Welcome to Inside the Green Room with Peevey three each week, Pete Vargas, a third. Yes, that's me. Let's you inside his virtual green room to hang out and learn from the meeting planners who control the most prestigious stages in the world and from the speakers who use those stages to increase their income and impact. Now let's dive into the green room.
Hello and welcome to Inside the Green Room with PV three. I'm your co host, Blair, Brian Nichols. And we've got some special guests with you again today. Catherine and Michael K. Redmen are sweethearts, best friends, and the husband and wife team behind half a bubble out a marketing and business consulting firm. They're the co-authors of Fulfilled the Passion and Provision Strategy for Building a Business with Profit, Purpose and Legacy, as well as the founders of Habbo Village Membership website, which helps leaders build passion and provision companies.
Michael and Katherine have been featured in Forbes and entrepreneur magazines built to seven figure companies been visiting. Professors at multiple universities are frequent guest speakers and are the creators and co-hosts of the HBO Village podcast.
Sorry if it's supposed to be Habbo, but as well as podcast. For over 18 years, they've helped business leaders grow their companies through marketing, business coaching and leadership development. They currently reside in their hometown of Chico, California, where they love going to work every day.
Welcome, Katherine and Michael. Thank you for having us. We're happy to have you there not too far away.
We're just talking about the lovely state of California and everything that's going on today. But today we're going to focus on some other things. So appreciate you guys are sweethearts, best friends, husband and wife.
I know you've been working in together for a long time, but how did you guys get started moving into helping other businesses?
You've built your own businesses, but now you help other businesses with their their marketing and strategy.
So tell us a little bit about how you moved into that of running your own business, just helping others?
Well, that's a good question. A great question. When we we got married in our twenties. We've been married twenty seven years now and been in business with half a bubble out for 18. And we had a different career before then. Turns out we were pastors in another life.
Turns out and and then we I went actually back to college at 30 years old and studied something called instructional design. And we'd been obviously pastors and teaching people and then the whole world of helping people. And then most of the way through college, we thought we were just going to come back out and go back into the non-profit world. And then about three fourths of the way through, we we kind of had this epiphany that what we needed to do was really just kind of start our own thing.
And I had always had a background in business and marketing. My father was an entrepreneur who owned his own business.
And so we just kind of fell into without a lot of detail into starting a marketing services company.
And so we just started in like, let's be honest, Michael had an epiphany. And I was like, we're going to what? Excuse me. Pardon me.
But she wasn't fully on board in the beginning. It took a minute.
It took a minute for me to tag along, but we knew we loved working together because we'd already been doing that when we were pastors. And so it was it made sense to work together on that part. Totally made sense to me. But, you know, I have a master's in New Testament theology, so starting a business didn't make sense to me at the beginning.
But the cool part has been that we we started we weren't even sure when we started what exactly we were going to do.
And because of our skill sets, we kind of fell into marketing and began to do that kind of work. But what we discovered is we, as we were working with leaders and working with marketing is that so many of these businesses came to us from marketing, but they needed so much more help in so many different areas. So they'd come to us. And it's like you need to you need to build me a website. And we'd be like, OK, well, what do you want to say about you?
And they wouldn't actually know. Like, they they didn't have a sense of who they were, why they were existing, how to even be forward facing to a client in a way that was meaningful.
So we would talk about kind of this stream and they would they would enter the stream kind of downstream and would be like, can we go back upstream a little ways and start working on kind of your story, your values, your vision, that kind of stuff, so that we actually can say something that's meaningful in your marketing. And that's and so we just began to fall into that and doing that kind of work and leadership development and all the things that that basically mean you want to grow your marketing, but your company can't support it.
Well, we had a holistic perspective on marketing and Peter Drucker that we found this quote somewhere along the line that Peter Drucker had, who was kind of the father of management out of the 20th century. And he said marketing is just the entire company scene from the the customer's perspective. And so when we started working with clients and getting larger clients and and started looking even on. The inside of some pretty successful companies that have been around 40 or 50 years, we were continually seeing and before we started the company, Katharine spent seven or eight years selling software marketing and sales nationally.
So we didn't just kind of come into it blindly, but we came into this process and were helping these people. And we're looking at these companies were realizing when they work on their accounting, it actually helps their marketing and sales. And when they work on their culture, it helps their marketing and sales. And then all of a sudden they're realizing they all interact.
So it developed a holistic model for us. And in the company that I worked at, this is when Michael is in school. I went back to work to put him through school after we had left being pasture's my sugar mama, I was taking care of him and they had to.
So so while we were doing that, you know, one of the things that was true in that company was a great company, but it had that standard thing where, like sales and marketing didn't talk enough. So and product development wasn't talking to marketing. So you're like, so you're going to go develop stuff that you think that people need, but are you asking them what they need? Do you know?
I mean, so even some of that disconnect is just part of how we became holistic was the realization that there are so many companies out there, especially as they get larger, where the departments become independent, they're no longer talking to each other. And you're like, OK, but there's a whole business here and every part of it matters.
So as time went on, the long answer to your short question, the long answer to your question was as time went on, we were we started with the service mentality because that was in our DNA.
We started with business and marketing because we we had experience in those places. And then we just wanted to help people and we just kind of grew from there and actually grew pretty quick. I mean, it was the first few years were hard, like any new business. And then we hit the Great Recession and we grew 400 percent in 18 minutes. And it about killed us literally. Yeah. We came to work.
We started coming to work on Monday mornings and Tuesday mornings and Thursday morning saying we don't want to go in the office. We hated it.
We had hired we had, you know, the they say that 80 to 90 percent of companies fail and then only four percent of the ones that succeed actually make it to seven figures. And we were mid six figures and we were doing OK and we were happy as a little company and everything was fine. And then we did that four hundred percent. So we just rocketed into that that early part of seven figures. And and we were just going, what the heck is going on?
And and so we just started hiring people. Isn't this great? And custard. The phone's ringing off the hook. And isn't this amazing? I mean, like selling was easy. Hello. Yes, we can do that. This is how much it'll cost. You're ready to sign. Great. Thank you. Click And that's how it went all the time. And it was for the season and it was. And all of a sudden we had a company with a whole lot of customers all over the country and one in London.
We all we realized we needed more help. So we hired a bunch of people and then we realized we'd screwed it all up. We had hired so many wrong people, we didn't have the maturity or the management skills at all to handle it all.
We didn't have the systems in place. I mean, it was just it was a mess. It was awful. It was a mess.
And so when you read our bio and it said, you know, we live in Chico, California, where we love coming to work every day, it's there was a period in our lives that really did lead us to. Right. Fulfilled where we didn't love like I did not want to cross the threshold of the company we built. And that was a bad feeling.
So we really had to kind of deconstruct and go, like, what do we do?
First, we made the decision that we were going to stay in business because we actually thought with cash in the bank and this big thing that we spent all these years, these years, probably six years working to grow, where are we going to shut it down?
Because we seriously thought it's that the only way out of this is to turn it all off and do something else or reboot or whatever. But we chose not to reboot. We chose to try and fix it. We fixed it, learned, got some coaching and buckled down and went, OK, what are the things we know? What did we not apply? Where do we need to grow as individuals?
And over the next ten years was kind of that incubator for the book. OK, I love that.
And we're going to definitely get to the book. But you guys just shared a lot of really great information that I think we can unpack a little bit more.
I love what you're talking about, about the businesses kind of getting into silos and not really communicating with the different parts of it. You know, in my I've mostly been in some sort of sales type role, my my career. And I you know, when sales wants to go out and sell something, marketing wants to present it a different way. They think this is what our company is about and this is how we do it. And then sales thinks this is really what people want to buy and I'm just going to sell it.
And then someone has to deliver it or someone has to create whatever sales like, hey, well, this is what I sold the better figure out how to go deliver that.
So that's obviously a problem that companies face as they get bigger, but. I know we're kind of talking about getting to that growth stage, getting to that point of scaling and how you guys are talking about how you kind of bumped your elbows along the way.
So how do you take companies through that process of figuring out how to scale appropriately, how to figure out what their needs are and to hire to those needs and to actually support that kind of growth that you two experienced but didn't feel like you did it in the right way?
The the template of the process that we go through right now is really kind of three fold. We think about three things and ask those three questions up front.
And that is what your vision and your vision we take borrowed the vision from good to great concept, which is half where do you want to go and half who are you. So making sure your identity is clear, what is it that you actually do as a company or offer? What are your core values? Where is that that magical place that you want to take this company in your life in the next 10 to 20 years and and make sure that that vision is clear.
And because if they're going to scale, they they want the line. The line is never going to be straight. Right. It's always going to be crooked to get there. But you want to make sure that you're at least not going around the mountain 10 times, that you're actually getting somewhere.
And it's it's amazing how many companies have grown to you know, they're five, six, seven, 10, 15, 20 years in. And they have never codified their values. They've never sat down and said, this is who we are. This is the way we do business.
These are the parameters in which we're going to function. And then we're going to hire, train and fire to those values.
Right. And they haven't done that. And so just codifying that in a way that you can then actually communicate it so that you know, that as you're hiring the people that you're hiring are in in alignment with who you are as a company. Not just that they have competence, but they have the right character to to align with where you want to be and where you want to go.
So we tell them if you're going to scale, if you want to grow in scale, you're going to run into several different challenges. One is going to be what type of customers are you going to want to acquire and keep? Because good customers are going to help be as healthy as just getting customers, if not more, because they're cheaper to keep than a than to get a new customer. You're going to be able to articulate and clarify what type of employees you need for both their competence, the tasks you need to accomplish, but the character that you need for your culture.
And what does that look like?
And so now you have the vision gives you the ability of who are those customers we need and want to keep, who are those employees? And then it keeps you on track of what you're doing, because so many times we chased little butterflies around. Like, that's a great idea. Let's do that.
I think it's wonderful. Well, it's not in your business wheel. And so you're going to are you starting a whole new business? Do you want to start a new business? You probably don't.
So you get that vision and all of a sudden we say great. And Colin says in the book, good to great that there's lots of companies out there that are good companies that are making a profit and even on the Fortune 500. But the ones that are beating the market by five, six, seven X, start with having this clear vision. So if you want to scale and scale with this as much as you can in a healthy fashion, but with this less as least amount of stress possible, let's start here.
And then that takes us into, OK, now you need a business model or plan. You need a kind of a checklist. It's going to say, what are you going to do and what are the important areas you need to pay attention to so that you're we'll kind of we built a wheel for the book and and it's like you don't want it to get out of round. Right.
Or the ride gets really bumpy. And so we start with the vision in the middle, like the axle. And then all of a sudden you start adding those where we have five other categories. That's all kind of set on top of the actual whatever you sell to people. But it's running the business and we start with that and then we move to that. And then once that's accomplished and we understand that, we start understanding what the little pieces and parts are and you get that human, you've got to continue to say, I've got to grow as a leader.
I got to grow as a leader of this company, whether it's going to be a small one and there's only going to be two or three of us or there's going to be two or three hundred of us. And one of the things to realize is you cannot grow to any significant thing by yourself. So you're not going to stay a sort of pioneer a lot. And that's really the type of people we deal with, is people who want to go beyond solo proner.
They they either knew that from the beginning or they got into it.
They went, I have something here. This thing could really catch on. And then they try and do it all themselves and it just kills them.
So they need a team around them, whether it's on to team that's around them and their actual employees or their freelancers, they still have to communicate, cast vision, make sure it's on track, get people, hire freelancers or outsource it to people who can actually project manage themselves, hopefully, God willing, and and then walk with that so that.
Leadership, that internal leadership, we talk about the inner game in the outer game of leadership, you've got to continue to grow that.
And as a mentor of ours said, once he equated that growth and to his shadow of a leader, he said, I don't even like to bring on clients who have a short shadow because we'll grow their company beyond their shadow, and then the company will eventually shrink back to the length of their shadow. And that's what happened to people that we went from here to 400 percent up in 18 months. And within six to 12 months later, we were half we lost half of that business.
We say we grow to be to encourage ourselves.
We say we grew 200 percent in two years.
We just had to get there. The nice average there. Yeah, okay. And now depends on which which you're talking about.
And I'm glad you brought up social partners, because that's a lot of this audience. A lot of these folks are, you know, entrepreneurs like yourselves who are also doing speaking, who are building their business or they're meeting planners or event organizers. And they're doing a lot themselves. And, you know, my assumption was a lot of your clients probably already had an established business and then they hit that roadblock of like, wow, now we've got this growth opportunity, but we don't have the right pieces in place.
But I wanted to make sure that this this is very important for social partners to understand that even if you are just working for yourself and on your own, still having that vision, still having those values defined, because even that first hire could be the most important hire that you make.
So how do you help people just get that kind of established with what?
They might have a vision, but they don't really understand, you know, why they need values or why they need these other components? Because it's it's there. They already kind of feel like they that's their identity. It's their business. It's their idea. So why do I need to write this down? I mean, what what's the what's the point?
What's the big deal? Yeah. So I think it probably might be the first way I would attack that question. As I would say that it is one thing to say. I'm just I'm starting a business and I'm going for it. And things are trucking along.
But when you hit the first really, really hard hurdle as a seller proner, all of the questions are like, what am I doing? Why am I doing this? Why did I do this? What the hell was I thinking? Right. All those things start to flood your mind when you start hitting obstacles.
Part of what we would say is when you if you sit down and you actually write down, this is who I am, these are the values I hold. This is why I started this company. This is where I want to go and how the world will change. If I get there, then when those really, really hard moments hit, you have something to go back and look at. Right. So there's that. There's that remembering. OK, let me just go back and remind myself why I did this.
Let me remember, you know, the values that I hold and why it is that I don't want to actually work with that client, even if they have a lot of money. I just can't stand the way that they treat me or whatever. So those kinds of things, codifying those just it just does something for the way that we process information. So writing it down, getting out of our heads and actually putting it on paper and sharing it with someone and going, this is who I am and what I'm doing and where I'm going.
What do you think? That's a powerful exercise. So people think we can just hold it in our heads, but that only works until the world gets goofy and then you don't have it in your head anymore. You get a little lost.
Here's what here's what solo partners do often. And we've been there and we've worked with a lot. There was a woman in Toronto. We were at a conference up there and Catherine was having chit chat with this woman and she had been in business a while, doing her own thing, probably had a couple of of freelancers or something like that doing some stuff with her. And when she said basically that we help business leaders basically fall in love with their company again or Bill, that company is passion and provision.
She's like, I remember when I really loved what I did and I sure would like to get back to that. Yeah. Here I am successful and I have money, but now it's driving me crazy for one reason or another. And we know that the brain, when we get under that kind of stress, the brain starts putting like these blinders on us like a horse walking down the street and all of a sudden you can't see a lot of things and you can't think.
And you and I, we've had so many of those like conversations. If you probably have to blur at night with business leaders, you know, you're sitting there, you've got your beverage of choice. It the stress of the day is kind of bled into the darkness.
And somebody says, oh, man, I don't know how I got here. I don't know how I got in this situation, how did this happen? I'm smarter than this. I know better or I don't even know what I did. But now I'm in this and it's this part sucks.
And if I could just have the part that's good without the part that sucks. And after a while after fighting so many business people begin to believe that you can't have the good stuff without the stuff that really sucks and hurts.
They just start to believe that you either have your dream and you're poor or you make money and you suck it up. Right, and you lose your life for your relationships, and I think one of the things that we see over and over again, too, and this is one of kind of those core areas, is how many Filipinos partners are just terrified of the money part of the business.
They're just like they want the money.
They want the money, they do the counting. They don't know how to how to read the numbers. They don't know how to deal with a balance sheet or a or a you know, just your basic income statement, like, what do I do? How do I do this? How do I know what to leverage, how do I know what levers to pull to grow the business, you know? And again, you know, we have met so many Filipinos that are like, yeah, I don't look at the numbers till it's tax time.
I just and then my accountant said I made a lot of profit and there a lot of taxes and I'm going, well, where's the money?
So how could I have made a profit when there's no money in the bank? Oh, yeah, you don't understand your finances.
And I think that's like why where you mentioned that growth has to be really integral to your mission.
I think about it sometimes with entrepreneurs that because they're so late, they love that early stage, they love the vision and like the new idea. And they're afraid of like like you're saying, actually getting into, like, kind of running a business that's that's growing and scaling.
And so I think about it or they've got a house and they want to they want to add an addition. And that you've seen those houses where, you know, they put an addition and it looks like, why did that how did that happen? And there's others that they they really add something big and beautiful and make it that much better. So I just was thinking about that, how people think, oh, well, we'll just add this over here.
And why don't we go pursue this type of business and oh, we have this type of opportunity. We don't have this.
So why don't we add that, you know, along so how do you get them kind of like geared back to the core mission, the core vision that they had, and not just chasing the next shiny object, not just saying, oh, I don't you know, that great. This business is doing fine. I'm going to go start this now.
Like, how do you keep these entrepreneurs really focused on what's next and not just starting one new thing that they think might just add a little bit more value and and ultimately could be a big distraction, could be a big you know, could be a big strain on resources.
Yeah, it's an interesting question because I think the guy who wrote emails. Right. Talks about the entrepreneur has an entrepreneurial seizure. So it's one thing to have one entrepreneurial seizure. But when you're having multiples like that starts to become really scary because you never build a base. You never you never sort of accomplish what it is that you're hoping to accomplish because you're moving too quickly onto the next thing. So part of I think what we talk about is it's really important for entrepreneurs to have somebody alongside them who is not the I want to start something new person, but I actually want to do well with what we're doing person to continue to speak into their lives, to continue to to move things forward.
I mean, in our in our in our relationship, Michael is much more the entrepreneur. He's the startup. He's the creative. He's the move to this thing. This thing looks good. This is good. And we've done a lot of work together because I'm blessed that I'm Moorthy. Can we keep doing this? Because this seems to be working right. So so that partnership of having somebody else in your life, even if it's a mentor, even if it's somebody who's just able to speak to you and be like, baby, honey, just slow it down, slow your roll, like, you know, do something, do something that has a little bit of staying power.
So that's a piece of it is just having somebody around you who isn't that entrepreneur person. Yeah. Having a coach is real important. A huge importance. It's more her style to say baby, honey to somebody she's coaching than me.
Certainly not my big baby.
Honey, how do you get away with that anymore? I can't know, but yeah. Have you mean the leadership coach? My leadership coach right now is we both have the same leadership coach. And I'll tell you what, which is entertaining for him. Yeah. But the last, the last four or five months have been really good and hard because now I mean, I'm fifty two. We have to do this. We have half a bubble out and then we have another company.
We started both from scratch. They're both seven figure companies. We've been through some really challenging times and both companies, the other ones just now, after seven years finally profitable, we posted something on our one of our staff put something on messenger this morning that was like what did Tesla and. All right. Which is radical. Hey, are their company have in common? And it was the first year of profitability this year.
Congrats. That's all good things. So but I'm like I'm at this place where I'm at another transition place in leadership where I've got to make some different decisions and I've got to change the way I lead. Because the way the company is where we are in our life, what the company is, what the needs are, all of a sudden they've got to grow into somebody that I've never been before at some level. And I've got to grow into skills that I've never had before.
And all of a sudden I get to take a bunch of stuff. But there's some things I have to leave behind and now I've got to go. Wow. And if that if if we come to a place where we stop that growth, we're in trouble as leaders because we have a big enough dream if we're really because that's one of the things with the vision we try to encourage people to dream big if it's easy to get to. Probably not dreaming big enough because you have more potential in you than that.
Go for your potential, go for what is possible, and then stretch a little bit longer and go maybe I can go to something just beyond what I know is possible and and I could do something that would impact me and my family and my friends and then maybe my community. And now that I once that's set up, then I start going look at what's my legacy. And we talk about now more in our life, thinking about a legacy of future generations.
So what does that look like for four generations of us, four generations of our staff and our community? What is our our city and our and the place we live going to look like? And when you start dreaming that big, it's like, OK, I need to continue to grow or I'm not going be able to accomplish that.
And having that coach that can sit there, a good one that looks at you and goes, I'm all for you, I'm all in, you've got to grow up here, in here. And I'm like, well I'm fifty two. I thought I was grown up enough. Yeah, not quite. Yeah.
I mean I think there's entrepreneurs who who just see what's the next step in front of them and others that see the, the end goal and they just don't know how to get there. So both of them need guidance in different ways. They both need to kind of get out of whatever path that they think they're on to make, to actually have someone help them, direct them further down that path.
And so you guys then you realize with your business that it wasn't fulfilling.
And so you wrote this book fulfilled and you talk about passion and provision and how it's a paradox around why your business can be rewarding and successful. So tell us about the book, why you decided to write it, which I think we know a little bit why.
But tell us more about what is the message for entrepreneurs in that and how do you think this is really impacting people's companies?
And as you're saying, their impact that they're having through it so that they feel more aligned with purpose rather than just it being a job or a company and a means to an end?
Yeah. So part of the reason we wrote the book beyond just selling our own pain and the learning that came out of our own pain is there's a there's a statistic that says that seventy four percent of American workers are disengaged at work. So this is Gallup that did this. And by disengage, they basically mean that people are sleepwalking through their day. Some like that is a sucky way to live your life. And if you own the company in which people are sleepwalking through their day, you might be losing a little bit of potential there.
Right. So we're looking at this and going, OK, how do we we are passionate believers that your work, when you when you find work that is aligned with your skills, gifts and talents and you are able to to step into that, the your work becomes it's your contribution. It's not it's not the thing that you just have to do to get from weekend to weekend or to get to the evening where you can do what you want to do.
So so part of that, I think part of the heart of the book is really restoring just the idea that work is a good gainst and that when we find work we love when we actually are able to walk in that place. And this is a really good place for me to contribute. Like the people. People are happy when I do this. You know, one of the ways, you know, you're walking in your gifting is when people respond to you in a way that they say, oh, my gosh, when you do that, that that's amazing.
Right. So that kind of connection to your work and understanding that you have this is actually my my calling. My gifting. So when you do that and you find a way to make money at it, then you're like you're just a gift to your community. You're a gift to your family. You're a gift to your kids because you don't come home exhausted and grumpy at the end of every day because you hate your job. Right. So that's that is definitely a piece of why we wrote the book is is the belief that this balance of passion and provision is partly the restoration of work as a good gift as opposed to something that you have to tolerate.
Not so not just for owners and entrepreneurs, but for anyone, for anyone.
How do I create a company in which the people who work for me are experiencing passionate provision? So when we talk about our bag, we're talking about saying we want to we want to impact 10000 leaders to build passion and provision companies with passion and provision jobs so that they're happy they're. Employees are happy, it's a good culture community. All of that stuff, you know, in this world of of thought leaders, which is a really weird term, you know, and now we get called thought leaders.
And I'm like, I'm not sure my thought leader and I don't know if my thoughts lead, but we want to be leaders.
And one of the key differentiators of a leader is a leader actually has people following them and a leader and a good leader is actually thinking about the people that are following them more than themselves. And so, you know, you get into this business of starting a business because you're like, I'm trying to figure out how to pay the bills and and not lose my soul to corporate America or the whatever the job I had somewhere else. And and it would be great if I had control over all my time and I had enough money to do whatever I wanted to whenever I wanted to, which is kind of funny because you're running a business and you don't get to always sit on a beach and drink mai tais.
And so you think about this and like, OK, I'm going to think about other people. I'm going to think about these employees or whoever I'm interacting with. How can I improve their lives with mine? That's the one of those demarcations of a great leader from just somebody who's just got people that are assigned to them.
And when you start looking at those things, it really does happen. It's funny, one of the motivators for us and we talk about it in the book, but my father and my my maternal grandmother or grandfather, my mom's dad, were both incredible role models in my life for different reasons. My dad actually got stuck and and trapped and really spent his entire life and career being miserable, physically sick to the point where he because he hated work so much.
It was so stressful what he did.
And yet he was trying to make money, but he didn't think he could make money in his dreams. So he avoided that, went into a totally different field.
And and I remember in fifth grade, we had a lot of tension in our house. It was not a healthy place.
And he we were fighting about me being lazy as a fifth grader, which is kind of funny thinking back as a fifth grader.
But I remember him saying, you know, you need to just suck it up and do this. I'm like, I don't like doing that. And he's like and he basically said this to me, that was a trigger for life. This is the way life is. This is the way all work is. You're not supposed to like it. It's not enjoyable. You just suck it up and have to endure it. That's life. Yay!
And want to grow up.
And I and I, to this day at 52, I still vividly remember that that day of being a crying little fifth grade boy listening to that going, oh my gosh, I hate every part of it.
What if it's true? Because he's my dad. My grandfather, on the other hand, simple man, died at ninety seven years old with money in the bank and died at home. Grandma had passed away two years before at home in the house.
They bought in nineteen fifty three and they were absolutely in love for over sixty five years he had a job where for thirty three years he worked for Greyhound bus driving.
He was a bus driver. Loved driving, grew up in the logging industry, drove truck, loved cars, any picture you see from like nineteen twenty five, nineteen thirty five, you see grandpa around some kind of car, this goofy little teenage boy. And and he got to drive.
And he I always saw him saying, I love my job. I get to be around people. I love the people that I get to drive from city to city. I get to drive this big bus. My grandmother, every time we saw a Greyhound bus somewhere, she always called it the bread and butter.
Look, there's our bread and butter to this day, dude. We're watching movies. And we said so much that Catherine or our daughter, who's twenty five now, we saw a bus the other day on a movie. I was like, look, there's our bread and butter.
It left the like. Here's this two pictures of a man who's who hated life and said life and work is just suffering and enduring and over here and became an alcoholic and a drug addict. And then over here is a man who lived a simple life, who never went without, who died with money in the bank, who had a love affair, a love story that was for the records and loved his career and was a happy man. And I we talk about this in the book, but for me and then for Catherine, I both as we got married and moved on in life, Grandpa became this great role model.
Yeah. And we had bigger dreams than grandpa.
But how do you maintain that life while fulfilling these bigger dreams? Right. How do we make sure that our relationship with each other is solid? Our relationship with our daughter is solid, our family is good.
How do we do that? How do we how do we not lose everything that actually fully matters in life to this company that we created? Right.
So that I think that's a major driving force for us. Like, yeah, you start a company to fulfill your dreams and so many people discover that it's actually robbing them of everything that ultimately matters.
And it doesn't have to say there is a way through that. You get to keep the paradox of passion and provision.
And when we figured out how to do it and then spent enough years actually doing it, then the book kind of came out of that. It was really what are you going to write? And it's like, well, we have to write about this because it's what work it's what people are hiring us to do consulting for. It's what we're teaching our clients. It's what we're teaching our employees. It's what we're teaching our daughter. So if we can do it and we're teaching people to do it, why not teach more people?
Because we only have so much time in a day in the book seemed like a great way to reach more people with that idea that I want to give them hope that it's possible and then give them a not just a yes, it's possible. Go figure out the way. But here's a step by step. As one of our friends called it, it's the fulfilled as a mini MBA dealing with all the pieces of running a business. And with that vision of I can have both of those.
I love that.
And thank you for sharing those stories. You know, I think it's it's it's a unique story, but it's also one I've heard before when it comes to generations. When I think about my mom's dad, it was kind of the same story, just like loved his job, loved his work, and but had the kind of the balance with family and didn't, you know, wasn't obsessed over profits or anything else. And I think over time, as the economy changed, as companies got bigger and the stock market there became so much more pressure on the bottom line and profits.
And I all too often I hear business owners, entrepreneurs, you know, wanting to squeeze, you know, the budget when it comes to employee compensation or things benefits or things like that, where they'll throw tons of money into marketing or tons of money into other things and assume that that's the only place worthy of investment.
And I think it's really important for people to look into it and look at your message and think about really what's the purpose of this company in the first place.
You know, if it's just to grow and make a ton of money for yourself, then OK, then that's, you know, only going to get you so far.
But how do you get people to really, like, shift that mindset and thinking about taking care of their people like you?
You mentioned providing them with passion and provision as an employee when they're never going to enjoy as many of the benefits as the owner or as, you know, the leadership team and and understanding that that's really what's going to help them in not just growth, but in their own sense of purpose and hopefully and meaning that they're they're doing this for.
OK, so do me a favor. There was a lot packed in there because I want to I want to I want to really hit the heart of it. Could you paraphrase that for me so I know exactly what you want to say?
Or so how do you get business owners to understand that taking care of their people is probably one of the most important things that they can do as opposed to just worrying about the bottom line. And in investing in what they think is going to be high growth areas. So there's two things that that are really critical. One is in helping them understand. One is the the really the hard numbers. There are core numbers out there. So I mentioned earlier that the companies on the stock market in the Fortune 500 who have clear visions that are are holistic, complete and compelling, do on average better than all their peers, than the market success, better than the market.
So that's one it's like, OK, I start we start to appeal to their greed initially.
If you if you if you think that this is crazy, then let's talk about it.
Then there are some other statistics. There's lots of studies that talk about the idea that if you are a good leader, if you let's talk about the five things.
If you can get the four cornerstones of management leadership, which is clear goals, communication, building accountability and trust, if you can get those, you can have a pretty nice, well oiled machine. So that's going to require you to do some extra things if you're going to be good communication and clear goals. But then there's a fifth piece that the research says that exponentially accelerates and that's encouragement actually saying well done specifically to this. So you start making sure people feel appreciative and then you go over to some of the other research and we say, which is lovely because there's tons of research that says, guess what?
They also increase radically in efficiency and performance, which puts more money in your pocket when they have a clear connection between what they do and purpose and meaning in their life. When they actually have good relationships at work and they have somebody they can trust, they feel like they're working together with people on the team. So now you're this like this is why you build a culture. This is why you work hard at management and making sure you communicate with your people.
This is why you take care of them. And then it cost one and a half to two times as much of an annual salary to hire any skilled worker new to replace somebody else. So if you're paying a one hundred thousand dollars a year, you're not going to spend one hundred and fifty to two hundred thousand dollars to replace that person. It's cheaper to keep them. How do you keep them? You start building into a quality of life, connecting it to the vision and being creating a work environment that's really healthy and inspiring, which is where the culture comes from.
That word culture comes to cultivate, to grow. And if you can do that, then and then if you're just if that hasn't done it enough, it's like this is just greed. It'll give you more money. And then the other side is always and it's the right thing to do.
And as it turns out, less stress. You're actually going to be a better human and a happier human because it's not just about the bottom line. You actually begin to enjoy the people you work with. You begin to invest beyond just yourself said. The bottom line is a really great gift if you're driven by greed.
But but the ultimate reality is that your life is going to get better.
You get to go home earlier and sleep better at night and have more quality time to do the other things than just manage the company. So what would you prefer to do? Would you prefer to struggle and have less money, or would you prefer to have more time and more money?
You get to choose and I'll help you right when you get stuck in the mindset that they should just be happy they have a job. Right.
That's not that's not healthy for you. And it's not it's not creating that positive environment. Yeah.
And I remember one leader who I adore was like I was like, you really need to encourage your people. You need to speak really well to them. He's like, I give them a paycheck, what more do they need? And I'm like, dude, no, seriously. And he was in a nonprofit. I'm like, no, no, seriously. You actually have to encourage your people. Yeah, yeah. That I feel like you a lot more.
If you do that, it'll be a much better workplace.
It's really not it's not easy being a family member or close friend of ours when you pull those cards because you tend to beat you with a stick.
I'd have been somebody related to me. That's yeah. I think it's just so important that that people recognize, like what this shift is is really saying. And I'm so glad you brought up Gallup. You know, they're the experts in employee engagement.
And so they talk about all these factors that you wouldn't think about. Like then one of the biggest factors of employee engagement is do you have a best friend at work? Do you have that sort of these relationships?
And people don't they wouldn't think about that as something that's like central to to what they need to accomplish.
And and, Michael, I know that you had mentioned when we first chatted that there was three mistakes that that typically business owners or entrepreneurs make. So as we come to the close of our time, thought maybe we could wrap up kind of sharing those three mistakes that people really need to watch out for and maybe do some soul searching on their own, if that's things that they feel like they might be committing in their business. And and then I want to just kind of close out with.
A final question after that. Sure. Well, I think we've covered them, but let's let's rehash because really the three big mistakes are they don't have a vision. They don't have a clear, complete and compelling vision. They don't have a clear business model that allows them to make sure that they're keeping track of and staying on top of all the important areas of running the business. Michael Gerber in The Myth, did a great job of saying two things.
One was that so many people start a business because they have an entrepreneurial seizure. They they're thinking I can do the task. They don't understand all the things to actually running a business and they need to learn it. And then one of the other parts is that you're working in the business or on the business. You have to do both. And so you have to have a business model that allows you to work on the business. Not just in the business, and so you have the vision missing, the first mistake, the second mistake, because there's not a clear and complete model that they need and ours isn't the only model.
Maybe not be the best model, but you have to have a model, pick a model.
And what we've learned a long time ago is how many just don't have a model? They're just like inventing it as they go. Until you see a model, you until you see something, you don't know what to get. And then the third part is to grow as a leader, because it's that growing on your inner game and your outer game as a leader will lengthen your shadow and give you the ability to actually produce more effectively with less stress in a complicated world where the world is getting more and more stressful, more and more sophisticated.
And there's this thing called Verka, which is an acronym for basically four different ways that complexity is growing, which is a whole nother topic for a whole nother podcast.
But when you look at that and you look at these issues of complexity and volatility, that the idea that you are growing as a leader, a litmus test is, is it getting more complicated and sophisticated? Is there more things going on in the world? Yes. Is there more things going on in my business? Yes. Am I doing it with the same skill and the same or less stress? If the answer is yes, then you're growing well as a leader.
If the answer is my stress is growing as the complexity grows, then there are some things you need to do to grab hold of that. And the mistake they don't do is they don't think about that and then get help growing as a leader.
Now it's the it's the intentionality, the ownership of saying, you know what, as as somebody who whether I'm a solo partner, working with ten ninety nine people or whatever, or whether I'm leading other people, if I don't commit intentionally to grow as a leader, I will stunt the growth of the company vision model leadership.
I love that, and I think the central message is you need to seek out help and resources to do that if it's not something you can do on your own. And I'd say probably there's no one that can do everything on their own. They can't they can't figure it out. The greatest entrepreneurs out there have had tons of mentors or guides or other people. So our last question we always like to ask, and you've mentioned some great names today, Peter Drucker and and other folks, you know, in the Gallup organization.
But are there is there any speakers or other authors, et cetera, that really inspired you guys that kind of made a big impact in shaping your company and or your your lives along the way?
One of them that's really caught for us has been Stephen covid Jr.. Stephen Imar Covey. A speed of trust is like when people say what books to read. That's always in our top five. So as somebody who's always been around and his father has impacted us a lot in his writings, so many authors, I think one of the newest books is is our friend in Vancouver.
There's a there's a fellow up in Vancouver named David Allison who does this thing called Value Graphics.
And he so we spent some time with him. We interviewed him, then he interviewed us and, you know, kind of podcast exchanges is what you do in twenty twenty when you can't go speak on stages. So meeting him was amazing because he basically created over a long time and he's got a big story, but he created a database of the value, the core values of the world and 500000 surveys he's done.
It's amazing, crazy, crazy.
And so he he just has an amazing story to tell about redefining how you communicate and market based on understanding the values of the people you're going after, not their demographics and psychographics, not demographics. But let's actually speak to values.
So you know that the 15 year olds in this scenario might have more in common with the 70 year old than with another 15 year old.
You need to get David on your part, because David's is so engaging. He's so interesting. So, yeah, we really enjoy him. Michael.
Katherine, thank you so much for sharing all this wealth of knowledge that you have and all these other resources. What's the best way if people they want to reach out or get in touch or learn more about you? Obviously, you guys need to go out and pick up fulfilled. But how else can people reach out?
Best places to go is fulfilled. The book Dotcom fulfill the book dotcom. You can get the book. You can have all our contact information there. You can reach us at the main company. But if you go there, you can get the book for how far off of what it is on Amazon, some extra bonuses that are really cool in there.
And and then whatever you get to pick your journey and definitely check that out.
Amazon's making enough money right now. Support, support some other businesses in this time and again, just want to thank you both for joining us today. You've been inside the green room. You can find out more about our podcast anywhere you listen to podcast. And inside the Green Room podcast, Dotcom, check out our resources tab for some fun things that you can get there and hope you all will join us next time Inside the Green Room.
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