Success runs in the McConaughey family.
Matthew made his millions in movies and his brother Michael, aka Rooster, is a self-made millionaire, who made his fortune in the oil and gas pipeline industry. Now, Rooster and his partner, Wayne "Butch" Gilliam, have expanded into other investments with a company known as the West Texas Investors Club -- a name they had way before Matthew had his Oscar-winning hit "Dallas Buyers Club," and the two West Texas men have landed their own CNBC TV show.
Rooster said his A-list celebrity brother gave him plenty of advice on how to face the cameras.
"I’ll tell you exactly what he told me. He was excited and he said, 'Just be yourself.' He said, 'There's nobody better than being yourself than you,' and that's what he told me."
And the favor has been returned, with Matthew turning to Rooster for help with some business deals. But Rooster modestly added, "He is smarter than I am. He and I have done some deals together. We sold some land and did all right on it."
As for why the two brothers have taken such different paths, Rooster explained, "I was raised different. The first guy cuts the brush for the rest of them. I stayed in the pipe business, the oil business. He is better looking than I am. He should be the one! I got the bad genes. I got the crooked teeth and the short legs. He got all the good stuff."
Now, Rooster is getting his shot at fame with the "West Texas Investors Club," the new CNBC reality series where entrepreneurs come to pitch their business ideas in hope of getting investment cash. And while it sounds a bit like "Shark Tank," it couldn't be more different.
Entrepreneurs, who are expecting the smooth-talking, Armani-clad millionaires like on the ABC show, are quickly dispelled of that idea when they are met in a beat-up, pick-up truck by grizzly singer/songwriter Gil Prather, who does a kind of pre-interview with the hopefuls as he drives them to their meeting, and later chimes in with his opinion when Rooster and Butch are deciding who is worthy of getting the big bucks.
The down-home feeling is just part of the difference between the two shows. The other is that Rooster and Butch are as interested in getting to know the people behind the ideas, as they are hearing a great idea. They feel the people can make the difference between success and failure, so each week, they put the contestants to a test to make sure that they have all the right stuff before anteing up any dollars.
So why did the two self-made millionaires decide to gamble their money on investments outside of their area of expertise?
"The oil and gas business isn't what it used to be," Rooster said. "We've been infiltrated by money-hungry [investors]. Everybody wants to make $100 million or $200 million and it's kind of taken away from the common folks. We can't even afford the leases any more. Independent oil men are getting run smooth over, so it's not the same world we're used to, so we thought we'd look at some other stuff.”
And, oh yes, they did watch "Shark Tank," but not until they filmed their entire first season.
"I like it. I like that QVC gal [Lori Grenier],” Rooster enthused. “I think she has the least amount of money of all of them and I think she has the most heart."
"West Texas Investors Club" airs Tuesday nights on CNBC.