We get it everyone wants to make a billion, but let’s be real – what is wrong with making your first million? What is wrong with creating a business that you like? What is wrong with earning a living from your passion? Never measure success with wealth.”
...but they learned plenty from millennials too
Rooster said he expected to feel frustrated with millennials on the show but in many cases, he found some surprising similarities:
“We have dealt with a lot of millennials on the show. We have learned a lot from them. We didn’t think going on the show they would have anything to offer us.
"We realised that what they want now is what we wanted when we both started out. We wanted a good life, do what we love, be respected for and feel that our work has some impact on others. So we learned that we have way more in common with millennials than we ever thought.”
Matthew McConaughey likes the show
“He does like the show!” Rooster said. And he offered Matthew some sound business advice when he first started to make it big in Hollywood:
“The only thing I told him when he went out there to Hollywood was ‘pay your taxes and put your money back – there will be people trying to handle your money and giving all kind of advice but don’t listen. Especially in the first few years, keep a lot of the money back in savings’.
"And that is what he did. He still does the same thing really. He pays all his taxes, doesn’t look for a way to get out of them and he’s become pretty good with his money.”
Texan Million Dollar Dealers is on Blaze, BT Channel 63. New episodes air on Tuesdays at 10pm.
Image credits: PA/Rex/Shutterstock