101: Johnny Rhee | Obsessive Pursuit of Excellence

On today’s episode of The Edge of Excellence, Matt talks to Johnny Rhee, founder and chief strategist of Next Door Home Upgrades. Johnny Rhee has over a decade of progressive business experience, including buying a struggling company in his early twenties and growing it into a top-performing business, as well as mentoring numerous executives and entrepreneurs. He believes in aligned values, teamwork and a culture of performance and accountability.


In today’s show, Johnny breaks down his definition of excellence, which is largely influenced by his hero John Wooden, who defines success as “peace of mind that can only be achieved through self-satisfaction, knowing that you have striven to achieve the best that you’re capable of.”

Growing up in a third-world country and then being given the opportunity to come to UCLA, Johnny developed an attitude of gratitude. He talks about how this was a cornerstone of his success. You’ll learn more about his career at College Works, from District Manager of the Year to EVP, the systems he created during his time there, and the key lessons he learned. Johnny also talks about his journey to entrepreneurship. This includes working at College Works on a part-time basis and working as a consultant before turning to his solar business full-time.

Access to clean water has always been a matter close to Johnny’s heart. You’ll learn about his project in Colombia installing solar desalination systems in remote areas. He’ll discuss how micromanaging his time has helped him succeed in college and how he’s able to live a life of excellence.

On a more personal level, he’ll talk about his hobbies, healthy lifestyle, spirituality and faith.

Join Matt and Johnny for a fascinating discussion on maximizing your potential to make a positive difference, the concept of quitting quietly, time management and leaving a legacy.

What You Will Learn In This Show:

  • Johnny’s definition of excellence.
  • The price of failure vs. the price of success.
  • How College Works impacted his career and life.
  • The importance of being a great employee.
  • Why you need to treat your school work like a 9–5 job
  • The importance of having a tribe.
  • And so much more…


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