Rounding the Bases with Joel Goldberg is a podcast for you if you are interested in business, developing culture within your team or organization, entrepreneurship and a good story of struggle to success.
Joel Goldberg: Welcome into another special edition of Rounding The Bases, the final episode of 2019. Part one covered about the first half of my podcasts from the year and as I mentioned I ask every one of my guests three baseball themed questions pertaining to business. What’s the biggest home run you’ve hit, what’s the biggest swing and miss you’ve taken, and what is small ball to you? What are the little things, the singles so to speak that add up to the big things or home runs? So made it through about half of those answers and this episode will be the rest of them. A lot of interesting stuff. But I want to thank a number of organizations. Last episode here in the holiday season, I was able to thank a lot of the people that were so instrumental with this podcast, including A.Y. Young who produced and sang on the theme song, the Rounding The Bases theme song.
But I also had incredible growth in my second full year as a public speaker, a corporate speaker, and I just wanted to thank all these companies for welcoming me in to talk about championship culture and shine a light on such an important topic through a different lens using baseball and sports as a teaching tool. So beginning January 8th, I spoke to Mariner Wealth in Kansas City and want to thank Katie Dunn Fitzgerald for making that introduction. That was their annual meeting. And then DSI, FanThreeSixty, spoke to Cerner in January, spoke multiple times to Mobank/BOK, Kalinda Calkins, Noel Fallon, and I almost feel like family over there. We’ve got more speeches coming up in 2020. So very grateful. Randy Powell has been a big supporter of mine and he brought me in to speak at SPX Cooling, American Family Insurance, Nicole Feltz set that up.
Enterprise Bank and Trust, they’ve had me out back to back years before spring training, and that is all Jeff Carson’s doing. Spoke in March to O’Connor to JE Dunn, later in the summer I went down and spoke to JE Dunn office in Atlanta, so a big shout out to Tim Dunn for that. Spoke to AlphaPointe‘s board meeting in New York in April. Seaboard Foods in April. And then a little bit less during the baseball season. That’s the way that goes. But had a couple of HR groups that I was able to talk to, EPN, that was in June and then later in the summer, SHRMLawrence and SHRM Kansas City. Chris Colquist brought me in to speak to Freightquote in September. Then things got busy in October, EO, Jackson Insurance, a company out of Michigan, and they had their legal and compliance team meeting down in Nashville. Interhab, phenomenal organization, went out and spoke to their event in Wichita.
I talk every year to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Great to be back with them. Started a new relationship with the Kansas Bankers Association, and that event was in Wichita. MCCA came shortly after that in November, the Missouri Community College Association, their annual event here in Kansas City, 600 people. Awesome crowd. Really was a thrill to speak at Global Entrepreneurship Week, Kansas City couple events there including one with my good friend Aaron Fulk. And then along with my broadcast colleague Rex Hudler, we recently spoke to the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Associations annual luncheon, their holiday luncheon. I’ve spoken multiple times to a CEO peer group, the Heartland Heroes thanks to Steve Johns who has provided guidance for me from the beginning of this journey. And when I spoke to them recently here in December, they named me their Heartland hero, so that was a surprise and honor and so cool.
Really meant a lot to me. And then wrapped everything up by talking to the Mission Hills Country Club holiday luncheon, big crowd, lot of fun. And that’s it for the year. I feel like I just did one of those holiday cards where I’m telling everybody about all the good things going on with my family. But I just wanted to be able to thank everyone as the speaking business, which has become an equal passion to me as baseball is. To be able to have that opportunity to share an important message with so many groups is something that I absolutely love doing. I also love this podcast. You can reach me at Joelgoldbergmedia.com. Part one was the first half of 2019. This’ll be part two, the small ball question, the little things that add up to the big things. So here is the final episode of 2019 for Rounding The Bases. Happy new year everyone.
Kemet Coleman – Kemet the Phantom
Joel Goldberg: Let’s start part two of this review with Kemet Coleman, AKA Kemet the Phantom. Episode 305, he’s an entertainer, a musician, but also an entrepreneur and so his stage name is Kemet the Phantom. He plays with a group called the Fantastics. And they were part of this podcast too, there’s also a YouTube video if you want to check that out. But Kemet also creates opportunities in the city for entrepreneurs at Moss Salon Studios. It’s Kansas City’s first urban co-working space for salon professionals. He has that with his wife. And so between that and the music, a lot to talk about in terms of small ball.
Kemet Coleman: The little things are just making sure that everyone that I’m around is happy and is doing their best. Because a long time ago I realized that I can’t do it all. And so I’m half as productive, not even half, a 10th of as productive as when a team is involved. And so making sure that everybody that collaborates with me, making sure that everyone that I typically work with on a day-to-day, week to week basis has what they need to be as free as they can be is definitely, that adds up more than anything one person can do.
Dr. Dred Scott – Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kansas City
Joel Goldberg: Episode 306, Dr. Dred Scott, what a name and a historic one too. He talked about that being named after the slave, who fought for his freedom in front of the Supreme Court. And these days, the 2019 version of Dr. Dred Scott is CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kansas City.
Dr. Dred Scott: Creating those connections intentionally with our members, but also with our staff. It’s little things like sending birthday cards and warm messages for accomplishments. It’s being present, it’s visiting the clubs, it’s interacting, it’s creating those touch points with the folks that are associated with this great organization. And I think it’s incumbent upon me to really be the champion storyteller for the organization, right? Keep the message of our movement in the public eye and really help people to connect with it, attract new partners, and supporters, and maintain those that we have through good stewardship.
Matt Watson – Stackify
Joel Goldberg: Episode 307 was Matt Watson. He is the founder of a company called Stackify. They were named in the Inc 5,000 fastest growing companies in August of 2019. He has success in starting companies, he sold his last company VIN Solutions to Autotrader for $147 million and now building Stackify one piece at a time.
Matt Watson: One of my business partners said something one day to the whole company. We were having like a company meeting, and that has always stuck with me. He said, “The thing you got to focus on every day is just getting like 1% better every day. And then over a month you’re 30% better.” Right? To your point, it’s like it’s all the little things that add up. You don’t have to hit a home run, you just got to make minor improvements every day, right? And when we look at Stackify, that’s kind of the mode we’re in. Like we’re growing.
Matt Watson: So now it’s like, “Okay, how do we grow a little faster?” We don’t need to boil the ocean, but it’s like we improve conversion rate a little over here. We reduce churn a little over here and we get customers to pay an extra few dollars a month. We get a few extra demos, we get a few extra trials. We get a couple extra referrals.” It’s all the little things and they add up. It’s not necessarily any one giant thing that happened. It is definitely just being good at the basics, being good at the fundamentals and constantly setting goals to stretch yourself, try to improve in every facet in the game.
Joel Goldberg: Episode 308 was a unique pairing. Tanya O’Callaghan and Wayne Strickland, and they are involved in something called the Leadership Rhapsody. They speak to groups, businesses, associations, organizations, and they incorporate music into it. Tanya is a world touring bass player from Ireland. She now lives in the US. Wayne spent 38 years as an executive at Hallmark and he’s got a passion for music, went to a music fantasy camp, and met Tanya. And now they collaborate with these leadership seminars, Leadership Rhapsody. So I asked both of them from their completely different backgrounds about small ball and culture first, here’s Tanya.
- O’Callaghan: Relationships with people and networking for sure, because it’s all those little elements over time. Like, I’m still relatively new to LA and living in the US. But it’s like Wayne spoke about earlier, your peers promote you. It’s so essential, your foundational relationships with the people in your industry and trust. And if you don’t have that, it’s not the big label or they’re not the ones that are going to hire you, same, it’s the musicians that will recommend you. So it’s all those little relationships over time and your networks of people. And people talk about networking all the time. I just think of networking is like interactions with people just like common sense conversations within your industry. And I think people sometimes try too hard to network and be at everything and it’s almost like false. Really, it’s about genuine relationship.
- Strickland: And I still talk to a lot of people and mentor them as you spoke to about how to be successful in working with customers. And I tell them three things and it’s really important and it’s really shocking how many people don’t do this. Number one, do what you say you’re going to do 100% of the time. If you promise something then do it. If you say you’re going to do something by Friday, do it by Friday. 100% of the time and something comes up, you can’t, you call them and go, “Hey, this came up. Can I get it to you Monday?” If people would just do that, they’d be successful. The other thing is keep all your appointments. Even when it’s a sunny day and the Royals have a day game. You still got to go to work that day and keep your appointments, you made a promise and then third, if you make a mistake, say you made a mistake, don’t blame somebody else. We all make mistakes the only difference is some people own their mistakes, and some people point their finger at other people.
Joel Goldberg: I guess, I had a stretch going for a while that was music related by accident really. Although I love music, can’t play it, don’t know a ton about making it, but I certainly enjoy listening to all kinds of music. So from Kemet Coleman, and episode 305, then 308 was Tonya and Wayne. Good.
Neal Preston – Professional Photographer
Joel Goldberg: The next couple of episodes that were also music related, beginning with 309 Neal Preston. And Neal I met actually a year before, and this was almost an anniversary podcast episode of a trip that I took with some former Royals, including George Brett during the baseball season over September 11th to Kuwait to spend time with our troops. And Neal was the photographer that was hired and it was a different gig for him because for well over a generation, for decades, Neal has traveled the world with big time superstar bands like Led Zeppelin, and The Who, Fleetwood Mac, Queen and many others. He’s written a book called Neal Preston: Exhilarated and Exhausted. And he has seen the inner workings of a major rock and roll tour and he talked about the small ball involved.
Neal Preston: I would center it on the road crew, the guys on the crews hold the keys to my kingdom really. And it doesn’t matter what band you’re watching, what concert you’re watching, that area behind the amps, that is the road crews nation states, it’s their Vatican City, it’s their domain. And you have to have the proper protocol for being onstage and backstage. You have to get out of the way when they’re loading out because you don’t want to get impaled by a forklift because you’re trying to impress some girl from Memphis that you just met. And I speak from experience. But it’s getting along with everyone else. I have no problem getting along with the people in the… the superstars. I don’t care about them. I do care about them, I’m working for them.
Joel Goldberg: Not in a superstar sense.
Neal Preston: Exactly. But the road crew, not unlike the military that we saw, these are the guys who on a day-to-day basis, put these shows up, tear them down. If you think you go to Madison Square Garden or the Forum and the show just lands there from outer space, it doesn’t. It takes a lot of man hours. And these are the people that you’re going to be working with day after day, after day after day. And they’re all the little parts that fit everything together.
Paul Schofer – Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
Joel Goldberg: Episode 310 Paul Schofer, CEO of the stunning and beautiful Kauffman Center for the performing arts in Kansas City. They have two music halls in there, both pristine, both among some of the best in the world, but it’s not just about the performance and the music in terms of small ball.
Paul Schofer: It goes back to that curb to curtain experience. Everything that a guest experiences, the second they start actually driving to the center, or even online when they’re purchasing their tickets. But replacing 60 tiles in Brandmeier Hall as we did this summer that are cracked or chipped, 90% of which nobody would ever notice, but making it perfect for everyone. You’ll find this amusing, making sure the arc on the water fountains is the right height, the temperature of the water in the sinks and the bathrooms is the right temperature, comfortable temperature. It’s ensuring that every individual with any accessibility issues is addressed with respect and dignity to experiencing the arts. All of those little things that go way beyond what’s on stage. What goes on stage is extraordinary and in many cases, arguably world-class. But what happens from curb to curtain makes it memorable.
Pat Warren – Kansas Speedway
Joel Goldberg: Next up, a different form of entertainment, motor sports, episode 311 Pat Warren, president of the Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas. And the Speedway becomes this sixth largest city in the state of Kansas on a major race weekend. And so while they only have a limited number of full time employees, that number and the amount of people involved with teamwork skyrockets on a big race weekend. And Pat talked about that.
Pat Warren: I don’t consider it small ball, to me culture is the most important thing. Bill France Jr, who is sort of the patriarch of our company, and who built the sport from a Southeastern sport into a national powerhouse. And I didn’t know bill, but always talked about traffic and trash, is my understanding. And we focus on those things and those are just symbols of all the details that have to go into planning a huge event. And so from my perspective, what we try to do is we really try to create a culture of, I’ll call it a Kansas Speedway family that starts with 35 full time employees, then steps out to our contractors and people who are here year after year.
Pat Warren: And then beyond that to the volunteer groups and others. And it’s all about trying to create an atmosphere here that fans want to come and enjoy. And my feeling is that gives us a huge competitive advantage, not just necessarily in, I wouldn’t say in Kansas City because I think it’s a Midwestern thing, but it gives us an advantage in motor sports because culture is impossible to quickly create or replace. And so when you can create a good culture, and I think we have, that’s something that takes a long time to build. And once you have it, you just don’t want to screw it up.
Ron Hill – Redemption Plus
Joel Goldberg: Episode 312 Ron Hill from Redemption Plus, he’s the CEO. He lived in Seattle and sold a computer training company about 23 years ago. Then came to Kansas City to start Redemption Plus, they’ve become the one stop shop for entertainment centers and bowling centers, helping them grow more by wasting less. They currently have around 50, more than 50 employees. And Ron’s a strong believer in conscious capitalism, elevating humanity through business. He is a firm believer in the little things.
Ron Hill: It’s the daily practices. It’s how we show up on a daily basis practicing gratitude. For me, maybe it’s daily meditation, it’s self care. How do we do these little things every day that may not seem like much, but we get to the end of the year, we get to end in two years, and suddenly we have a new habit. There’s a great saying that I had heard that if you want to become a runner, first thing you need to do is to get up every morning and put on your running shoes. And eventually you’ll start running. So we don’t have to focus on the end result. What’s the habit that helps enhance the process?
Barnett Helzberg Jr. and Danny O’Neil
Joel Goldberg: Episode 313 was one that I absolutely loved and it was an honor to be able to sit down with Barnett Helzberg Jr, and Danny O’Neil because the two of them together, if anyone’s ever met Barnett and Danny, that is just pure gold. Danny helped set it up and they’ve got a lot of history. Barnett sold his company Helzberg Diamonds, way back when to Warren Buffet, and started the Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentorship Program, AKA HEMP. Danny O’Neil was the first ever mentee. He’s the founder of The Roasterie in Kansas city. But back when he started in 1995, he was paired with the now late Henry Block. It’s a program that really has an elite level of entrepreneurs in it. It’s really a crown jewel and one that’s unique all around the country. And so to be able to sit with both and pick Barnett’s brain about small ball was a thrill.
- Helzberg: Well, it’s not a little thing, but I love people and I enjoy them, and I remember them. And I had so much fun visiting the stores. And I remember this one lady, she said, “I’m leaving the company.” I said, “Why?” “Well, my husband’s in the military and they moving him.” “Well, who’s more important? this company or your husband?” I gave her the devil. So anyway, we just had a lot of fun. And amazing, there’s so many people. One young lady who’s still working, well, she looked about 12 when she came to work. Kathy Wade, she’d been there 50 years and we have a lot of long-termers.
Brian Weaver – Torch.AI
Joel Goldberg: episode 314 features Brian Weaver, Torch.AI, he’s the CEO and has more than 20 years of experience leading mission-driven high growth technology focused companies. At Torch, they help lead organizations to leverage artificial intelligence. Brian has had a very successful career, but when it comes to small ball, he has the mantra of it being about others before him.
Brian Weaver: You can certainly help to create a bit of a culture by things you spend money on, an environment, food, employee benefits and things like that. But what I find really interesting is as an entrepreneur, which is radically different than a normal business, right? This is a founder, I founded this company, I funded the company and I built it. And because of that, and I have a big personality and I live a big life. And because of that, that can actually negatively influence culture. Because it could be if you let it persist, it could be about me and not about the team.
Brian Weaver: I think the biggest thing, the advice I’d give is to let that team shine because it’s really more about them than you. I’ve never had my name on a building for that reason. It’s kind of a weird, quirky thing. But I’ve never wanted to name of business after myself for that reason. Not that there’s a problem with it, but it’s not about that, it’s really about the team that you can build. And I think if you can cultivate a group of leaders inside the organization, they will raise their hand and take over at some point. And encouraging them to do that I think is the critical thing.
Max Schachter – Safe Schools for Alex
Joel Goldberg: Episode 315 Max Schachter Safe Schools for Alex will be one of the most important that I ever do. And I think everyone probably remembers that day, February 14th, 2018. If you don’t remember the exact date, you certainly remember the tragic school shooting at Parkland down in Florida. And I just remember when I heard about it thinking that one of my best friends growing up, Matt has a son in that school and sure enough his son Brett was there that day. He was hiding in the closet and thankfully he survived, but Brett lost in that shooting his best friend Alex. And so Alex Schachter’s dad Max has now dedicated his life to helping make schools safer.
Joel Goldberg: And I had a chance to meet Max during the baseball season. He’s constantly appearing in front of politicians at the state level and in Congress at the national level. And so he founded safe schools for Alex with a mission to provide parents, students, school districts and legislators, the most current school safety best practices. This has become his every day life. Starting a clearinghouse website, SchoolSafety.gov. And I’ll mention it again right here. You can get to him at SafeSchoolsForAlex.org this was his take on small ball.
Max Schachter: What I’ve learned in this process is that when you’re dealing with Tallahassee, or you’re dealing with Washington DC, these politicians have so many issues on their plate. So many things that take their attention that little people, advocates can have a great impact. So unless you’re in front of them and making them understand the issues that are important, they’re not going to focus on it, they’re not going to be concerned about it. So even if my one meeting with someone doesn’t produce a bill and it’s passed through Congress or Tallahassee, every interaction that I have exposes people to this issue and it makes people understand. And then the more interaction I have with them and then they understand. And then sooner or later they’re actually speaking my words, they understand so much. And so I’ve educated them and now they care about this issue. So I think advocacy is extremely important and it shows you that people in this country can make a difference.
Joel Goldberg: I hope everyone will go back and listen to that episode and it really was one that meant a lot to me just to be able to contribute in the smallest of ways and to be able to tell that story.
Jeff Landsman – Phase6 Productions
Joel Goldberg: I mentioned that I had a best friend named Matt whose son was there that day. Our other best friend, our other running mate growing up was a guy named Jeff Landsman who still lives in Chicago where we went to high school. And so he was my guest on episode 316 because for many years he worked for Oprah Winfrey at her company Harpo Productions as an editor. And he started his own company, Phase6 Productions in January of 2016. And he was really able to talk a lot about the highs and lows of owning your own business and entrepreneurship in that small ball way.
Jeff Landsman: It’s staying on the path, being in the moment, planting seeds when overwhelming doubt sort of rains on you, it’s okay. Letting yourself suffer a little bit and not feel bad about it. I feel like it’s taken me a couple of years to get to this head space with my company. You have to keep pushing, you half to keep going forward. And there was a quote by Michael J. Fox recently, I don’t remember the exact quote, but it was pointing to this. It was something like, take it one step at a time. Stop worrying about the giant thing you’re trying to accomplish. And it’s really important to just take a step back. A lot of times I just sleep on it and wake up and go, “I just need to plant another seed. It will grow at some point.” Some won’t, but many of them will. And if you don’t take those small steps, if you don’t lay those bricks, you never get the wall.
Kilee Nickels – Nickel & Suede
Joel Goldberg: All right. I kicked off November episode 317 with one of the most amazing success stories in terms of entrepreneurship that you’ll ever find. Kilee Nickels and her husband own a company called Nickel & Suede. They make and sell lightweight jewelry, lightweight big leather earrings based in Kansas City. They now have 27 employees, and they sell their jewelry online all across the company. But she began with just a simple Etsy store. She had started a blog to support the business. And as she began connecting with moms out there and women out there, and earn their trust, and then started to grow her business, she found that she had a lot of interest that has turned into one heck of a company. Here’s Kilee on small ball.
Kilee Nickels: It’s never quitting. I think it’s everyday showing up, just believing in our potential, even when the numbers don’t look good that day. Or like to me everyday it’s showing up and being the positive vision one. Sometimes that’s hard because I’m the cheerleader, I’m the pep talker, I’m the whatever. But every day I’m the one that’s the, “We can do it. We got it, we can do it. We’re never quitting.” And I’m putting our why in front of us every day and that purpose is what’s going to push us through.
Chad Peterson – Peterson Acquisitions
Joel Goldberg: Chad Peterson was my guest on episode 318 he’s the owner of Peterson Acquisitions and he was an entrepreneur even as a kid and so always had that bug and then he became a pilot, lost his interest in doing that with just the way the world was changing. He was actually flying on September 11th during that tragic and historic day. And went into other professions and eventually started to realize that he had a talent and ability and a skill to help people sell their companies. He’s written multiple books about it. He’s an expert in the field and he definitely knows the importance of the little things when it comes to selling other’s businesses.
Chad Peterson: Small ball for me starts with core principles and core values. Leading with a foot of authenticity, integrity and honesty. That’s number one because you can’t build anything around you if people can’t count on you. You can’t build solid relationships and real genuine friendships, not based on a monetary or successful gain out of that relationship. But I mean real relationships that can catapult you into a successful career. So you got to start with those core principles first.
Chad Peterson: That’s the main small ball for me. And then whatever your business takes of you would be secondary. To me, that’s secondary small ball. If your business requires you making 50 or 60 calls a day, then that’s what it takes. You’ve got to do it. If it takes doing podcasting, if it takes what seems like having too busy of a schedule, well that’s what it takes, you’ve got to do it, you’ve got to keep up. That’s the small ball. The big home run start with alignment and making the correct decision with what you’re going to do in your career and being passionate about it. And the small ball follows that up.
Don Peterson – Launch Health Accelerator
Joel Goldberg: Don Peterson, no relation to Chad was my next guest. So back to back Peterson’s episode 319. Don was the entrepreneur in residence for Launch Health Accelerator. An incubator, working on ideas to disrupt and improve the current healthcare system that involved six companies in the Kansas City. Area and they were able to launch in November and he talked about small ball.
Don Peterson: You have to accept it as a lifestyle almost and live with whatever successes you get on a day-to-day basis. That small ball, every time you get on base go celebrate that, every time you get moved and your team moves you to second base, whether it was a sacrifice or not. Sometimes taking one step backwards to move two steps forward is actually not a bad thing, right? You’ll take the out to move your batter in the scoring position. I think that’s the kind of processing, that’s why small ball is such a great analogy for what we do here.
Don Peterson: It’s really about advancing the play, keeping the line moving as we used to say. In what was it, 14, 15? When the Royals were in the series, keep the line moving. And that’s an important lesson and really the process for is entrepreneurship just keep the ball moving. Every day make a step towards your goal and every night go to bed thinking, “Okay. I made progress towards my goal.” Or ask yourself, “Did we?” And what can I do tomorrow to make yet another small step. I call it baby steps. Any baby step forward is better than the day before.
Matt Baysinger – Swell Spark
Joel Goldberg: Episode 320 was a lot of fun. Matt Baysinger, Swell Spark is the name of his company. You ever heard about that ax throwing trend? Probably done it at some point, if you haven’t, maybe you should, it’s a lot of fun. Well, he kicked off that concept in the United States and Kansas City to be specific. And now he’s grown around the country. Also, Matt took an interesting path. At one point he was a high school guidance counselor and he owned a soda shop. And then the escape room thing started, and then the ax throwing took off. And there’s more in the works. But when it comes to doing those little things in culture, it is everything to Matt Baysinger.
Matt Baysinger: I wouldn’t call myself a futurist, but I think our world is changing a lot. And I think one of the things that differentiates us from just about anybody else is our emphasis on customer service. I believe it’s all about the relationships. I really do. The thing can be cool, but if you do a cool thing with terrible people, you’re not going to enjoy it. And so we focus on our people first. And I think when our people are feeling loved, when they’re feeling supported as employees, it allows them to do that with customers as well. And so our blocking and tackling or our small ball is we got to make sure that the people are even better than the experience that we offer.
Diego Gutierrez – Former Professional Athlete, now Associate Professor at Rockhurst University
Joel Goldberg: Dr. Diego Gutierrez, episode 321 one of the more interesting guests, and one of the more interesting people that I know, he’s become a friend. He’s now an associate professor at Rockhurst University, but the first chapter of his younger years, if we want to call it that, was as a professional soccer player. He grew up in the country of Columbia, came over to the United States to play soccer in college. Went on to play professionally in the MLS for Chicago and Kansas City. Went back to school and he’s now a professor among many other things, but I think Diego had the most unique answer when it comes to small ball.
Diego Gutierrez: When I think about the little things, people laugh about this. I love coffee, right? I love drinking coffee, but I think more than anything I love what coffee represents, and a cup of coffee is a union, it’s community with somebody, it’s a time to reflect. It’s sometimes a time to love, a time to heal. So many things that I’m able to do with a good cup of coffee in my hand. Life has got so many of these little miracles that that pop up every now and then, right? What people call a sunshine, people call it, call it what you want. Hope is a great thing to have. And when you are able to recognize those things and you find yourself in a place where you’re able to see those little things I think is great. Coffee for me is quite symbolic.
Harrison Proffit – Bungii
Joel Goldberg: Episode 322 was Harrison Proffit, the co-founder of a company called Bungii, B-U-N-G-I-I-, he and his co-founder Ben Jackson created Bungii right out of college at Kansas State. Think about it in terms of Uber or Lyft, but with pickup trucks, when people, friends, whoever it might be, customers in this case need to move something from one place to another or a purchase that they made. And so this is taking off all across the country. Harrison talking about the little things.
- Proffitt: One of the biggest, I guess cuts. I’ve taken small cuts I’ve taken recently is probably not pivoting but putting more of a focus on the retailers, and the businesses out there. So we were very strong consumer based demand company, but now we’ve started partnering with these companies like Mattress Firm, and Costco, and World Market, and Big Lots. And we’re realizing that these businesses are trying to combat the Googles and the Amazons of the world for the same day or next day delivery.
Joel Goldberg: That’s right.
- Proffitt: And we’re kind of becoming that answer for them. And so with the folks on businesses, I think that’s going to allow us to scale and scale faster as we walk into a new market with partnerships of six, 10 different national retailers, that’s going nearly kick demand off. We’ve got drivers, the driver recruitment side figured out. So it should make everything a little bit more efficient.
Matthew Condon – Bardavon Health Innovations
Joel Goldberg: My final guest of the year was a fascinating one because really everything out of Matt Condon’s mouth is something that I learned from. Smart guy down to earth, highly successful, very humble. He’s the kind of guy that when I meet someone like Matt, I say, “Boy, I’d like to work for someone like him.” And I’m pretty sure that those that are working for him at Bardavon Health Innovations feel the same way. It’s a company that is tackling major healthcare issues. They’ve grown from about 30 to 170 in the last two years and how those employees are treated is all about the small ball message beginning with what they’re called and it’s not employees.
Matt Condon: We just changed our list serve here from no longer saying Bardavon employees, it says Bardavon associates. We will not refer to each other as employees here, we are associates and we are colleagues. And those that kind of nomenclature, that language you use around each other, that respect that you use around each other is super important to me and to us and I think that is, that is seen as small ball stuff, but it’s a fundamental part of who we are as a culture. We just had our holiday party and we did it at my house. So we bused everybody to my house.
Matt Condon: Being vulnerable, letting people into your house, letting people see who you are, letting them see your dogs and your kids run around your house is in some ways small ball, but that is the important stuff that defines organizational excellence. And being willing to place the same level of intensity on your 2020 strategic plans and your financing goals with how you talk to each other at the workplace is the small ball stuff that I think in many ways is often lost but incredibly important not just to achieving what you’re trying to achieve, but doing it in the way that you’re proud of.
Matt Condon: And so I’m not comfortable changing healthcare if we have to burn a bunch of bridges and treat each other poorly along the way. And I don’t believe that it’s binary. I think that you can have exceptionally successful companies and be good to each other and create a great culture at the very same time. And I think anybody who tells me different is intellectually lazy, I believe. And I refuse to accept that. And so I think those kinds of moments of thoughtful intensity, and commitment to that intensity and unwilling to give up on it are the small ball things that make me love to come to work.
Joel Goldberg: So that’s it for 2019. Thanks to Matt and every one of the other guests that I featured on this episode and part one of small ball last week. And whenever you’re listening to this, I know this much, this’ll be after Christmas and the holidays winding down, and new years perhaps starting if you’re listening to this right as it runs. But I wish everyone a happy holidays, a healthy and happy new year, can’t wait for 2020 to see what lies ahead for so many of these companies and their guests, and more storytelling for me and speaking. And then baseball coming up and all of that.
Of course, a huge thanks to my family, my wife Susan, and my kids, Mason and Ellie, who allow me to do all of this fun stuff that gets me up every single day. And a big thanks to everyone for listening and supporting the Rounding The Bases podcast. Can’t wait to catch up with you in 2020. Thanks everyone.