From JANITOR to Inventing the MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR "Flamin' Hot Cheetos" Empire | Richard Montañez on Impact Theory


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What situation are you currently dealing with that feels like all odds are stacked against you? Are you following rank and staying in line the way they told you, and now you’re frustrated and not sure what’s the next move? Well, I am excited to bring Richard Montanez, former PepsiCo executive, here to share his incredible story of what it means to start with nothing, break ranks, and figure out ways around your limitations along the way. Richard is evidence of someone taking potential and deep conviction and turning it into a massive success. He has been pioneering his way from janitor for Frito-Lay, to a top-level executive, author, and motivational speaker, and it is beyond inspiring. This is why I say action cures all. It doesn’t matter where you start, all that matters is the skills you work hard to acquire and what you do with those skills to forge a life worth living, with meaning and purpose.

Order Richard Montanez new book, Flaming Hot:


Pioneer | Why Richard sees himself as a pioneer beginning with picking grapes [1:44]

Fun Poor | Using imagination and community to have fun in poor conditions at labor camp [4:19]

Janitor | Richard’s excitement and gratitude becoming a janitor at Frito-Lay [6:50]

Initiative | Almost fired for no initiative, Richard learns the word and changes his world [11:43]

Truth Hurts | Richard on why you can’t get offended when someone gives you the truth [14:41]

Production Line | Richards journey from janitor to working line and creating new specs [16:00]

Record History | Richards advises you to write your history down and take the shot [21:38]

PhD Calling | How Richard earned his PhD, poor, hungry, and determined [24:29]

Influence | Focusing on the right people to influence, not on everyone [25:51]

Command Control | Richard on the revelation being told to act like an owner by the CEO [31:15]

What If | Richard’s revelation leads him to “what if” and calling the CEO with a new idea [36:37]

CEO Presentation | Richard details his journey to layout a $2 billion product for pennies [44:35]

Cookie Line | Why you have to get out of line, break ranks, and beat fear with hunger [50:25]

Overcome Adversity | Richards attitude and grit that got him through the adversities [54:57]

Career or Calling | Richard on legacy and having the power of a calling to entrepreneurs [59:27]


“as much as I love the compensation, the promotions Frito Lay, Hot Cheetos, Pepsi. The truth is, it was never about them. It was always about my last name.” [9:33]

“I could influence people without saying one word, by my work ethics…” [10:49]

“When somebody tells you the truth, you've got to learn not to be offended, and use that because it is the truth [...] don't get abused. But hang in there, you know, build something.” [14:55]

“I'm not trying to influence everyone, only the right ones, who are the right ones, those who come into your life, they can help you and you can help them.” [26:00]

“A revelation is something that was always there, but it's been revealed or unveiled to you.[...] and here's the beauty of revelation, what do they do? They lead to revolutions. One revelation will lead to a revolution.” [31:22]

“don't become such an expert that you can't see things anymore [...] don't bring me ideas everyone can see, tap into the unseen, and together, let's pull it out into the scene and make it a reality.” [34:08]

“I've always been amazed at the leadership of a woman because of my grandma, my mom, and my wife, I consider it to be the best. My leadership is because of the leadership of a woman” [42:49]

“When somebody is inspired, encouraged, and reminded of their value, they'll conquer the world.” [47:10]

“there was something inside of me that was greater than the fear that was outside of me.” [50:33]

“Your job is to get out of that line they told you to get into and get into the cookie line. The line is your choice.” [52:15]

“Hunger is the antidote to fear when you're hungry to start a new business fear will leave.” [53:08]

“Many times greatness will come in a ridiculous form, and if you're not willing to look ridiculous, you will never achieve your greatness.” [54:23]

Guest Bio: Montañez was raised in a California migrant labor camp as one of ten siblings. He dropped out of school and worked as a laborer before being hired at the age of 18 as a janitor for Frito-Lay, at its Rancho Cucamonga factory, in 1976. Montañez was subsequently named vice president of multicultural sales & community promotions for PepsiCo. He is also a motivational speaker and instructor in leadership

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