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Personalities

Larry North’s Growth Potential

North made his first gains in the gym. Now he’s looking for capital.
By Tim Rogers | |Photography by Marc Montoya
larry north
Marc Montoya

How much do you bench? I don’t know. I haven’t done it in so long. It’s not an exercise that’s in my main curriculum. I’m going to say 240, if I needed to. 

You can lay claim to being one of the first personal trainers in Dallas, and you’ve worked with some of the biggest names in town. Were any of those people a bigger blowhard than Skip Bayless? I can’t believe you asked me that, because we’re such good friends. He really is a puppy love friend of mine. He’s so different behind closed doors. So I guess if Skip’s considered a blowhard, and he feels he’s entertaining you, he’s doing his job. 

When you were just getting started, you sold women’s shoes at Neiman’s. Tell me something that you learned from that experience that you still use today. Oh, wow. That’s a great question. I learned to approach people with eye contact, a handshake, a smile on my face, and be positive. I learned to be memorable, you know, to make an impression on people.

In 1996, you opened one of the most high-profile restaurants in Dallas at the time, NorthSouth, with a computer services magnate named Darwin Deason. What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen on his yacht? Oh, my god. Well, I’m going to say it like this: I can tell you a lot of stories, and there’s a lot of stories I can never tell you. I just got back from Cabo visiting him, and I love the man. He’s done more for me than any single adult male ever in my life, and I can say this: if you’re going to be on a yacht, be on Darwin’s yacht. You’ll have fun. 

Now you’re working in private equity, raising money for a joint called Satori Capital. I want you to imagine I’m a billionaire and I just got on the elevator with you at the Crescent. Let me hear your pitch for why I should invest with you. If I had an opportunity to talk to a billionaire, I would probably not bring up Satori until the fourth or fifth conversation, because I’m very low-key about stuff like that. I never look at it like I’m doing something to somebody; I look at it like I’m going to do something for somebody. Having said that, I can tell you this: I’m with a group of people who I love. I’ll use that word “love.” I’ve never been in a work environment where I just love going to work and being around the people. This is the reason I made the leap to get into private equity, because my values align so well with theirs.

You’re 61 years old. In fitness or finances or anything else, what would you tell 40-year-old Larry North? I would tell him, if you’re going to ask for advice, follow that advice. And don’t rely on other people to read your contracts. You read them yourself, line by line, so that you understand them. My whole life, I’ve tended to sort of, you know, be a shotgun blast and just do things my way instead of following good advice. So I would tell 40-year-old Larry to be a little more patient.  

Author

Tim Rogers

Tim Rogers

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