Skip links

2019 Recap of Rounding the Bases with Joel Goldberg | Small Ball | Part 1

As the year comes to a close, Joel Goldberg looks back at the 44 episodes of Rounding the Bases from 2019. 
 
Joel asks every guest three “baseball” themed questions. 
  1. What is the biggest home run you’ve hit?
  2. What is the biggest swing and miss you’ve taken?
  3. What is small ball to you?”

This episode and the next will feature a best of each guests’ small ball answer about the little things that make up the big things in a companies culture
 
Joel Goldberg:
Welcome into a special edition of Rounding the Bases. We are winding down 2019. It’s the holiday season, and so, for everyone listening, hope you are enjoying your Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year’s coming up, and this might be after the holidays, too, but I bring all that up because I always feel like, at the end of the year, it’s a good chance to look back, reflect, see what we’ve learned, what we can do to improve. I wanted to be able to do that with this podcast.

First off, in terms of growth, 2019 saw the end of my season two and then the beginning of season three. But I think the biggest step forward was going from a podcast that ran every other week to one that became a weekly occurrence. I had too many interviews that were completed, and I was backed up. Not a bad problem to have, all of these reserved and in the can, ready to go, especially with the demands of a baseball season. That’s when I thought, “Well, let’s go weekly.”

It’s a lot of work. I love doing it. I love sharing these stories with everyone. That’s what this podcast is really all about, interviewing successful business people, entrepreneurs, leaders, finding out their stories, and these stories have worked their way into some of my speeches when I get in front of audiences. They’ve certainly been material that we’ve put out, thanks to Danielle Welch, my marketing manager on social media.

If you’ve never listened to this podcast before or if you are a regular, whoever you are, thank you, and certainly feel free to reach out to me at any point. joelgoldbergmedia.com is the website, and you can find me on social media at either goldbergkc or joelgoldbergkc, depending on what platform on social media.

But the three questions that I ask every guest, this is the consistent, is what is the biggest home run you’ve hit. I’m talking about in business, not in baseball. What is the biggest swing and miss you’ve taken, and what did you learn from it? That’s always really interesting. Then the third one, which is really the one that I find the most fascinating, is small ball. What are the little things that add up to the big things? It’s not all about home runs.

In baseball terms, sometimes the singles and the sacrifices and the heads-up base running and good defense may not show up the same way in the scorecards, but they’re oftentimes equally important. In even simpler terms, I call small ball culture. So this episode and the next episode will be the best of small ball 2019. We’ll do it in two parts, because it’s a lot of ground to cover before we get to 2020.

I mentioned going weekly during this last calendar year. Also in 2019, season two for Rounding the Bases ended. Took a little break, and then season three began. Over the course of 2019, there were 44 different interviews, 44 different episodes of guests.

Marty Bicknell – Mariner Wealth

Joel Goldberg:
My first episode of the year came from an introduction from my good friend Katie Dunn Fitzgerald, who is a partner over at Mariner Wealth, and she had introduced me to people, which led to me speaking at Mariner’s annual meeting and also a one-on-one in advance of that with their CEO, Marty Bicknell, who was a fantastic guest on episode 207. Here’s what he said about small ball.

Marty Bicknell:
We spend a lot of time, regardless of if it’s our sales efforts with our sales team, with our advisors, with new projects, new ventures, you name it, talking about it’s more important to me to measure the activities than it is, necessarily, the result. If you have the right team, you have the right structure, you have all those things, if the activities are correct, then, ultimately, you will see the result. You can’t force it.

Marty Bicknell:
Coming back from my days at AG Edwards, we used to call it commission breath, right? That you’re trying too hard. So just do the right things, do the right activities, and measure that.


Joel Goldberg:
I’ve actually used that sound bite during some presentations to organizations to compare it to the comments that then Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost would make during struggles, where a young team wasn’t necessarily getting the results, but they were putting in the work. The effort was good, the process was right, and just how similar the world of business to baseball can be.

Parker Graham – Destiny Wealth

Joel Goldberg:
Now, one of the things that I love about this podcast is we can go from someone like Marty Bicknell with a big-time established company to someone like Parker Graham in the next episode, 208. Parker was an offensive lineman at Oklahoma State, and he nearly made the Baltimore Ravens. Was going to be on their practice squad, walked away, and said, “No. I think I’m going to go into the, quote unquote, real world.” So he became a financial advisor and then started his own company in 2019 called Destiny Wealth to help people eliminate debt. Here’s small ball, Destiny Wealth style.

Parker Graham:
The three values that we have are love, first off, accountability, second, and fun. If we’re not doing those three things and if employees who come join us can’t do those three things, they shouldn’t be a part of what we’re doing.

Parker Graham:
Love, for us, is … It’s having compassion, having empathy for people who are in a billion different situations. Everybody’s situation is different. We have to be able to have something that can solve anything. Accountability is, man, listen, we’re at a war every day. You’ve got to get your rifle, and we’ve got to go up that hill, having that hard-nosed work ethic that will basically refuse to quit. That third thing is fun. If you’re not having fun, what are you doing?

Andrew Morgans – Markonolgy

Joel Goldberg:
Episode 209, at the end of January, featured Andrew Morgans, the founder of Marknology. Andrew was one of the most interesting people that I’ve met since this podcast began. He’s become a friend. He grew up the son of missionaries who taught English in Christian schools around the world and lived in places like Montreal and Cameroon, Botswana, Moscow, Congo, Hawaii, and Kansas City. He’s traveled and toured as a musician, had all kinds of different jobs, and then he found the world of e-commerce, became an expert, started Marknology, has an apparel company called Landlocked. He’s an Amazon brand accelerator and a truly, truly interesting guy.

Andrew Morgans:
99% of problems, I think, come from bad communication, even if it’s frequent, calm communication, just it’s not great. We’re not getting the point across. I think that you can even own up to, let’s say, losses or mistakes that you’ve made in business if you just communicate that and say, like, “Hey, this is the reason why we did this. This is why we won’t do it again.” So the small things being we really focus on communication here. We really focus on authenticity. We don’t try to be a bigger agency than we are. We’re just who we are.

Amy Leslie – Perspective Consulting

Joel Goldberg:
Episode 210 was Amy Leslie, CEO of Perspective Consulting.

Amy Leslie:
Small ball, for me, is, every day, my goal is to connect with a person that I didn’t know before, and I use this expression, “I wonder why,” because I spend a lot of time wondering why. So every time I meet a new person, every time I meet a new business leader and understand their business, my goal is, every day, to discover a new “why,” why that person perceives the world the way they do, why that person does what they do, why this person asked a question or made a statement. So that’s kind of my small ball.

Jake Reid – Sporting Kansas City

Joel Goldberg:
What a great skill Amy has, and a reminder to us all about the importance of curiosity. After Amy was Jake Reid, episode 211. He is the president and CEO of the Soccer Club in Kansas City from the MLS. When it came to small ball, Jake talked about the owner of Sporting Kansas City, Cliff Illig.

Jake Reid:
Yeah, Cliff says one line that sums it up: “Everybody picks up trash.” That sounds completely bizarre, but what he means by that is we want our venues, we want the experience to be pristine for folks. So I remember vividly seeing him, early on, walking across the field, bending down, picking up a piece of confetti, which, by the way, we fire after every goal. So there’s a lot of confetti.

Jake Reid:
Yeah, so I think, as it relates to the culture piece on that, it’s basically that no one is too big or above any tasks, no matter how small. So if you’ve got the owner of the club walking around, picking up trash pregame, who am I to say that that’s not something I’m going to do, and who is the newest person on our staff to not do that? So, for us, I think that’s just that everybody will do whatever it takes.

Courtney Thomas – Central Exchange

Joel Goldberg:
Courtney Thomas became the CEO of Central Exchange in October 2018, and in December of 2019, she announced she’d be leaving to become the CEO of Newhouse, a shelter for victims of domestic violence. At Central Exchange or CX, she was part of a group that empowers and connects women across generations, promoting equity for women. Their members are some of the most dynamic leaders in the Kansas City community. I had the privilege of speaking to that group at one point, but before the speech, I was able to sit down with Courtney and talk about topics like small ball.

Courtney Thomas:
Really getting to know people and meeting them where they are, that is one of the things that I really pride myself on as a leader, is I want to help you achieve your goals and dreams, and I want to get to know you in that way and create that trusting relationship. One of the things that I say often to people, and just recently had this conversation about a week ago, is, “I want you to see the bright light that I see in you. I want you to see it the way that I see it, and I want to help you to get there and achieve it.”

Nicole Feltz – American Family Insurance Agent

Joel Goldberg:
Episode 213 featured Nicole Feltz. Now, first off, Nicole helped line me up a big speaking engagement for American Family Insurance, so certainly forever grateful to that, and we had an awesome time in 2019 at that event. But Nicole, who is an agent, she has an agency with American Family, has a truly amazing story of overcoming adversity and persevering. She grew up the daughter of an alcoholic mother. She’s taken those life experiences and done things. Whether it’s helping those that come to her for insurance or her involvement in foster care and now opening a house for women and children in need, Nicole is truly an inspiration.

Nicole Feltz:
I think just being there for people, whether … We kind of talked about a connection or referral, a thank you note. Someone runs out of gas, taking them gas. Meeting them, they have a claim, water’s in their basement, take their kids crayons or a coloring book so they can focus on the claim. Just trying to just think outside the box a little bit and think, “How can we ease this?” I would say that all those little bitty things kind of add up, and that’s what we’re about.

Patrick Montgomery – KC Cattle Company

Joel Goldberg:
In episode 214, I sat down with Patrick Montgomery. We were at WeWork, and Patrick is a former Army ranger. When he got out of the military, he finished his undergrad in animal science and then started KC Cattle Company, which is a veteran-owned and operated company that buys feeder calves and sells beef directly to the consumer through e-commerce. Their mission is bridging the gap between agriculture and the consumer and also serving the veteran community.

Patrick Montgomery:
Just doing the right thing for people. There’s so much of business where you end up having some people that don’t always have your best interests at heart. So being able to recognize that and not let yourself be drawn into that game, but maintain your morals, and really kind of just continue to do the right thing for people. Being honest, and, at the end of the day, just being able to put yourself in their shoes when you’re trying to close a deal in a business I think is such an important aspect of it.

Dr. Allison Edwards – Kansas City Direct Primary Care

Joel Goldberg:
Dr. Allison Edwards is the founder of Kansas City Direct Primary Care. She’s also become a friend. She’s a physician and an entrepreneur who founded her practice, and she could take care of 80 to 90% of a person’s healthcare needs without referring them to a specialist. She’s part of a movement of doctors around the country that are going a different route of providing health care and not doing it through insurance, with a goal of providing that care to patients in a way that’s affordable and transparently priced.

Allison Edwards:
It’s interesting to talk to CEOs who’ve stepped into a running company as compared to a CEO or founder who’s hustled from the beginning, because it is. It’s a hustle. It is a daily hustle. I remember opening on my first day, and little things, I still hadn’t quite figured out, marketing things, like, “Do I have the right Internet service provider?” I remember I called … I think it was the fire department. It was like, “Hey, you guys need to walk through and tell me how many people I can have in this place,” all those little things.

Allison Edwards:
I think as a good business, it doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, is built on paying attention to all the little things and making them perfect. You aren’t going to be perfect, as we talked about. But with that attention to detail and that attention to the consumer experience, I think that’s how you have a marvelous, fantastic, long-living business.

Chris Costello – Blooom

Joel Goldberg:
Episode 216 was Chris Costello, co-founder of a company called Blooom. That’s with three O’s, B-L-O-O-O-M. It’s a technology company started to help people better invest and allocate their 401k. What I love about Chris? His high energy.

Chris Costello:
So when you’re a client of Blooom, you get access to a financial advisor, but even before you’re a client, you may have trouble linking your account, or maybe you’re a client, your credit card expires, and something causes you to interact with somebody sitting right out there, on the client service team. That client service team is so freaking amazing that we used to joke that we almost hope that people have problems at Blooom, our clients, so that they have to interact with our client service team, because they could be upset as all get out about a problem with their account. By the time our client service team is done helping them, generally, they become raving fans of this company.

Chris Costello:
I mean, it is so amazing to see some of the anecdotal comments that people will make. “I was talking to Chad” or “I was talking to Brandy” or Chrissy or Drew or any one of the folks that are on that team, “and they helped me with this. They helped me do that.” That’s the small ball.

Chris Costello:
It’s one client at a time. So you think “What big of a difference does that make?” But, Joel, how many times in your life do you deal with somebody in client service, and they’re just not pleasant, they’re not helpful, they didn’t solve your problem? These people here are amazing. So that, for sure, at Blooom is how we win at small ball.

Jenn Mann – Author: People I Want to Punch in the Throat

Joel Goldberg:
Episode 217, Jen Mann. She’s a bestselling author, New York Times bestselling author, who has a series of books titled People I Want to Punch in the Throat. Fortunately, she did not punch me in the throat. I don’t know if she wanted to or not, but she did talk, in terms of small ball, about the daily grind.

Jen Mann:
I think small ball, to me, is just, every day, I’m just working. I always say that I’m a grower, not a shower. I’m not the person who hits the New York Times that first week my book comes out, but I can do it two years later. I am the person who, over the course of my career, I have sold over 200,000 copies of my books. I’m a steady … What is it? Slow and steady wins the race or whatever. That is me. I’m always working. I’m always grinding at it. I’m always doing something and making progress. I’m just not making big, home run progress every time.

Wesley Hamilton – Disabled, But Not Really

Joel Goldberg:
I’m sometimes asked if I have a favorite episode, and, really, my simple answer is no, because I love telling all of these stories. I’m a storyteller, and I hope that people are able to take different things from each episode. But if you’re going to start with one in 2019 or even all-time, it might be episode 218, Wesley Hamilton, Disabled, But Not Really. Wes is the founder of a nonprofit organization called Disabled, But Not Really. He’s a single father, adaptive athlete, motivational speaker, and one hour and 13 minutes was not enough to tell his story. We sat down at WeWork, and the episode first aired April 5th.

Wesley grew up in a tough part of town in Kansas City, a place where young men just don’t expect to live a long life. So when he found himself shot twice in the abdomen after his 24th birthday, he was sure that he was going to die, and that’s just the way it was supposed to be. Numerous surgeries and bedrest and depression and issues with his weight followed, but he managed to get down from 270 pounds at his highest to 135, became an athlete and one of the most dynamic, big, fun-loving personalities that you can meet. The laugh is as big as the smile.

This guy has become a superstar, and I didn’t realize, when we sat down for the interview, exactly what he was talking about, other than the fact that he said he would be on a Netflix show in the future, where he confronted the man who shot him to be able to forgive him. But he couldn’t give me any more details and it’s not that I didn’t believe him. I just didn’t really know what it was. Then, come to find out, he’s on the very popular Netflix show Queer Eye.

Joel Goldberg:
So, first off, even if you don’t watch that show, never watch that show, or if you have, go back and watch it again. It is an emotional episode. As for the episode of Rounding the Bases, here’s Wesley talking about doing big things in a small ball type of way.

Wesley Hamilton:
Small ball, to me, is the things that we’re doing in the community. I mean, I literally went to Dallas, Texas and joined someone that they were giving out water on a hot day. It was something about that day, and a homeless guy spoke to me. He spoke to me in a way that it was just like today. I feel like he spoke on just my life, moving forward, how blessed I was going to be, how my chair wasn’t going to bother me. He spoke to me, and I felt like everybody else needed to be spoken to that way.

Wesley Hamilton:
I came back, and I just grabbed some people in the community and said, “Let’s give back. We’re always talking about our success. We’re proud of the things we’re doing. But what about the things that we don’t need to be recognized for? What about just going out, and let’s not just do it one day. Let’s try to do it throughout the summer.”

Wesley Hamilton:
Then we did it in the summer, and then it was like, “Let’s make them feel special on Thanksgiving. Let’s make them feel special on Christmas.” It became a monthly thing, and those small balls, those hits, those are the biggest impacts of my life right now. Despite everything, just giving back without expecting anything in return has gave me more blessings than I could ever imagine. Not knowing that just being kind and giving out some love would give so much in return, because you wasn’t expecting it.

Wesley Hamilton:
I didn’t expect just because … I did it out of the kindness of my heart to help someone else on a hot day. It was just hot, cold water, and we made sure it was cold. I mean, I would buy ice and fill up coolers the night before so it would be ice cold, and then healthy snacks. I could easily go to McDonald’s and give you a burger. But am I going to eat it? No, I’m against McDonald’s. I’ve been against McDonald’s for about six, seven years now.

Wesley Hamilton:
But I wouldn’t do that. So I want to give you something that I would eat, and the reason why is because, if you feel good on the inside, maybe you won’t be homeless tomorrow. Has anybody ever thought if you gave these people something good, well, they would have the energy to go out and find a job, find a housing complex or something to get them on their feet. But when you’re constantly giving them bad things and sugary drinks and food that you won’t even eat, what do you think you do when you eat the food? You go home and you slouching. You just not really worried about your day.

Wesley Hamilton:
So I think those small things and a community has became one of the biggest impacts on my life.

Joel Goldberg:
That’s what I was talking about, in terms of being such a special guy and episode. So I highly encourage you, if you’ve got some time, to go back and check that one out.

Nibal Henderson – New Directions Behavioral Health

Joel Goldberg:
Episode 219 was Nibal Henderson, and she’s the Director of Learning and Development for New Directions Behavioral Health. She’s become one of my favorite people in town. I love to catch up with her. She’s brilliantly smart and such a cool person to talk to, not to mention a huge sports fan. She grew up in Kuwait and then moved to the States as a teenager, and she’s a huge, huge sports fan. Now, I’ll forgive her, maybe, for being a fan of the Dallas Cowboys, but here’s Nibal on small ball.

Nibal Henderson:
I think small ball is putting humans first, assuming benign intent, leading with kindness. I tell my kids all the time, “Was this helpful, was this kind, and was this necessary?” I think, a lot of times, we may be helpful. Many times, we are kind. It’s that necessary piece that really trips us up. Did I have to say that in that moment? Timing. Oof, timing. So was it necessary? Does Joel need to hear this feedback right now, or can it be incorporated in other ways? How does this help him move forward?

Nibal Henderson:
So, having that, that intentionality about how you manage your people every day, speaking into them in a kind and helpful and necessary way on a regular basis is what builds them up and moves them forward.

Chukky Okobi – Basic Instructions

Joel Goldberg:
Episode 220 featured Chukky Okobi. He’s a former Superbowl champion, a center in the NFL for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Played his college football with Drew Brees as his quarterback at Purdue. He now is a mindset coach with a company named Basic Instructions.

Chukky Okobi:
Basic Instructions is actually short for an acronym that I’ve used for a long time, and the acronym is Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. Now, if you take the first letter of each word, Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth, it spells “Bible.”

Chukky Okobi:
Just to be totally transparent, I’m not a religious preacher. I don’t necessarily speak religion. I might use religious examples. But the purpose and mission of what I do with Basic Instructions is parallel to the Bible in that I help people to realize the impact of what you believe and the faith you have and how that affects your experience on this planet.

Chukky Okobi:
So, to me, the biggest thing, and even looking at what happened with the Royals, with the changes in management and whatnot over the years that actually eventually led to two World Series births and a World Series Championship, is that the city, the players, the coaches, everyone involved in that particular company had a belief. Without that belief, without a congruent belief, without forgetting about what’s happened in the past, without thinking about what other people on the outside might be thinking, that belief in yourself, in your ability to create success, in your ability to be champions and to achieve the goals that other people can’t necessarily see in their own reality that you’re capable of, that’s what culture is all about, is what do we believe about ourselves?

Sylvia Hall – Lifted

Joel Goldberg:
Next up, episode 221, Sylvia Hall. When I go out and speak to companies and associations about culture, that’s my main speech, one of the elements is positive energy. Are you the type of person that brightens the room, people gravitate towards you, or do they run the other direction and you’re turning out the light? I work with guys like Greg Sadler and certainly Salvador Perez. They’re high-energy people.

Joel Goldberg:
That’s the best way to describe Sylvia Hall. She had a jewelry business, then wardrobe consulting. She went through a life coach training program. Then she shifted gears. She now has a company called Lifted, known for its probiotics, and she truly lifts everyone up.

Sylvia Hall:
Small ball is about understanding that my energy and getting into a high vibration state before I contact a customer, before I make a social media post, it’s all about the inside game first. So I make sure that I am in that heightened state before I connect with customers, before I communicate, and that has made all the difference. It’s all about feeling good, and I tell my people in our … We have a Facebook group, and we have a podcast. I say, “Make feeling good a priority.” So, in order to truly teach that, I have to embody it.

Victor Rojas – Big Fly

Joel Goldberg:
Episode 222 is a good friend of mine, Victor Rojas. He’s the television play-by-play announcer for the Los Angeles Angels, and when the Angels were in town, a homecoming for Victor, by the way. He went to Blue Valley High School in Kansas City, so I had a chance to get him on the podcast. Our Royals fan, and you know the name Rojas, Cookie Rojas? He’s a legendary Royals Hall of Fame second baseman, many, many, many years ago. Cookie is Victor’s dad. Victor, as I mentioned, is a friend.

Joel Goldberg:
Victor and his wife started an apparel company called Big Fly, which is named after the term that he uses to call home runs as the Angels announcer. There are guys like Albert Pujols, Mike Trout, and many others that he gets to use that expression, that home run call on. So the company launched in 2019. They’re trying to tell stories of baseball through graphics and apparel.

Victor Rojas:
For me, having been in a position where I’ve been a general manager at the Minor League level and I’ve led teams in the corporate world, to me, it’s honestly, especially in our world, where it’s Kim and my two kids and some outside help, it’s really … I’m all about treating everyone as an equal.

Victor Rojas:
I think the minute that you talk down to somebody, I think you lose them. For me, it’s so important to have everybody invested in what our endgame is going to be, or at least what the process to the endgame is going to be. So I think it’s hugely important, whether it’s my 16-year-old daughter or my 13-year-old son or my wife, I want their opinion. I want them to feel like they’ve got a connection to not only the brand, but to the overall success of the business.

Victor Rojas:
I think it’s so important. I’m a huge believer of when you hire people, you hire those that make up for your deficiencies. We’re not quite there yet. I think we will be very soon, where, because of my time, especially during the baseball season, I’m probably going to have to parcel out some of that stuff, and it’s hard for me. It’s hard for an entrepreneur to let go of certain things, because your tentacles are everywhere. You want to have the final say, and you will have the final say, but it’s trusting the person that you bring or those that are already around you that they have your best interest in mind as well.

Eze Redwood – Wings Cafe & Rise Fast 

Joel Goldberg:
Eze Redwood was my guest on episode 223. He’s an entrepreneur. He owns Wings Cafe, which just happens to be my favorite wings restaurant in Kansas City. He’s been a Google fellow, an American fellow, and is always an interesting guy to talk to. He’s the founder of Rise Fast, an organization that helps professionals in their twenties and thirties create an impact and value in the workplace.

Eze Redwood:
For me, it’s something that the leaders set, and so it’s very … Culture is top-down. It’s enforced at the bottom, from the bottom up, but it’s set top-down. Whoever’s at the top has to determine and has to be very thoughtful and intentional, what kind of environment do I want my people to be in, and how do I want them to feel on a daily basis, when they think about why they’re going to work and what they’re working for?

Eze Redwood:
I think that you have to have a greater purpose for them to buy into. I’ve seen people who are washing dishes for hours, and they’re okay with that, not because they like washing dishes. They hate washing dishes, but because they are working towards getting the certificate that they want to be a truck driver, making almost a hundred thousand a year, and they know that this is funding that first step, which makes it a lot easier for them to do those dishes every day. You see that in every industry, every sector. It’s not as much about the what as it is the why, and if the why’s not there, then the what matters a lot.

AY Young – Battery Tour, Music Artist

Joel Goldberg:
Episode 224, AY Young of the Battery Tour. He’s the guy that created the Rounding the Bases with Joel Goldberg theme song that has been stuck in my kid’s head and even my head on a fairly regular basis. It’s so catchy. So I’m so appreciative of AY, but his why is so much deeper than just his music. He’s an entrepreneur and entertainer and activist. He was once a contestant on the TV show The X Factor. He’s a street performer, and he’ll get out there and perform for hours upon hours upon hours at a time.

Joel Goldberg:
He also developed a technology to power his street performances through solar energy, allowing a more affordable, less noisy alternative to a generator, and he’s trying to take that technology and share it around the world and help out places in third world countries. So, for AY, upbeat, high-energy, just grinding every day with his cause.

AY Young:
Yeah. I could’ve did the full tour with Aaron Carter, right? Or Shaggy, who asked me to tour Africa with them, or Y’Cliff, who just said I was one of the best performers in the music industry, and I literally told them, “I’m not in the industry though, Y’Cliff. I’m heading back to the street corner.” Right?

AY Young:
But it literally kept me focused on that, because people go, “Oh my gosh, why is AY so happy?”, like I’m not human or something. “This guy could dance forever.” Not really, though. I mean, yes, but no, right? I see exactly where this could go, so it keeps me in the micro, to execute the micro as best as possible.

Jeff, Julie and Hal Hanson – Jeff Hanson Art

Joel Goldberg:
One of the absolutely coolest stories ever was the final episode of season two, episode 225. It was Jeff Hanson, Jeff Hanson and his family, his mom and dad, Julie and Hal. Here’s the quick version of Jeff’s story, and there’s really not a quick version. It’s truly remarkable.

Joel Goldberg:
Jeff was born with a genetic condition called neurofibromatosis, and he started painting at the age of 12 during chemotherapy and radiation for a brain tumor. He had a visual impairment, has a visual impairment and a learning disability, and he is now, and has been for quite a while, a world-renowned and award-winning artist.

Joel Goldberg:
He’s in his twenties. He’s made friends with people like Elton John. People like Elton have his paintings, and it’s now a family business and also one where he has raised millions of dollars for charity. If you just go online and check it out, jeffhansonart.com, you will see how beautiful his work is, and this has truly become a family business and one that first Jeff and then Julie will talk about, regarding small ball.

Jeff Hanson:
Our family strongly believes in the power of the handwritten note by thanking people for if they buy a set of note cards, do an online order, or buy a painting.

Joel Goldberg:
It makes an impact, doesn’t it?

Julie Hanson:
The handwritten note is a lost art, and Jeff has been holding an ink pen in his hand from the moment that he could. I encouraged him to write and thank people for anything, whether it was lunch, whether it was a date to do something fun. Jeff has always been taught to do the handwritten note, and so I’d like to encourage people to do that. I’d like to encourage your listeners to think about writing one note a week, and try it. You will like it, because what you’re going to find is those that come back to you and thank you for that note and what that handwritten note meant to them.

Julie Hanson:
Remember, Jeff’s visually impaired, so for him to handwrite a note is a much bigger effort than it is for us that can see normally. So it makes quite an impact on others.

Joel Goldberg:
One of the additions to Rounding the Bases this year was a video component, just every now and then putting out a supplement in the form of a video on my YouTube channel. So we were able to do that. It was actually Julie Hansen’s idea, in terms of the name of the title, calling it Game of Life, where the visuals just had to be seen. I wanted people to be able to see the beautiful work of art from Jeff Hanson. So I hope you’ll check that out.

Matt DeCoursey – Fullscale and GigaBook

Joel Goldberg:
Season three began in July with Matt DeCoursey, the CEO of Full Scale and GigaBook. He, along with Matt Watson, who was another guest during season three, are the cofounders of Full Scale. Matt DeCoursey worked in the music industry before returning to school and then starting a business with no money selling concert tickets, and he’s, over the years, built software to go with that ticket business and online scheduling softwares for GigaBook. He is a true entrepreneur that understands small ball.

Matt DeCoursey:
So everyone in entrepreneurship, everyone focuses on the home runs. Look, people. They’re rare. There are no home run champions in entrepreneur … Well, there are, but they didn’t get there by just hitting home runs. It was a collection of walks and singles and sacrifice flies and bunts and errors, both by you and the competition.

Matt DeCoursey:
So, I mean, you have to just try to move anything you’re doing forward at all. That’s a win. That is legitimately a win, and some of them will be more significant than others. But if you’re doing things that move your business or whatever forward, you are winning, and that’s the key. So with small ball, it comes into a lot of different ways.

Matt DeCoursey:
I want to redefine myself, actually. You ask what’s a one-liner? I’m the guy that spins plates.

Joel Goldberg:
Explain.

Matt DeCoursey:
Well, you ever see the guys that have the plates on the poles? So they spin them, and then they spin more of them. Then one starts to wobble, so they run over. Then they spin it, and so on and so forth. Well, that’s my life. I mean, it really, truly is. So, as an entrepreneur or a business owner, you’re constantly trying to find the wobbling plate before it falls and hits the ground.

Dr. Michelle Robin – Your Wellness Connection

Joel Goldberg:
Episode 302 featured Dr. Michelle Robin from Your Wellness connection. She’s a chiropractor, but so much more. She happens to be one of the just most amazing people that I’ve met, just someone that is always helping others nonstop. Seems to always know the right thing to do, has the right advice for any ages. She’s an author, written multiple books. She’s just your classic giver. She hosts a podcast called Small Changes, Big Shifts and has become one of just my favorite people to connect with, because you always feel good when you’re done talking with Dr. Michelle Robin.

Michelle Robin:
Well, I would say something small that I’ve done in my practice that has probably been one of the biggest things is I make birthday calls. A lot of times, people send birthday cards. So I have horrible penmanship.

Joel Goldberg:
Me, too.

Michelle Robin:
My biological father died when I was young, and my only connection to him was a phone. I learned this in therapy, why the phone is so important. But I call the people that give me the opportunity to serve them on their birthday. As I called somebody yesterday … and it doesn’t have to be the exact day. I took Saturday off. I told you I needed to recharge, and so I called them yesterday. This guy, Jeff, said, “I look forward to your call every year.” I’ve called him every year for 23 years. “Even though it was a day late, I knew you would get to it.”

Michelle Robin:
So MMFI makes him feel important. It makes me feel important that he cares so much I call. Sometimes, I’m going to tell you, people don’t appreciate it. But I would say nine out of ten people say, “Thank you for taking time, because I know how full your life is.”

Ajamu Webster – Dubois Consultants

Joel Goldberg:
Episode 303 was Ajamu Webster, Dubois Consultants. He’s a guy that grew up in Los Angeles, took a liking to math and science, and wanted to be an engineer after learning about that profession from a neighbor. He ended up going to school down in Louisiana and then, about 40 years ago, moved to Kansas City, having no idea that he would be there all these years later. For Ajamu, maybe he’s been around the block a long time, but he might just be the guy to understand Millennials.

Ajamu Webster:
First of all, I would say understanding that the generation that we’re working with now has to have an opportunity. We have to build around that particular generation. I’ll give you one example. I can remember in 1978 when I was co-oping in Midland, Michigan, my supervisor had fought at the Battle of the Bulge in World War II, and so it was from that generation that I learned you’ve got to come to work a long time, you’ve got to do this, you’ve got to do that.

Ajamu Webster:
This generation needs flexibility, and we can work around that. So I would say the small thing, culturally, is shift. You don’t have to walk through that door at 8:30 to be a productive member of the team. We’ve got to work around that, and everybody doesn’t have the same … They’re not bringing the same issues from home. We’ve got to be able to work with that. Ultimately, you’ve got to be able to connect with people and to create an environment where they can be successful. That’s that piece.


Joel Goldberg:
That right there is advice that is as good as it gets. All of these stories about small ball, to me, were so interesting, and there’s so many more coming.

That’s about half of the 2019 podcasts on Rounding the Bases. I’m going to run the second half of the year next week on the final episode of this calendar year. I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday season. Thank you so much for listening to Rounding the Bases. As always, you can reach me at joelgoldbergmedia.com, and hope to catch you next time on Rounding the Bases. Here’s AY to take us out.


Rounding the Bases with Joel Goldberg Podcast was created to share the stories of men and women in business and entrepreneurship that are both well knowing and or hidden gems. Joel believes that everyone has a story and their story matters which is why Joel is eager to connect with individuals that are bringing value to their community through innovation, leadership, entrepreneurial journeys, and developing company culture. If you would like to be a guest on Joel’s podcast please email us at joel@joelgoldbergmedia.com.

Leave a comment

Name*

Website

Comment