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Ep. 331 – Justin Ricklefs, Guild Content Founder

Welcome in Rounding The Bases with Joel Goldberg. I am Joel Goldberg and my guest this episode is a guy by the name of Justin Ricklefs, the founder of Guild Content. Now, Justin worked multiple stints with the Kansas City Chiefs, but eventually decided to go out on his own. He and I have a lot in common. We were introduced by a mutual acquaintance by the name of Jared Kenealy, one of the really good networkers in this town. So Jared, thank you for that. But what Justin and I have in common is a love and passion for storytelling. Justin Ricklefs worked multiple stints for the Kansas City Chiefs before deciding to start Guild Content. His company creates content and focuses on content strategy through effective storytelling. Justin is also the co-host of The Guild Stories podcast.


Joel Goldberg:
I think both of us would agree that storytelling really is important in what all of us do. But I’ll read on the Guild Content website at guildcontent.com what it says in their story. It says it took guts and heart. We would have been fine in our big jobs with big benefits, but we knew it wasn’t the deepest, most authentic version of ourselves. So he put it on the line. We quit our jobs, we took the jump. We didn’t borrow money or take investors. We simply started to write our own history instead of the one others would have written for us. Our hearts are in every word we write, every graphic we create, every video we produce.

Joel Goldberg:
We care deeply about you, your clients, and each other. Welcome to Guild Content that connects. That’s the best description that I could give of what Justin and his team are doing. But of course he could do it even better with his words. So here’s my interview with Justin Ricklefs. Justin, thanks so much for coming on the podcast. We’ve reciprocated here. I don’t know whose is running first by the way. If my appearance on yours has already run or if you’re… because I don’t know what your plans are.

Justin Ricklefs:
Yeah, we’ll regardless man, yours will be far more impactful for my show than visors.

Joel Goldberg:
No, not necessarily. Hopefully we can make dual impacts on other people. And you’re being modest and I understand that I’m in the TV world and Royals. However, you’ve got a lot of background with a team known as the Chiefs, which has to lend some credibility to everything that you’re doing from a standpoint of just the recognition of Chiefs. I’ll get into that in a moment. Let’s just begin with this. Tell us exactly what Guild Content is because this is something somewhat newer and really a change in your life.

Justin Ricklefs:
Yeah, absolutely man. So I appreciate it. And first of all, thanks for having me on and super excited to share our story. So Guild Content is a marketing agency. So we’re based here in Liberty, Missouri. We have a little office on the square. It’s a virtual team, it’s a remote team. We kind of call Liberty home, but our two kind of key leaders both live elsewhere. And then we’re growing a team here in KC. So yeah. We kind of started as a content marketing group. Our tagline is we create content that connects. So essentially, and I know we share a love for Donald Miller and his framework around StoryBrand.

Justin Ricklefs:
Now essentially we’re helping companies tell their story. And that is coming through forms of social media, graphic design, videography, commercial production, sports activation. It kind of takes a lot of different forms. But at its most basic level is we’re taking a brand story and we’re trying to help them create content that connects to their customers.

Joel Goldberg:
Which is what it’s all about too. You know this better than me, but we talked about this on your podcast. What I have learned is that effective storytelling can have an impact on anyone. So I’m doing that in a way to try to help out companies and motivate employees and make people better at what they do or understand how they can be better. You’re doing it in a marketing way for some companies. What percentage would you say of what you’re doing is storytelling?

Justin Ricklefs:
Oh man. I think it’s the bedrock of what we’re doing. And we believe firmly and the science shows that we’re in absolutely obliterated every day with advertisements. Encounter 4,000 ads a day, which is scary, right? And so in this varied like digital, noisy, distracted environment we live in, it’s never been more apparent for… If you want to have an impact, if you want to sell your product, if you want to make a difference, you have to create content that connects to emotions. Because as wise and as educated and as smart as we all think we are we actually don’t make decisions very logically. We make decisions very emotionally. Even if we’re wearing the mask of, “Oh, we’re being very logical and not impacted by these marketing messages.” I’m using air quotes.

Justin Ricklefs:
But the reality is that really at the end of the day, we’re either trying to find something that will help us take some pain away or will help us live a life that matters. And so for us to help a company distill, they all have a story. It’s their story. It’s not our story, it’s their story. But to help them shift, and this is Donald’s language exactly. But to help them shift from the hero of the story to the guide. Every brand is a guide. We are guiding them along this journey of making their customer the hero. To make their life better. So again, that plays out a million different ways. But yeah, to answer your question more directly is storytelling is the foundation and the bedrock of what we do.

Joel Goldberg:
So you founded the company in 2017 and it was an interesting journey to get here. I’m always intrigued by people’s stories where they end up somewhere that they never really thought about. You asked me on your podcast if I had thought that I would be at this point and while I didn’t know that it would look like this, I had always dreamed of being on TV. I don’t know that you dreamed of doing this or maybe you did. What did you dream growing up?

Justin Ricklefs:
Yeah man, that’s a great question. So yeah, unlike your story, mine wasn’t in this exact context. I kind of grew up from a career perspective in the sports marketing landscape. So sales, revenue, find new accounts, grow the business. It was much more of a sales minded role than a marketing role. And same like started kind of low man on the totem pole at Mizzou and then got transferred to Memphis. All with Learfield sports and then kind of got a big break to take my first job at the Chiefs in 2008 as a sponsorship sales manager. And we can talk about some more of that if we want to, but my idea I thought was, “Hey man, like at some point I’ll be a president of a club or I’ll be this chief revenue officer at a big team or I’ll run some conference or be an athletic director.”

Justin Ricklefs:
I thought that was the path and frankly I kind of stumbled into is kind of this happy accident with Guild Content where I just started storytelling personally. We have five kids, I’ve got a wife, we’ve gone through highs and lows. We like anybody have good days and bad days and hard stuff and great stuff, right? And I just started kind of using my own social media back in 2013, 2014 storytelling about family and emotions and kids and struggle. In fact it’s the most simple, straight forward business approach ever. But it’s like that stuff, that content started to create a little bit of a community and a little bit of engagement.

Justin Ricklefs:
And I just sat here and said, man, like again, really simple and straight forward, but what if companies took this same approach? What if we humanized and took the BS kind of distilled the these sales and offers and all this flashy stuff and created this really harmonious way of telling a company story that was rich with emotion and connection. Would that work? Would people pay me to do that? like that was kind of the silly like 2:00 AM question that they kept rattling around in my brain.

Joel Goldberg:
Well it’s interesting to me too because I mean you still are in sales. I’m not talking about selling your product, you’re helping others sell their product and you’re doing it in a different way. You build that trust, you build that familiarity, it’s a lot easier to buy from that person. So you had multiple stints with the Kansas City Chiefs. What did you learn from that world? And you’re in a different end of that world than I ever was in the NFL or certainly now in major league baseball.

Joel Goldberg:
You’re much more on the business side of it. Although you can correct me if I’m wrong, you’re riding shotgun, you’re along for all that. No different than I am. You’re there. And so that’s certainly unique. I’m sure everybody’s said, “Well, what’s it like to work for the Chiefs and all that?” And it’s like, “Well, it’s work.” How’s it different now versus when you were there?

Justin Ricklefs:
Man, I could answer that in a million different ways, but I think what first comes to my mind is like this deep gratefulness in this kind of indebted relationship that I have to them. And by them I mean the organization, the leadership, my colleagues at the time. There no way Guild Content exists without the relationships that formed in that place. And so for that I’m incredibly grateful. What I would say though is I got to this point frankly, more life than work. More life than career. Or I said, “Man, this is awesome. This is a great job.”

Justin Ricklefs:
And I think in my resignation letter I even used that phrase. I remember writing to Tyler rep who’s now the executive VP there. And I said, “Hey man, I realize I’m quitting the best job in the city.” I’m walking away from. And I’m kind of like parachuting out into this unknown. But I said, “If I don’t do it now, I’m never going to do it.” If I don’t try to chase this thing that I think has legs, I don’t think I’ll ever try again. Because kids are getting older and we got to pay for weddings and colleges and cars and all this stuff, right? And so if I don’t do it now, I’m never going to. And maybe that’s a little dramatic and extreme, but it felt that way.

Justin Ricklefs:
And again, I said like I’m quitting the best job in the city that most people would die to go have a shot at. And here I am like walking away from it. But to me it was this, this time in life where I said, “Hey, this is good. I think there’s something else though that will provide some more meaning and some more purpose and some more for me, not for everybody, right? But for me, a chance to hang my own shingle and see if I can build a house.

Joel Goldberg:
See I can relate to it in the sense that when I started my speaking business three years ago, that really filled whatever void maybe I had. Now I was happy where I was at, but I didn’t understand how much else was out there. I was able to do it though without walking away from that job. I dipped my toes in the water. You jumped off the cliff and you’re still here to talk about it. But how tough of a decision was that for you? Forget about the fact that everybody said how could you leave the Chiefs? Doesn’t matter what everybody else says. It matters what you think, what your wife thinks. Those that are closest to you, but for you personally, how difficult was it or wasn’t it?

Justin Ricklefs:
Yeah. No, man that’s a great question. You have me kind of rambling around in my brain. It was the second time I did it, which was interesting. So the first time I left. I started the Chiefs in 2008 and had some cool success. Like brought the Hy-Vee relationship to life and just had a great time, great people around. And it was really tough. Kind of similar to your Royals journey. Those first five years were brutal. We were two and 14, four and 12, two and 14, my first three years. And yet we transformed the business. Not because of me, but because of folks much higher on the totem pole than me. But we executed these big partnerships in these big deals that radically changed the revenue line and got promoted.

Justin Ricklefs:
Ended up kind of running the whole sponsorship group at a young age. Like I’m under 30 getting this director title going, “Oh gosh, like this is pretty awesome.” Like making pretty good money and have some not Joel Goldberg notoriety but like some notoriety and some influence and this is a cool gig. And in that time I got… It’s a long story that we don’t have time for on this show, but essentially I got this kind of itch that I wanted to scratch with entrepreneurism, entrepreneurship. And had this opportunity with a family member. And in 2013 we left Kansas City with five kids and moved to South Florida.

Justin Ricklefs:
And I’m not sure if this is rated G podcast.

Joel Goldberg:
You go wherever you want with it. I could check a box.

Justin Ricklefs:
Okay. It was a shit show. It was a terrible decision by me. And I own the decision. I made the decision. I quit, I moved my family and we moved to South Florida. I had dollar bills and stars in my eyes and ambition and hustle and frankly greed. And that job was grateful for it now in hindsight at the time it was a total train wreck. Essentially worked there for 13 years with a family member and it went the opposite of great. So I jumped off the cliff once and it was a disaster.

Joel Goldberg:
Which also makes it worse cause it involved the family member.

Justin Ricklefs:
Totally, totally. Oh horrible man. Like really, really deep scars and wounds and different things that we’re still kind of trying to unpack and deal with. And so I leave the Chiefs in 13 with this like grand vision of becoming a multimillionaire and sell on this technology company and doing the thing. And essentially limped back to Casey. Head in hand, like kind of ashamed, kind of embarrassed and with no intention of going back into the sports world. None. And ended up finding myself back at the Chiefs about a year later.

Joel Goldberg:
So you went back. I guess what I want to know and it gets back to a little bit of what I was asking about how difficult it was. They took you back, which says a lot about your value to them and what they thought of you. Did that make it harder than to leave because they had gone out on a limb for you?

Justin Ricklefs:
Oh dude. Horribly. Yeah, absolutely. And that was probably the hardest part. So that’s the full circle answer to your question is the hardest part leaving the second time wasn’t the fact that I was leaving personally. It was this kind of… And maybe it’s revisionist history, but I think also in my resignation letter I made this comment of like, I realized there won’t be a third chance. Like you guys did go out on a limb and brought me back. And in many ways like provided a really nice safety net for me and my family.

Justin Ricklefs:
And while I was there the second time, a bunch of cool stuff happened. We brought the community America relationship to life and a bunch of other things happen that were great and hopefully they feel like my couple of years stint there was valuable too. But yeah, that’s exactly what was hard was the people. It always is the people for me. It’s that relationship, that trust that Clark and Mark and Tyler showed to bring me back. The cool part is Brook and I were just there a couple of weeks ago at the game and those relationships are still very, very neat. But I got to see those folks and gave them big hugs and we talked and they’re proud of what we’re doing and they’re happy for us, which is cool.

Joel Goldberg:
While the definition or the opposite of burning a bridge is when you can go back and get those hugs. You know everything is still okay. So they obviously respected what you did and I’m sure some of your candor in handling that obviously helped too. So what is it now about Guild that just fires you up that excites you? What gets you up every day?

Justin Ricklefs:
Man, it’s interesting. I was talking to our… And I’m a storyteller like you. So I answer that question with a story. There’s a guy named David J Wagner who is technically our financial planner, but he’s basically served as like my business coach as we’ve gotten this off the ground. And I was talking to him about a few months ago, 2019 was really tough for us man. Like we came out of the Gates in 17. So I resigned on st Patrick’s day. My last day was same st Patrick’s day of 2017. So not quite a full year in 17 but we came out of the Gates super strong. Got a bunch of new clients. Like all of a sudden I was like, “Oh gosh, like this is not a business idea 2 AM like this is a thing.” And people actually have a big need and we can help fill it.

Justin Ricklefs:
And by we, at the time I met me. Now we are we, but at the time it was me saying we, but it was actually me with a laptop. And so 17 was like blew my mind and then 18 we doubled. So it was like this screaming out of the Gates going, “Oh my gosh.” Like we’ve got to use a track analogy. Like we’re a hundred meters ahead like the 200 meter turn on a 400 race. Like we got up hugely on everybody. And then 19 was like insert a random hurdle on the last 50 meter stretch and I bite it face first. And so 2019 was really tough for us. And we like scratched and clawed to get back to flat revenue wise. There’s a bunch of other metrics that matter in a business, but revenue’s kind of the great equalizer.

Justin Ricklefs:
So anyway, the long story longer is that AJ at the time as we were chatting about that, I said, man, like again, we’re still relatively new in this venture and we’re kind of toddlers finding our way still. But he was struck by my change from, “Hey, let’s grow this huge business and let’s find all these clients and let’s tell all these huge stories and let’s grow this big revenue to while all that’s great and part of our goals and part of our hope and our roadmap. The change for me over this last six months has become more almost… And it sounds silly and I’m even kind of like feeling silly saying it, but almost this like fatherly role towards our team, towards our people. Towards like, “Hey, we’ve got a girl on our team who just had a baby a year and a half ago and that’s really cool.”

Justin Ricklefs:
And we’ve got a guy on our team with some really hard health concerns in his family. And we’ve got folks on our team that are working for far less than they would get on the open marketplace and they’re working without benefits and in many cases they’re on board with this vision that we have because they’ve experienced the power of… Man, when you’re aligned with a team that is going a direction and has kind of this common shared experience and connection that we’re helping companies grow or helping companies clarify their story. Or helping companies like break through this noisy environment that they live in. All through kind of this lens of, “Hey, we want to serve and we want to love and we want to like help.”

Justin Ricklefs:
Then you’ve got people that want to jump on that ship. That part for me that’s the long answer is that’s the cool part for me right now today. The client piece is awesome. I love it. I’m indebted to our clients. I love them. I love spending time with them. But this shift into this more kind of Papa bear role of like, “Hey, we’ve got this cool team and this really neat thing growing that man, I don’t screw it up.”

Joel Goldberg:
Well I’m hearing a lot. What I’m hearing is just maturity first of all and having been through it and understanding that priorities change and maybe values change, but you still want to make all that money and be successful. But I think that the focus becomes on something else. If you’re doing the work right that’ll all come.

Justin Ricklefs:
Yeah, I hope so man. It is. Like it is coming. It is here. Like it’s today, right? Like the reality is that we’ve got tremendous partners, tremendous team and this is my own kind of thing. My own dysfunction of the relentless focus for more in this future orientated place is great on one hand, but it also is totally distracting and totally disconnected from this kind of grateful spot of today. Like today we’ve got 20 plus clients who send us a check every month and love doing so. And we’ve got six to eight people on the team kind of depending on how you look at it, that show up to work every day. Whether they’re in they’re one bedroom loft or here at our coworking space. They love what we’re doing. Now again, it’s work. Some days suck, some days are hard. But that today reality is really, really cool man.

Joel Goldberg:
Let’s get to the baseball themed questions and the first one in terms of Guild, it doesn’t have to be, but I think it’s probably a good opportunity. What’s the biggest home run you’ve hit?

Justin Ricklefs:
Oh man. The biggest home run I’ve hit in my life was marrying Brooke Gardner.

Joel Goldberg:
I forgot to qualify this but you’re not allowed to go that route.

Justin Ricklefs:
Okay, got it. That’s probably all your guests.

Joel Goldberg:
I tried to steer people away from it for a while because hopefully that that is the answer. If it’s not, then that’s another issue but-

Justin Ricklefs:
That’s right. I would say the Guild Content biggest home run, I’ll have to answer one way quickly. The first one is like we have found some total unicorns to work for us. I’m going to write a blog post about that at some point of like, “Hey, if you want to start a business like hire unicorns and don’t settle for anything less.” And we’ve got some unicorns on our team. Colin Potter, Lauren Lawrence, Rachel Burnett, Carrie Babbitt, Will Tyler like we’ve got some total… Eric Rose. That they’re unicorns. They’re absolutely unicorns.

Joel Goldberg:
How so?

Justin Ricklefs:
They’re smart, they’re talented, they’re competent, which is a no brainer and you have to have that right to operate any level of halfway successful company. I would say that kind of the wildcard, the secret sauce so to speak, is these guys care more far more than they should. They’ve got this empathetic, benevolent, big hearted, purpose-driven like we’re going to show up and give a crap. Like we give a damn.

Joel Goldberg:
Hard fun.

Justin Ricklefs:
Yeah. And so that’s the part that’s like, you can have the most impressive LinkedIn resume. You can be number one in your MBA program. That’s cool. And maybe that’s exactly who we should hire. But like one of the guys we hired got laid off six months ago and it’s been hard as hell for him to find a job. And he came into our doors and most people would have turned them away. It’s like, “Oh dude, what’s wrong with him? Can’t touch him, he doesn’t have a job.” And he told his story and I almost started weeping. I was like, “This dude is going to show up and like run his head through the brick wall for our clients.” Not for me. It’s not about me. So that’s how so.

Justin Ricklefs:
I think that that piece, the unicorn piece is like, “Hey, can you find people who give a damn?” It’s hard to do anymore because a lot of people just don’t. They just don’t. They care about themselves, they don’t care about anybody else. And then the second answer in terms of home run is man, we took a big boy and big girl step this year with a new scope of work with a current client. And we love the work we do with our friends at Papa John’s. But we got partnered with a really cool agency that is doing the media buying and essentially together we’ve become the agency of record for them and for big markets in KC.

Justin Ricklefs:
And to this point we have been doing kind of their social media content and community engagement. So it’s a big win for us and it’s kind of at the heels of a really tough 2019 we knew this was coming and it’s put some big wind in the sales that have been exciting to get the year started with for sure.

Joel Goldberg:
Well said. How about a swing and a miss and what did you learn from it?

Justin Ricklefs:
I’ll get to the Guild swing and the miss. The big swing in the miss for me career wise was that that stint in Florida. And again we limped back and it was humiliating and hard and shameful. All those not so fun emotions. That coupled with just kind of going through some almost 40 year old midlife crisis stuff is that the lesson is like… And I hate pain by the way. Like I will avoid it at all costs if possible. But I’ve got a good friend who happens to also be a therapist that I spend money with, but he’s told me a thousand times, he’s like, “Man, the only way through the pain is through the pain.” And you have to go through the pain. And so Florida, I look at with kind of this like that sucked and I wish it wouldn’t have happened, but I’m glad we went through it because I learned a lot.

Justin Ricklefs:
And what’s interesting is our kids were young at the time. If you asked any of them what their best kind of place that we ever lived has been. We’ve moved around quite a bit. They would all say Florida, which is ironic or a paradox of course.

Joel Goldberg:
They weren’t the ones going to work everyday.

Justin Ricklefs:
That’s right. That’s right. And then quickly I would say the biggest swing and a miss with Guild specifically is I got a little, I don’t know if greedy is the right word but I tried to template what we do and roll it out to like instead of kind of being this really intimate high touch content creation shop. I tried to basically take our knowledge and try to make it a product and template it and roll this out to like, “Hey, instead of spinning a bunch of money per month for having everybody to work on it, we can like take the best parts of that and charge your weight less and sell it to a thousand more people.” It didn’t go great because it took the DNA out of what we do man. So that was a swing and a miss from 2019.

Joel Goldberg:
I don’t like the whole stay in your lane phrase because I think that you need to get out of your lane and explore, but then you need to make sure you get out of that lane if it doesn’t work. There’s only one way to find out.

Justin Ricklefs:
We failed fast. That was the good part. Is like is a fairly low, we failed fast and it was like, “Oh that was another one adjusted stupid ass ideas.”

Joel Goldberg:
Well then they’re not stupid till they don’t work, but small ball. What are the little things that add up to the big things?

Justin Ricklefs:
Man it goes back to, for me, this kind of what I was saying around the future orientated and big kind of growth. It’s easy for me to see the next 10 years really excited, really visionary, like all that stuff. Opening up the accounting spreadsheet and making sure we got the right in at the right time and where our stuff’s organized. Like that part sucks for me. That’s hard. So I would say that the small ball part is kind of this for me, this journey of this founder and CEO of this growing emerging company is… And I’m stealing this phrase from a friend named Corey Scheer who you can quote.

Justin Ricklefs:
But he’s a man. You don’t have to be a micromanager, but you’ve got to be micro aware. You have to know what’s going on in the details. So for us, I would say that the small ball is being very precise and growing into a company that I like this analogy of like we have to build trellises so that our vines can grow healthy and strong and not have the vine like laying on the ground or going 5 million different directions right. So I’m not by nature a trellis builder, but we’re getting more and more trellis like as we grow here.

Joel Goldberg:
Trellises and unicorns. It’s the name of a band perhaps. I don’t know.

Justin Ricklefs:
I would pay to watch them.

Joel Goldberg:
Yeah, why not? I don’t know what type of music it would be, but trellises and unicorns. For final questions as we round the bases. The first one, and I don’t know how often you get this one or your wife Brooke gets this one. I haven’t had a chance to meet Brooke yet, but five kids and running a business. How in the world do you guys do it?

Justin Ricklefs:
Yeah, I wish she was here. She had a conflict as I told you today, actually not a conflict. She has a sinus infection, so we call it a conflict. The answer is like, “Yes, we’re crazy. No, we’re not Catholic. We’ve answered all like, “Are those all yours?” Yes, they’re all ours. And again, back to kind of the Chiefs thing, AJ same guy he said, “Dude, imagine you have a stick of dynamite. You’ve got the Chief thing going, you’ve got this business idea bruin and you’ve got your wife and five kids. Which one do you want to blow up?” Because one of them was going to blow up. You can’t do it all man.

Justin Ricklefs:
And not in a bad way, but I decided to blow up the Chief thing and walk away from that. So we do it with a lot of like saying I’m sorry and screwing up and saying like, “Hey, dad loves you anyway. Even though he got short tempered or I got distracted or I work too much or whatever.” But again, back to that team concept is like, “Man, the Ricklefs team is like onboard.” Like we’re together and we know it’s hard and we know it’s been painful and scary at times, but like we’re together in it and that connection I think forges a lot of… It covers up a lot of mistakes. Love covers up a lot of mistakes.

Joel Goldberg:
She’s on the podcast with you too, right?

Justin Ricklefs:
Yeah, most days. She’s my lovely co-host and Brooke is the one who I could stay, not necessarily all in a bad way, I could go into a room of a thousand people and have a thousand fun surface conversations. She would be the one in the corner like making some poor girl cry because she asked her about like her deepest… Brooke can go deep really quickly and it’s really insightful in that. So she’s been just a blast on the podcast because she can take my like energy and enthusiasm and go, “Hey wait, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa. Like you said something about your childhood. Can we go back to that?” And then the CEO of a company is crying on our podcast, which is awesome.

Joel Goldberg:
All right. So everybody should check out the podcast to this search Fort Guild stories and you can find those conversations out there including my interview with Justin that Brooke wasn’t here for because the sinus infection, which is fair.

Justin Ricklefs:
That’s right.

Joel Goldberg:
Second question. As we round the basis, how many different variations and pronunciation of your last name have you heard in your life?

Justin Ricklefs:
Oh man. So a few that that rhyme with Ricklefs or one in particular cannot be repeated on this show that I was called as a child. So that’s one. We’ve gotten-

Joel Goldberg:
I don’t mean the mean kid stuff though, but that’s interesting.

Justin Ricklefs:
Yeah. No, but we get Rickles, Rickfells, Reichles. My football coach used to call me Rikeliss. So yeah, we’ve heard them all. But yeah, I love every time I just say, “Hey, just say it how it looks. It’s Ricklefs.

Joel Goldberg:
Ricklefs. How many Ricklefs are there out there?

Justin Ricklefs:
Not many.

Joel Goldberg:
Never heard of any.

Justin Ricklefs:
Yeah, there’s not many. My dad was one of five, so there’s a bunch of them kind of running around central Kansas. But yeah, there’s not many. We have a mutt of an origin I often say. So there’s some Irish and some German and there’s all sorts of stuff. But yeah, there’s not a lot of them.

Joel Goldberg:
Third question as we round the base is talked about living in Memphis. I spent one summer there, I think I might’ve told you this, maybe I didn’t. And it was as a summer intern for a TV station. Made no money, but I had a connection. So worked there for the summer channel three. And then to [crosstalk 00:31:21] to make money I was a busboy at the Peabody hotel. Banquets and things like that.

Justin Ricklefs:
With the ducks.

Joel Goldberg:
With the ducks. They didn’t let me hang out with the ducks very much. But I can remember walking out of my apartment downtown and smelling the barbecue just as I walked onto the street. I’m not going to ask you what has the better barbecue, Kansas city or Memphis. I think you’re probably obligated to say Kansas city, but they’re also different. We’re comparing apples and oranges here. So how about we go with this one. Got to pick one, favorite Kansas city barbecue place. Favorite Memphis barbecue place.

Justin Ricklefs:
So, yep. Love it. So I’ll start in Casey. So there’s a new spot just up the street here on the square in Liberty called Jousting Pigs. And there, I mean, literally less than a year old, maybe even less than six months old. There’s some tremendous barbecue in Casey. I think Jousting Pigs is going to be the one that in a year or so people are going to be like, “Dude, that’s the new slaps or the new Q39 or the new smoking guns or whatever.” But yeah, so Jousting Pigs barbecue in Liberty is really, really good. And then in terms of Memphis, I think they’ve expanded and like kind of done the multisite thing, which is a little bit annoying now.

Justin Ricklefs:
But at the time when we lived there, Memphis had a spot called Central barbecue and they’re still there. But again, I think they’re multi location. At the time the one in kind of mid town right by the athletic office building in the campus. That’s the spot that people need to check out.

Joel Goldberg:
All right, final question. As we round the bases 10 years from now, where do you see Guild Stories or Guild Content? Guild stories hopefully is part of that too?

Justin Ricklefs:
Yeah. Like man I hope that there’s never a day that we aren’t impacting commerce. And by that I mean like I love business. I love economics. I love the people who take risks and start companies. I love people growing businesses. I love CEOs of big corporations who are trying to like engage their employees and have a real influence on our community. So I see it honestly, like maybe this is a lame answer, I see us doing more of the same. And maybe with more people, maybe with bigger revenues, maybe with like actual health insurance and things that people actually care for like four one Ks and whatnot. But I see us doing more of that. I do hope we’ll have some broader impact. I hope we’re telling stories.

Justin Ricklefs:
I don’t know if this is the last, like real quick story is Anheuser Busch did this brilliant spot. It was a four minute YouTube video when Dwayne Wade retired and he had his Jersey.

Joel Goldberg:
So it was amazing.

Justin Ricklefs:
Oh yeah. Right. Like go right now, go Google that or YouTube that and watch that video. That’s what we want to be doing. We want to be telling stories like that that get into the guts, into the fabric, into the bellies of our souls and not just like, Hey-

Joel Goldberg:
You could feel that one in the heart.

Justin Ricklefs:
Dude, yeah. And you’d have to be crazy or like super angry person to not watch that and respect Anheuser Busch. And ultimately hopefully buy their beer. So yeah, we want to help people sell products, but like we think the way to do that is to do what Anheuser Busch did. So that’s what we want to be doing in 10 years

Joel Goldberg:
And anyone wanting to get ahold of you guys can do so how?

Justin Ricklefs:
So guildcontent.com is the website. Like Joel said, Guild stories, you can search that or we can find this anywhere on your podcast player. Personally you can find me on justinrecklefs.com and yeah. I don’t do much social media personally. I am on LinkedIn but yeah. And then just Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn you can look up Guild Content as well.

Joel Goldberg:
Guild Content and it’s R-I-C-K-L-E-F-S Justin Ricklefs. Thanks to Jared Kenealy

Justin Ricklefs:
I appreciate it Joel, and agree. Jared, you’re the man. We appreciate the connection man.

Joel Goldberg:
Fully agree with that. Justin, thanks. You can reach me at joelgoldbergmedia.com and hope to catch you next time on Rounding The Bases.


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.

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