Chuck Cooperstein, Dallas Mavericks Radio Play-by-Play voice chats with Greg Papa & John Lund after the Warriors win Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
To Schedule A Time To Talk To Dr. Dr. Kirk Elliott Go To ▶ https://flyovergold.com Or Call 720-605-3900 Check out our other economic updates here ▶ https://banned.video/playlist/61e636d86959067dbbf9f8f0 SPONSORS FOR TODAY'S VIDEO► ReAwaken America- text the word EVENTS to 40509(Message and data rates may apply. Terms/privacy: 40509-info.com)► Kirk Elliott PHD - http://FlyoverGold.com ► My Pillow - https://MyPillow.com/Flyover►Z-Stack - https://flyoverhealth.com Own Your Own Business As An Option To Avoid The Jab- http://FlyoverCarpet.com https://TipTopK9.com/Want to help spread the Wake Up • Speak Up • Show Up -https://shop.flyoverconservatives.com/-------------------------------------------Follow our Social Media so we can be best friends
In episode 124 we talk about the Max Payne remakes, playing Elden Ring and map updates, Space Suplex podcast wrestling topics, and much more. Enjoy and remember to subscribe via RSS or Apple Podcasts and follow the Hart & Usagi Podcast on Twitter! TOPICS: Max Payne 1 & 2 remakes are coming from Remedy Entertainment Certain […]
Patti Schechter is the highest-paid female in a company with over 130K agents. She's currently at 2.5M in income. Patti's built an organization from coast to coast and has mentored 13 people to become Million-Dollar Earners. • Follow the people who have the things you want. • Look for areas you want to improve in your life. • I have to put in the sweat effort – It doesn't just happen. • People have to respect you for what you've done. • Be true to yourself – Don't lie to yourself – Correct mistakes. • Stay humble – Stay on your knees because God can put you down there in a minute. TIME-STAMPED SHOW NOTES: [3:13] Follow the leader. [8:20] Catches back up. [11:24] Success is about you are as a person. WEIDELONWINNING.COM/WEBINAR
Holmberg's Morning Sickness - Tuesday May 17, 2022
We all have had the experience of being corrected by someone else. Often, it doesn't feel so great. It can make us wonder what's inherently wrong with us or why they can't just let us own our thoughts and feelings. It's also very likely that we've been the one correcting another before and might not have even noticed that we'd done it. Why do we correct others? And what are we to do with their correction when someone puts it on us? Turns out, there's quite an array of reasons why we might correct someone we care about. And, there's a simple step-by-step we can take when we're being corrected that will get us more of what we actually want. Though “simple” doesn't necessarily mean easy, if it feels awkward, you're on the right track! Jules, Vickey and Rebecca walk us through it in this week's episode. Share your questions with us at https://my.captivate.fm/whydoesmypartner.com/contact (whydoesmypartner.com/contact) If you want to dive in deeper, consider registering for our online Essential Skills Relationship Bootcamp. Open to individuals, couples and therapists. Learn more at https://whydoesmypartner.com/events (whydoesmypartner.com/events) This podcast is not a substitute for therapy with a licensed provider.
Intro: David Schwimmer, Zazie Beetz, Grace Gummer, and Joe Sikora teach us about sexual harassment, Let Me Run This By You: I think a ghost is peeing in my basement. Fulling mills, alcoholics, Johnny Depp, Britney Spears.FULL TRANSCRIPT (unedited):2 (10s):And I'm Gina Pulice.1 (11s):We went to theater school together. We survived it, but we didn't quite understand it.2 (15s):20 years later, we're digging deep talking to our guests about their experiences and trying to make sense of it all.1 (21s):We survived theater school and you will too. Are we famous yet?2 (39s):Hello? Hello. Hello survivors. This is Gina reporting to you on a beautiful spring day. I hope it is a beautiful spring day wherever you are, or if it's not, I hope it will be very soon. We are guests lists in this episode today, as I reported to a couple of weeks ago should happens. We had recorded a great episode with a lovely person and just their audio didn't record at all. You know, just one of those things like internet gremlins, bloody body boss. So we're going to re up with him at some point, but we do have coming down the pike, a few really great episodes, including Glen Davis, the director of Steppenwolf theater company and Trammel Tillman, the actor who plays Mr.2 (1m 28s):Mel chick and severance. And if you listen to this podcast, do you know how much I love severance? I'm really, really excited about that one also Sumia Taka Shima. So we've got some really fantastic interviews lined up. I hope you will be tuning in and the upcoming weeks. And just another note to say, thank you so much for your ongoing support and listenership. We really love doing this podcast. Love making it for you. So we love that you enjoy listening to it. And if you haven't already, you should check out our website, undeniable writers.com and our social media.2 (2m 14s):We're on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Do you think we should get off of Facebook? Well, do you think we should get on Facebook? Do you think we should get off Twitter? See, I really want to make the great break. I want to get away from social media, but I feel I'm trapped now. You know, because professionally and personally, it's a great way to connect with a lot of people that I otherwise wouldn't be able to connect with, but it's, it's just this equal parts, terrible and wonderful creation, and we're all completely addicted to it. So, you know, who knows what's who knows how this is gonna work out for us?2 (2m 55s):Honestly, it could go either way. We could figure out a way to manage this problem and get on top of it and figure out a way to have enjoyment, but not addiction to social media. Or we could all find ourselves waking up in the middle of a Handmaid's tale. I mean, we are kind of headed that way. It's really looking like people want us to live in Gilliad. And for whatever reason, I just don't feel like people who don't want to live in Gilliad are good at making it so that we don't live in Gilead, myself included. What am I doing? I'm donating money.2 (3m 36s):I mean, fat, lot of good. That really does so, wow. This is taking a bad turn. I don't mean for it to do that. I really want to express my love and appreciation for you all and my excitement about our upcoming episodes and my wish that you connect with us on social media, that's killing us all. And I hope you enjoy today's episode, which we are entitling. I'm going to have to accept that. I will always look like Dora the Explorer at some point, please enjoy Hey, sexual harassment training.2 (4m 41s):So in order for my son to get his work permit, you know, through, you have to go through this training and it said it would take an hour. And I was thinking like, is that really gonna take an hour? It's like one full hour because it's one of these, did you ever have to do it? Yeah. You can't go to the next slide until1 (5m 2s):No, no. They make sure your ass is there for an hour. Gina.2 (5m 6s):That's right. And you know, I do have to say it is something I really miss about California. People complain about the bureaucracy and the, you know, and in this training, you know, it's infantilizing in certain ways. But like, if you have to make things accessible to all people and it's like, if it's infantilizing to you or you already know it, consider yourself lucky. Well also about the people that don't already know, it like1 (5m 37s):Gina, the, the majority of our world, especially those who harass people are in like infants who need hand-holding. So we need to infantilize them because they're fucking infants and they need this shit from the ground. Like, dude, I love it. Like, I love the fact that they won't, that they won't like fast-forward until you wash them. Because you know, these motherfuckers, the people who really need to watch it would fast forward through the whole thing and think they don't need it.2 (6m 9s):Yeah. I mean, maybe we actually need to be infantilizing. I am often accused of, You know, expecting too much from people, you know, like I just, the number of times somebody says to me, yeah. But I just don't think most people will understand that or, you know, think about it that way. Anyway, I completed it. And it was so the one you saw did it have like David Schwimmer and Zazie Beetz and Gracie Gummer I guess that was so sweet. And Joseph Cora,1 (6m 48s):Cora Joseph. I actually watched it with miles when miles, my husband had to do it for his new job. And I was like, I know all the And they must pay so much. I mean, like I either they're doing it for free or,2 (7m 4s):Oh, I assume they were doing it for free. I assumed it was like, we're doing this well. Cause it was through rain, rain made the videos. So I would assume that1 (7m 13s):People2 (7m 14s):Aren't asking rain to pay them1 (7m 16s):Like a million dollar2 (7m 18s):Scale or whatever.1 (7m 21s):No, my fee is actually 1.3 million for this sexual harassment for2 (7m 27s):Video, the second video1 (7m 28s):And tire rape video. Yeah. You're going to pay me anyway.2 (7m 33s):Hey, how are you? I love your crushed blue velvet.1 (7m 37s):Thank you. I, yeah, my, my standard thing now is like, I literally have like 10 meetings a day, which is hilarious. So a lot of it is my students getting ready to launch. So a lot of it is really motivated and highly stressed, 22 year olds that are like, ha who? And I love it. And I love meeting with them and they also are, you know, just exactly where we were the same thing of like, and in fact, a lot of them, yeah. They're ahead of where we were, because at least they know there's a fucking problem,2 (8m 18s):Right? Yeah. There, they don't necessarily have their head all the way up inside of the crevice of their ass. Like I did. Exactly. Well. That's cool. Yeah.1 (8m 29s):So I'm doing that. And like, I don't know. There was something I thought if you, I feel like I haven't talked to you in so long.2 (8m 36s):I agree. Well, I think it's because you have so many meetings. You're busy all day long. Thank goodness you have your new fancy office. How's it working?1 (8m 44s):I do. It's working great. We haven't, I'm in the focus room now because we don't have our rug yet. And our rug will mask all the sound. And also, yeah, I didn't to be in a booth. So we have these tall booths that are, are for doing this kind of thing, but the seat I'm old and the chair is not that comfortable. So I'm in the focus from, there's also a pumping room Moms. I don't go in that room, but there's a refrigerator in there. Like you can put your breast milk.2 (9m 14s):A cool,1 (9m 14s):Hilarious.2 (9m 16s):I pumped in so many disgusting places pumped at Yankee stadium. Yes. Like in the women's bathroom, take me out to the ball game or something like that. I've pumped in many bathrooms. I've pumped in while driving I've driving. Yes. It's, it's hard to be a woman. Did I tell you about Jesse Klein's book?1 (9m 45s):No.2 (9m 46s):Wait, Jesse Klein is a writer and she, she wrote her second book. First one was called. You'll grow out of it. And the second one, this one is called, I'll see myself out. She was the sh writer for inside Amy Schumer. She's now the show runner for, I love that for you, which I want to watch.1 (10m 5s):Yeah. I did not read the books and you love the first one, right? Or2 (10m 9s):I love the first one and I love the second one. The second one. She just, I mean, the thing about, cause she, she just really states a very, very, very true truth, which is that what certain women who are mothers just don't see a lot of like their experience of motherhood reflected in, in, Out there. Right. When I was pregnant with my first child, I read a book called the girlfriend's guide to having a baby. I picked this, it talked about infantilizing and finalizing only named book title, you know, from the other options because the other ones seemed, if you can believe even cornea or even worse in my lasting impression.2 (11m 1s):I mean, there was not that it was all terrible. I read that and I read a Jenny McCarthy book.1 (11m 5s):I was going to say, did you read the Jenny? That was your option.2 (11m 9s):That was my options. And my lasting impression of the girlfriend's guide book was like, it was a lot about how you were going to lose the weight after the baby. And her thing was like, this was her advice at the beginning of the week, make an enormous vegetable stew. And every time you're hungry, grab yourself a cup of this tasteless flavorless calorie list.1 (11m 40s):Oh my2 (11m 41s):God. And my ass, I did try to do it. I tried for like, cause I came home and I was like, oh, I still am six months pregnant. It looks like. So I, at that time, in my life, it was very concerned about getting back to my pre-baby weight, which never happens for most of us. And, and I basically, while I was nursing, I basically starved myself on this vegetable route. And all of this is to say, Jesse Klein says the unsayable. She speaks the taboos of like, listen, sometimes you regret being a mom. There are days where you're like, it wasn't worth it the other days where you say it was, but you're not allowed to ever feel like what gets reflected back to us as like, you know, you're so lucky.2 (12m 29s):It's a sh it's a miracle you should just forever be grateful for.1 (12m 34s):Well, the other thing that I'm noticing is, and you know, it's apropos mother's day just happened. Right? So I'm also noticing that there are, there's another school of people that are saying that our childless women are childless people, but mostly childless women that I know that are like, well, they did it to themselves. So like, I don't feel bad for them. And I don't have that feeling. I don't have kids, but I, I definitely feel like it is a choice for most people to have a kid. And I mean, if our government has its way, it will be a choice. Right. It'll be just your forest, but most people have a choice. And so, but just because you make a choice, this is my other thing.1 (13m 15s):And it's the same with like, people that, you know, talk about like people choosing to do drugs and choosing just because someone makes a choice does not mean that they are, they, they should deserve to suffer in some horrible way. If they're not happy with the choice or they've made a choice that on some days they feel like it wasn't the right choice. So I feel like to say like, oh, F mothers breeders and all that stuff. That is also for me not okay, because what it is saying is that right? Like, because you made this choice at a given point in your life, you now are like deserve any bad thing that comes from that choice.1 (13m 54s):And I don't believe, I feel three the best they can every day, whether it's a kid or whatever to get through. And so I think that's the backlash of, you know, the opposite of, of the childless movement, which is like people who choose to have children are somehow also for, I don't know.2 (14m 14s):Yeah. Well, we're all assholes. This is the point1 (14m 18s):Your essay was asshole. Just like us. So2 (14m 21s):That's like us, they are us. We are the assholes, all, every single one of us. So yeah. I, I mean, I totally understand. I see all sides of that argument. I see. I can understand why women who don't have want to have children feel, I understand why they are. They feel angry because they are made to feel like there's something wrong with them by multiple people, including therapists. And as you experienced seemingly benign comments that people think just being, I mean, do you get, do you get a lot of flack about not having kids? No.1 (14m 56s):I think I would, if my parents were alive, so I'm kind of glad they're dead on that way. And then also, because, because it would, my mom, well, the thing is that my mom, when I was taking care of her, the funny story is that she was pressuring me to have kids with miles and we had just gotten married and she was dying and it was not the right time clearly. And then towards the end, after when she was really dying, dying, and I was taking care of her and I was like, I would like boss her around because she wouldn't do what I said. I was like, mom, you cannot do this. You can not do that. Like I was so worried about her that I became a giant pain in the ass and she was like, maybe it's better. You don't have kids2 (15m 51s):For the last two years since we got actually, before we got Wallace, the dog, we had Millie the rabbit.1 (15m 59s):I2 (16m 1s):Was a sad APOC with Millie of the rabbit. My son wanted a rabbit. I said, no, my husband bought it when I was out of town. And I knew, yeah, I know I went out of town.1 (16m 16s):Well, it didn't, you do get a dog in Oakland when, when Aaron was out of town and you,2 (16m 21s):He wasn't out of town. I was just like on a walk with my friend that I came home with a dog. Yes.1 (16m 25s):And he said, and he said, something happened. And he said, did you meet bill Cosby? Yeah.2 (16m 29s):And she thought, I said, you have to come home because there's somebody I want you to meet. And all he could imagine it was that it was bill cost. Right? Yeah. Got it. Yeah. He would have been worried. So yeah. So when my son had Millie the rabbit, you know, he was learning what it means to take care of another creature. And he wasn't always that excited to take care of her. And one of the things that he did was let her free roam around certain places, which was against the rules. And one of the places that she free roamed was in our basement, which meant that she peed and pooped.2 (17m 9s):And we're, you know, years later we're still finding a little thing. Anyway, this meant that when we got Wallace, the dog and he went into the basement, he immediately peed off1 (17m 20s):All the things.2 (17m 21s):Correct. And so we stopped letting him go into the basement. I bought a case of this urine foam deodorizer shit. Cause we had rugs down there. That's in work. We threw the rugs away. We got carpet tiles. The idea like if it happens in one place we can clean or, or get rid of this one tile when I have to replace a whole rug. And that dog has not to, my knowledge has not been in the basement for at least a year. And it still smells like pee. We have steam cleaned and, and foam till the cows come up. When I tell you this is something I have dealt with every single day, since we've basically, since we've lived here, I it's no exaggeration.2 (18m 9s):And So what it is is my obsession. My obsessionality focuses on one of these things. All my energy gets put into this. When we lived in New York, it was the rats and the mice. Now it's the P So I, I approached this, like I am going to dominate the S P smell. Then my life is going to be complete. And I finally did it. I S I said, there's no more cleaning these carpet tiles. We've got to take them all up, which was very difficult to do. And we took them all up. I was so proud because I had to really face it, you know, getting down on my hands and knees.2 (18m 51s):I had to really contend with that. Smelling P is like the worst thing for me. I was so proud of myself, my two sons and I, we did all of the work. It didn't smell like pee last night for the very first time the whole family hung out in the basement because we have fun stuff to do down there. We've got a ping pong table and gymnastics equipment and workout stuff. And my daughter, and has been worked down there and I'm like, I'm going to join them. It doesn't suck to be in the basement anymore. We're having a great time. I felt like I was the, one of those prescription commercials. The montage1 (19m 27s):With the medicines like called like rejuvenate X or like Family.2 (19m 33s):I'm throwing my head back and laughing. And we're just enjoying this, having a grand old time. And I decided I'm going to move the laundry along. Cause our laundry is down there. And I pick up this thing of clean wash and stuff. I start folding. I pick up one, I smell pee.1 (19m 55s):Oh my God. Oh my God.2 (19m 57s):And I looked down and the laundry basket that it was put in was a cloth basket all around the bottom. I see it like a four inch ring of yellow around the bottom of my laundry basket. The basket. Well, here are my options for what happened. A Wallace knows how to open the door and goes downstairs to pee. When nobody's looking, it seems unlikely B he somehow gets down there when somebody forgets to close the door. But even then it seems unlikely. Cause I wouldn't. I would know if that happened with any frequency.2 (20m 40s):See, There's a ghost peeing in my Apigee1 (20m 47s):Ghost.2 (20m 48s):Migos1 (20m 49s):Unlikely,2 (20m 51s):Unlikely.1 (20m 54s):I2 (20m 54s):S I F I felt like I was going crazy. I felt last night with this issue, I thought I'll never be free from this.1 (21m 4s):You're like Plagued with the P.2 (21m 7s):And you know, the street that we live on is called fulling mill and a fulling mill is refers to a place where in the process of creating Textiles, they did something with the sh the wool and the S and it had to be cleaned with urine1 (21m 29s):Shuts your mouth this way.2 (21m 32s):Yes. Ma'am yes. Ma'am this entire area. A little clock that I live1 (21m 37s):On2 (21m 39s):Was, is named for what it was. And this one, this town was founded in the 17 hundreds, which was the place down by the water where they cleaned, wash the wool with urine, for whatever reason. Yeah. I mean, could it be that we are just dealing with 300 years Of1 (21m 60s):P well,2 (22m 1s):Hasn't seen, right.1 (22m 2s):I know I it's one of your kids pig and the baskets.2 (22m 6s):I mean, well, in this particular basket, it was around the outside of it.1 (22m 11s):No. So Sue Wallace picked up the leg. We put, what was her2 (22m 17s):Around it? Not just like in one spot,1 (22m 20s):It doesn't make any sense. So we have no answers still.2 (22m 24s):I have no answers. I threw away the laundry basket and it doesn't smell like pee down there any more. But I just, I just realized like, okay, well, this is where it's about my obsession and my intolerance, right? When we lived in New York, I was so traumatized by the rats and the mice. And I just became so deeply intolerant. And that's how it works with fears, as you know, oh,1 (22m 49s):The2 (22m 50s):More you back away from it, the worse it is. Right.1 (22m 53s):And also it's, you're like super, what was it? It was, it's not entirely, it's not intolerant. It's also unreasonable. We become totally on it is an intolerant, but it's like, we become unreasonable about our willingness not to let go of the thing. Like, I, I get it. I've been there when I am. I've been there. But like, what I'm really anointed is is that you're not telling me the answer to what happened. We don't know2 (23m 20s):Girl. I do not know. I don't know.1 (23m 24s):No.2 (23m 25s):No.1 (23m 26s):Okay. So it hasn't flooded. You've never had, so we just don't know how and no other, where there any other laundry baskets in the basement that have this problem?2 (23m 36s):No. Okay. Here's what all allow for allow for This possible, even though the dog never pees inside the house, to my knowledge, you know, I mean, he's two years old now. He really, to my knowledge, hasn't done it in at least a year. Maybe at some point, one of this basket was in my daughter's room. He sometimes sleeps in there, but, but even then I felt like I would have smelled it when I walked in the room,1 (24m 3s):I feel like he would have done it. Why around the basket, this doesn't make any sense.2 (24m 7s):It makes no sense. It makes no sense. I'm choosing to think about it. Like, yeah, there's, there's, there's the logistical practical thing of like, figuring out what happened and try not to let it happen again. But then there's the other, perhaps more important thing, which is, well, it's the, if you're going to pick this to be your thing, you know, you're always going to be vexed by it. That's what I'm, that's what I, it just didn't occur to me really until last night. Like, I'm, there's a part of this that I am doing to myself. Yes. It's P whatever, like we clean it and we move on. Right.1 (24m 42s):So, you know, it is, it is sort of, to me what the P represents in terms of, for me, it's a very, I have a dog that is a very, very bad dog. And she, what is it? What does it mean? If I have a very bad dog? What does it mean that if my dog is not civilized and behaved or doesn't give a shit about following rules, or it means that I have done something wrong and I cannot get clean. Like, it just it's, it cannot, I cannot get clean. Like that is the feeling is I can not, I can never do it. Right. I can never have a perfect dog.1 (25m 23s):And why, why other people seem to, I can't get my dog to be perfect. And it is, it becomes an obsession obsession. So like, my dog got put in timeout, you know, a daycare and like, I could not get over it. I was like, why? I was like, wait, what does this mean? Like I had a whole thing and she has not been back to daycare sentence because I'm like, I cannot risk her going. And then, then she got kennel cough, which is the real reason. And it's expensive as hell. But underneath there is this thing of like, I do not want to deal with my dog getting a bad report every time that she did something rotten and went to time out, time out, which is like five minutes alone with a person it's not even a thing, but like, it is a thing to me.1 (26m 6s):So I get it. And I also do think that it's, I have to I'm of two minds, right? Cause like I'm of the mystery, true crime mind, like I'm trying to figure out. And the, the, and the other mind is the psychological realism. Mine. That's like, no, this is about you and your need to want to be perfect, you know, and want to have a perfect basement where you can have the perfect pharmaceutical commercial.2 (26m 31s):Yes. And you know what also just drives me nuts about myself is that every time I have this moment, I have a satisfying moment like that. I can't really load into like, and so this is how it's always going to be now. I really1 (26m 49s):Believe2 (26m 50s):This is how it's supposed to be. And it's like, and I finally figured out how to do it as if any happy moment isn't just fleeting or, you know, lasts for however long it lasts. Yeah.1 (27m 0s):Right. And we're told that they, you know, like they do and that, you know, it's just like every, any time I cut my hair, I'm looking at my neck. It's always turns into Dora the Explorer hair. I cannot stop my hair for being Dora the Explorer. And it's just because it's thick. So she can, she razors it's down. She does all the things. But as soon as it starts to grow, it is Dora the Explorer hair. And I am just going to have to embrace the door or the hair or2 (27m 32s):Jumps, or1 (27m 33s):Just shaved my head.2 (27m 35s):And also, I mean, take heart because most people who are going through menopause start really losing their hair. So you're still growing loud and proud.1 (27m 45s):It's like a triangle head. I just said, yeah,2 (27m 48s):I know. I get the same thing. It's just1 (27m 50s):Thick. And like, what is happening? Oh yeah. Anyway,2 (27m 54s):How much would she charge if you just asked every couple of weeks to go back in just for a quick ride?1 (27m 57s):Sure. I could do that. I could do that. And then, but then, then I have to confront my fear of breaking the salon chair. Remember that whole fear. I have all these fears,2 (28m 6s):But you've sat in that chair and it didn't break. So1 (28m 9s):No, no, it's going to be fine.2 (28m 10s):I think you're good.1 (28m 11s):I'm going to be good. I'm going to be okay. So that's okay. So, but the other thing I have to say is like speaking of urine is I had a friend in high school who's and this is like pretty sad, but her dad was a drunk and every night he would drink and every night he would pee in the hamper because he would think it was the toilet. So he would walk to the, so this reminded me of that, of like, he was so wasted in the night, in the dark and he would get up in a drunken stupor every night. And then I was like, well, why don't you start? Like, I just, now I'm like, why didn't they move the hamper? Or first of all, why they get his ass out of, to rehab. But like, that's the Real underlying question, but like, why not move the hamper and like put a bowl or something.2 (28m 58s):That's an interesting that, that I don't know how that family responded to it. But like, but that way of thinking about it too, like, that's exactly what I would be thinking. Well, I just have to move the hamper.1 (29m 11s):That's also enable whole fucking bright.2 (29m 13s):Right, right. That is a sad story.1 (29m 17s):It happens a lot where people pee in corners and things. And I had died of a brain aneurysm later, but I had a friend who got so wasted. They literally shit in someone's houseplant. And didn't2 (29m 35s):Inside the house.1 (29m 36s):Yes. He tells, he tells a story about it and he, yeah, he shit in his, he was drunk and shit in, or maybe it was high. He was on drugs, something was wrong. And he found out later cause his friend I think told him,2 (29m 53s):Yeah. Right. It's like, Hey buddy, we gotta have a talk. I mean, I'm willing to put up with a lot, but it's shitting in my plants, shipment my ficus. That's where I got to draw the line.1 (30m 6s):All the2 (30m 6s):Things that it is likely. And by the way, I mean, I ever since writing the essay, like I can't pay any more attention to this Johnny Depp thing and whatever it does come my way. It's just sounds like it's like a bunch of fecal matter. And1 (30m 21s):Okay. So I had2 (30m 22s):None1 (30m 23s):After I read your essay, I was like, okay, let me just check it out. And I was at my friend Jesus house and she was like, you've got to listen. She had like it T vote or something. And she's like, I saved this for you to listen to, because I literally could not understand what he was saying. And I said what? She said, no, it is the most at the same time. And I, and I agree, monotonous mixed with mumble dialogue mix with circular logic, mixed with an effect mixed with pretend and mixed with benzodiazepines. I think he's on to keep him sober and like quote sober.1 (31m 4s):I literally thought, oh, this is a technique he's using to like lawless all into believing, whatever. He, it's so hard to track that the brain goes, just let it go. Like don't even2 (31m 20s):Right. Right. And he gets that privilege because, or he has traditionally because of his looks and his status. Yeah. Oh my God. I speak about looks and status. We predicted it. Brittany Spears is back on her bullshit posting nude selfies. I'm the girl is sick. The woman is sick. And I'm not saying she needs to have whatever, some draconian like guardianship, but she's, but now we know why, because she won't take her GED medicine because people like to feel manic. Right.1 (31m 51s):And also it's going2 (31m 52s):To end badly. It's going to end badly1 (31m 53s):And badly. And also the thing I, our friend on social media, Jimmy McDermott posted. Cause I posted like, you know, I want to write a pilot about this trial. And I said, but I'm going to like totally redo the costuming and the SATs. And then Jimmy mid-term had said, yeah, Johnny tap literally looks like he's the tour bus driver of the Al Capone tour in Chicago. Like he2 (32m 16s):Got, he1 (32m 17s):Does like2 (32m 18s):Three1 (32m 18s):Piece what's happening. So anyway, regardless of that, I just want to say like, don't the mumbling and the that's all for me. And this sort of smiling is so indicative of a manipulative, like person that has gotten away with so much shit. I don't care what you think of him in her. I mean, I, of course I care, but like my, my thing is always from the psychological point of view of what is coming across and what is the speaker trying to do either consciously or unconsciously. And my thing is he is trying to lull us into believing that everything's, he's saying, it's just, it's just so neither here nor there it's just so it's and I'm like, okay.1 (33m 3s):And she says, she says, dad, who, by the way, is recovering from a stroke, said, why won't this guy just shut the fuck up? What is he saying? And I said, exactly, exactly. Well, okay, well,2 (33m 18s):But, but silver lining there Jesus' dad was reading better. He's getting out amazing.1 (33m 23s):I just shut up and I was like, exactly,2 (33m 26s):Exactly, exactly. If you liked what you heard today, please give us a positive five star review and subscribe and tell your friends. I survived. Theater school is an undeniable ink production. Jen Bosworth, Ramirez and Gina plegia are the co-hosts. This episode was produced, edited and sound next by Gina for more information about this podcast or other goings on of undeniable, Inc. Please visit our email@example.com. You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Thank you.
In this episode, Erik Stegman, Executive Director of Native Americans in Philanthropy (NAP) joins me to discuss how the organization is building funder engagement in Indigenous communities through meaningful relationship building and education. Episode Highlights: • Erik's philanthropic journey, including its successes and challenges. • Some of the most common mistakes funders can make and how to avoid them. • Native Americans in Philanthropy's upcoming initiatives and events. Get the full show notes and more information here: https://www.doyourgood.com/blog/77-erik-stegman
Should Therapists Correct Clients? Curt and Katie chat about whether therapists should correct clients who use offensive language. We look at what we should consider when addressing what clients say (including treatment goals and the relationship), how therapists can take care of themselves to be able to treat clients who hold a different worldview, and how (and when) therapists can address problematic language appropriately. Transcripts for this episode will be available at mtsgpodcast.com! In this podcast episode we talk about whether therapists should call out their clients on words they find inappropriate We decided to address the language that clients use in session and what to do when we find the language offensive or harmful. Should therapists correct clients when they use language we find offensive or harmful? Blank slate or “join your clients” approaches Whether the language should be addressed when it doesn't align with a client's stated treatment goals Showing up as a human and addressing the therapeutic relationship Judgment or shaming that can happen with clients What should therapists consider when addressing what clients say? The relationship between the therapist and client Relevance to clinical goals The impact on trust in the therapeutic alliance The importance of using the client's language to affirm their experience The power differential between therapist and client How can therapists show up with clients who see the world differently than they do? Addressing objectification of therapist's identities Assessing when therapists are centering their own experience versus responding to what is in the room Using the relationship to process client's perspective “I feel like just living in the client's world without honoring my own experience at all doesn't feel quite right. But centering my experience feels wrong.” – Katie Vernoy What can therapists do to appropriately address problematic language with their clients? Process what is being said before correcting specific words Address within the relationship and within the treatment goals Using our own coping skills to be able to navigate what our clients bring to session “I'm very worried that therapists don't have enough of their own coping skills to deal with these things coming up in sessions. Where they feel that they have to shut these clients down for the protection of themselves. You know, their only coping mechanism seems to be – I need to escape working with clients that don't already agree with my worldview.” – Curt Widhalm Where social justice plays a role (and maybe shouldn't) Education and supporting the client's whole development Assessing the impact of these interventions (both positive and negative) Assessing the harm in not pointing out bias or harmful language Our Generous Sponsors for this episode of the Modern Therapist's Survival Guide: Turning Point Financial Life Planning Turning Point Financial Life Planning helps therapists stop worrying about money. Confidently navigate every aspect of your financial life - from practice financials and personal budgeting to investing, taxes and student loans. Turning Point is a financial planning & coaching firm that helps therapists stop worrying about money. Dave at Turning Point will help you navigate every aspect of your financial life - from practice financials and personal budgeting to investing, taxes and student loans. He'll help you move through that feeling of being stuck, frustrated and overwhelmed... And arrive at a place where you feel relief, validation, motivation and hope. And for listeners of MTSG, you'll receive $200 off the price of any service. Just enter promo code Modern Therapist. Be sure and visit turningpointHQ.com and download the free whitepaper “7 Money Mindset Shifts to Reduce Financial Anxiety” OOTify OOTify. "OOT" or "uth" (उठ) means "lift up" in the Hindi language. OOTify is a digital health solution that acts as an evidence-based hub to unify relevant mental health resources. Community, Connection, and Collaboration are critical to OOTIFY. As they lift the mental healthcare system, they ensure providers are part of the process. OOTIFY is a platform for providers, built by providers, and owned by providers. OOTIFY is the process of lifting up mental healthcare, while lifting each other up. We need to talk about our mental health. We need to make our mental health stronger so we can withstand the things that happen in our life. We're going to go through trials and tribulations. But if we can work on our mental health, proactively, our wellness, we can handle all that as a community and come together. People are more open to talk about these stories and say, “Hey, listen, I'm going through this too.” Do be you want to be a part of the solution by joining a new web three community focused on mental health and wellness? Join the OOTify community as an investor or mental health provider by visiting ootify.com/contact. You can also give us a follow on social media to stay tuned on exciting updates. Resources for Modern Therapists mentioned in this Podcast Episode: We've pulled together resources mentioned in this episode and put together some handy-dandy links. Please note that some of the links below may be affiliate links, so if you purchase after clicking below, we may get a little bit of cash in our pockets. We thank you in advance! Therapist–Client Language Matching: Initial Promise as a Measure of Therapist–Client Relationship Quality Feedback Informed Treatment Relevant Episodes of MTSG Podcast: Do Therapists Curse in Session? How to Fire Your Clients (Ethically) How to Fire Your Clients (Ethically) part 1.5 When is it Discrimination? Conspiracy Theories in Your Office Who we are: Curt Widhalm, LMFT Curt Widhalm is in private practice in the Los Angeles area. He is the cofounder of the Therapy Reimagined conference, an Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine University and CSUN, a former Subject Matter Expert for the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, former CFO of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, and a loving husband and father. He is 1/2 great person, 1/2 provocateur, and 1/2 geek, in that order. He dabbles in the dark art of making "dad jokes" and usually has a half-empty cup of coffee somewhere nearby. Learn more at: www.curtwidhalm.com Katie Vernoy, LMFT Katie Vernoy is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, coach, and consultant supporting leaders, visionaries, executives, and helping professionals to create sustainable careers. Katie, with Curt, has developed workshops and a conference, Therapy Reimagined, to support therapists navigating through the modern challenges of this profession. Katie is also a former President of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. In her spare time, Katie is secretly siphoning off Curt's youthful energy, so that she can take over the world. Learn more at: www.katievernoy.com A Quick Note: Our opinions are our own. We are only speaking for ourselves – except when we speak for each other, or over each other. We're working on it. Our guests are also only speaking for themselves and have their own opinions. We aren't trying to take their voice, and no one speaks for us either. Mostly because they don't want to, but hey. Stay in Touch with Curt, Katie, and the whole Therapy Reimagined #TherapyMovement: Patreon Buy Me A Coffee Podcast Homepage Therapy Reimagined Homepage Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Consultation services with Curt Widhalm or Katie Vernoy: The Fifty-Minute Hour Connect with the Modern Therapist Community: Our Facebook Group – The Modern Therapists Group Modern Therapist's Survival Guide Creative Credits: Voice Over by DW McCann https://www.facebook.com/McCannDW/ Music by Crystal Grooms Mangano https://groomsymusic.com/
In this episode, Christina and Linda talk about: admitting when you make a mistake at work expressions used to apologizehow apologizing can be different in different culturesThe extra mile (useful English vocabulary you'll hear in the podcast): to mess up = mishandle a situationto call someone out = challenge or confront the person, especially about something they are doing wrong"practice what you preach" = take the same advice you give to others.Do you want the transcript of the podcast, more vocabulary resources and live conversation practice?Join the Faster Fluency Conversation Club!You'll become more fluent and more confident in English faster, in a fun community of professionals from around the world!Brand new! Here's the link to the transcript! Use code 'FFCC50' to receive 50% off your 1st month in the club! Special!! Buy 5 months, Get 1 free!! Buy 10 months, Get 2 free & an Individual Evaluation session!! We meet 6 times a week: Mondays 18:00-19:00 CEST (France time)Tuesdays 13:00-14:00 CEST (France time)Wednesdays 20:00-21:00 CEST (France time)[NEW SESSION!!]Thursdays 0:00-1:00 CEST (France time)Thursdays 11:00-12:00 CEST (France time)Fridays 12:30-13:30 CEST (France time) You can also check what time it is for your time zone with the Time Zone ConverterDetails about joining: https://mybusinessenglishcourses.com/faster-fluency-conversation-club/join-now--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Support the show
Real estate has many moving parts and it takes a lot to make sure everything's going smoothly. In this episode, Justin Brennan of The Brennan Pohle Group joins us to discuss how he and his team are running a tight ship and successfully scaling their business. He goes in-depth on doing proper due diligence and managing worksites and contractors. [00:01 - 05:59] Don't Go Big Too Soon Justin's background and his team's measured approach to investing Setting up operations and logistics in advance Careful due diligence before doing deals [06:00 - 14:29] Properly Managing Contractors Spending time talking to contractors and visiting their worksites Understanding their software, billing, and supply chain The importance of having a foreman on site Don't hire cheap contractors Considerations before paying contractors in advance [14:30 - 15:22] Closing Segment Reach out to Justin! Links Below Final Words Tweetable Quotes “Don't go big too soon despite what you know. Some people say you're going to make mistakes, just don't make big ones.” - Justin Brennan “Nobody's going to watch your money like you're going to watch your money. You can't expect people to watch your money like you're going to watch it because they're not getting paid your money.” - Justin Brennan ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Connect with Justin! Head over to The Brennan Pohle Group website or follow him on LinkedIn. Connect with me: I love helping others place money outside of traditional investments that both diversify a strategy and provide solid predictable returns. Facebook LinkedIn Like, subscribe, and leave us a review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or whatever platform you listen on. Thank you for tuning in! Email me → firstname.lastname@example.org Want to read the full show notes of the episode? Check it out below: Justin Brennan 00:00 Nobody's gonna watch your money like you're gonna watch your money and you can't expect people to watch your money like you're gonna watch it. Because they're not getting paid your money. So for you to say, Oh, I expect them to like work harder do this well, okay, well then give them a piece of the equity and maybe they will. But yeah, no one's gonna work the way you're gonna work. No one's gonna protect your money or your investors' money the way that you are either. Intro 00:18 Welcome to the How to Scale Commercial Real Estate Show. Whether you are an active or passive investor, we'll teach you how to scale your real estate investing business into something big. Sam Wilson 00:30 Justin Brennan is the CEO and multifamily investor of the Brennan Pohle Group. They own over 500 units. He's also a real estate broker. Justin, welcome to the show. Justin Brennan 00:39 Thanks for having me on, man. I appreciate it. Sam Wilson 00:41 Hey, man, the pleasure is mine. There's three questions I ask every guest who comes on the show: in 90 seconds or less, can you tell me where did you start? Where are you now? How did you get there? Justin Brennan 00:50 Well, we started in 2010 was the first investment we bought in that was $100,000 condo in the midst of the financial crisis in Murrieta, California, of all places, which is actually the heart of the financial crisis, right in Riverside County. The irony in that, and then that kind of grew from a single condo investment rental property into two to four-unit deals, then we got into five to 10, then 20 to 50. And then now we're into the 90 plus 100 plus unit space, and then you're starting to hit those 200 unit deals. Sam Wilson 01:21 Got it. I love that it sounds like you guys have taken a very measured approach to your investing. What have been some of the things you feel like you've done really well? Justin Brennan 01:30 The logistics of setting up operations, especially from going in state to out of state investing, you know, we kind of mastered the different size of deals, not getting too big, too fast. You know, you hear from some syndicators and guys saying, I'll just go big, go big, and, you know, I get it, I get the thought, in theory, they're accurate. But the thing they're missing is that first of all, they never started big. So I don't know how they say that. Number two, there's more zeros in the big stuff and more big mistakes you're gonna make because you're gonna make mistakes. And so I'd rather make mistakes with smaller zeros where you can recoup that versus making a mistake that's 100 to 200 to a million-dollar mistake. And so managing those mistakes to where they were minimized and learning about along the process to where, you know, now we're at a point where you learn as you go is a part of that too. And now I feel like okay, we've gotten through some of those pains to where I'm not going to make the same mistakes twice. I mean, we're dealing with larger numbers, now you're dealing with $30, $40, $50 million deals or not 2 million, right? Or 500,000. So big difference. Sam Wilson 02:37 Big, big difference there. When you say you got the logistics of operations figured out. What does that mean to you? Justin Brennan 02:43 Yeah, so when you're going out of state because it was the big thing for us in 2017-18 said, okay, you know, we're in California, it's not the cheapest place to live, we want to grow. So we had to set up operations outside and my business partner Christopher Pohle had ended up purchasing a ranch outside of Austin. So that was kind of now second headquarters was outside of Austin's now we had Midwest and then west coast. And then going into each market, we were interested in primarily Midwest being Kansas City in Missouri, we got Oklahoma, Texas, Alabama, stuff like that, Tennessee, in setting up operations about six to nine months in advance, actually pulling in deals. And when I say operations, I mean property management companies, construction crews, logistics, legal accounting, all those things that you're going to deal with from kind of the back office side of things, lay of the land, good neighborhoods, bad neighborhoods, where's the development? Where's pat the progress? Where's the city planning on putting in money? Are there railways and other light rail systems, all these details that go into where's the market for the market, so we don't just go in and start finding deals and then kind of catch tail later. It's six to nine months in advance, get the lay of the land operations set up so that way when deals start flowing, we can execute quickly. Sam Wilson 03:57 That sounds very time intensive. What is the practical way that you guys have decided to do that without you, Justin moving to Nashville, Tennessee and going okay, let me go spend nine months here and figure out what the city is doing? Justin Brennan 04:12 I am flying in there consistently during that six to nine months. And spending three, four days of time meetings, driving neighborhoods, learning it. So yeah, it is time-intensive. But it's also avoided us from making really dumb mistakes and getting put into a neighborhood and we're like, we shouldn't have bought here. Right? Right. I mean, so perfect examples. You know, every time we're looking at a deal, I'll go sit at the property at different times in different days of the week. So I'll go in the morning. I'll go midday, and I'll go in the evening and wait for people to come home from work. I'll go on a weekday and weekend, typically a Sunday and I say Monday or Tuesday because I just want to see the flow of the area flow the neighborhood when you're getting past normal due diligence and things like that, right. So you need to understand what you're getting yourself into otherwise, you deal with horror stories like I heard recently from a first-time syndicator, who bought a property had money backing, it was his first bigger deal, didn't do proper due diligence, got into it thought they were getting a great deal because they had a great basis. And on paper, the cap rate looks great cash on cash, everything looks good on paper, then come to find out because of the lack of due diligence, there was a lot of deferred maintenance, a lot of issues with that property neighborhood not being the best setup. And they inherited a lot of delinquencies, bad tenants issues, and it just turned into a complete... And now they've lost well over a million dollars. Well, and the guys, he'll never do another syndication because he'll never get money again. He was backed by good money, good people. But because he operated so poorly, he's basically blackballed. No, right. I say, don't go big too soon, right. Despite what you know, some people say you're gonna make mistakes, just don't make big ones. Sam Wilson 06:00 When you're setting up your back office, talking about attorneys, title companies, all of those, you know, other than calling your contractors and maybe even going and seeing their work like, what else, what other due diligence is there really to do until you're ready to send them a deal? I mean, there's only so many conversations you can have with a contractor like, Hey, you guys, yeah, we've done these three projects. Okay, cool. Well, and I get one together, I'll call you. Justin Brennan 06:24 Yeah, exactly. You can certainly go and see some of their work. That's definitely something you want to take a look at. Understanding, you know, there are foremen who run the jobs. What kind of software do they use? How do they do billing? Who does their supply chain? Who's going to order the supplies? Is it going to be you as the owner? Is it going to be them? Yeah. How's their labor force? We're talking about labor shortages, especially these days. Right? So we're dealing with that, you know, in foreman on-site, you know, because a lot of times they're running multiple jobs. So okay, great. So the foreman is going to be here once a day in the mornings in the evenings, who's opening up who's locking units? Is it our job, is it your job, is it our maintenance staff? Logistically, how are we dealing with that? Yeah, what software are you guys using? Are we corresponding through that for just… because when you're doing renovations on value add? It's an assembly line. Right? Right. And so you have to really manage that correctly. So you don't have too many vacancies at a time. Too many not available at a time. It's like this seesaw assembly line battle between your kind of rental guys and your leasing staff. Right. And that blending those two together to where you Okay, five units a month come vacant? How long does it take you to turn those things? How long does it take you to market them? How long does it take people to get in there where you're collecting checks? And I kind of calculate check to check meaning person moves out, you're not getting any money once next person give you a check? Is it 30 days, 60 days, fortify like, what does that look like? Right? In timing that up and then layering over-layering. Because it's a dance, it's not easy to manage that process. And it's not a perfect science. So having a construction crew that gets that in can help you manage that isn't just all over the place is really, really, really important. Sam Wilson 08:02 Yeah, absolutely. What about that, I guess that the management side of it, is there a certain size of construction company? You guys always look for where you say, Man, you've got to have X number of employees, you got to do X number of dollars in volume a year? Is there anything like that, that goes into that equation on your kind of due diligence? Justin Brennan 08:20 Yeah, so you should definitely have at least one foreman on-site or an assistant foreman every day. And if you're going to run the jobs, and if they're leaving for a little bit, but they need to pretty much be there constantly in and out every day, touching the job site every day. And then you're typically going to have two workers per unit is kind of what I've seen the best flow from a labor force standpoint. So if you're going into renting a unit, depending on what you're doing to but let's… presuming you're doing a pretty good Reno, and you're adding washer dryers and some electrical work. So there's some rough stuff that has to get done. That usually happens first. See those guys going in and doing the rough electrical, rough plumbing, and then that gets done. So now coming in behind that as some drywall painting cabinet, guys, countertops, fixtures, plumbing, electrical fixture type stuff. Flooring is usually one of the last items going and stuff like that. And then appliances if you're bringing those in. So the two guys per unit. So if you're doing five units at a time, per month, right, that's 10 dudes on-site every day. Yeah. Plus your foreman, right? So Mister contractor, can you supply that? Yes, we can. Okay, what happens if you don't? Right? So just working through some of that logistical stuff? Because we've dealt with it, right. We're the contractor says x. And then there's five guys on site. And then you start falling behind, right? Because now you're not catching up to the rental schedule, right? And then you got to backtrack and all this other stuff. So it's not a perfect science. Sam Wilson 09:49 No, it's not even like you said, if they say yeah, we can get 10 guys on-site plus a foreman. I mean, if you're not there, when the cat's away, the mice will play, especially in the Justin Brennan 09:59 And that's where our staff comes on top of that. That's why it's so key. That's why we don't do any deals under 90 units anymore, right? Because 90 units is where the economies of scale come in, where you have on-site management, on-site leasing, on-site maintenance on-site, everybody. And so they're my eyes and ears on it. Plus, we have cameras, right? Plus, we have me, and I'm on-site every other week, and I'll just show up randomly. on purpose, right, and you just have to listen, nobody's gonna watch your money, like you're gonna watch your money and you can't expect people to watch your money like you're gonna watch it. Because they're not getting paid your money, right? So for you say, Oh, I expect them to like work harder. Do this well, okay, well, then give them a piece of the equity and maybe they will write that's maybe, oh, maybe but yeah, no one's gonna work the way you're gonna work. No one's gonna protect your money or your investors' money the way that you are either. Sam Wilson 10:49 Have you ever made a bad by? Justin Brennan 10:51 Not yet? Not knock on wood, man. No, not yet. We could have you know, we ended up last year having to pull out of a deal that in hindsight, was kind of it was weird as a blessing because we were finding things out. And then but we had money hard. And there was really wasn't there wasn't an out force legally at that point. But just so happened, there was a fire on one of the properties during escrow, which ended up giving us an out legally. And then hindsight 2020, you're like, gosh, that was actually a good decision. Because it may have ended up being a bad buy for us at the time, you know, kind of looking forward now, six months later, like we got, you know, a lot going on with this other property at the moment. So it would have been put us in a tough spot. So that was a little bit of luck. But I'd say there's no accidents, things happen for a reason. And there are no accidents. The craziest things happen in life. Sam Wilson 11:46 But what's a lesson or a mistake you've made that you feel like you could help someone else not make? Justin Brennan 11:52 Don't hire the cheapest contractor. I made that mistake once even though I did my due diligence on them, right? We checked them all out. I even tested them, like on a small portion of the job first to see if they could execute. And they did. And I was like, okay, so you got you got a little $3,000 portion of the job you executed. Okay, now we're gonna graduate you up to the next stage, and then come to find out, they're just full of hot air. And they took about $17,000. And, you know, so I mean, it wasn't a massive mistake that we couldn't recuperate from it, it was a $17,000 mistake. But imagine if that was another contractor on a much and that was only on a 30 unit deal. I say the mistakes are made. Imagine that was a 200-unit deal. And that was a $200,000 mistake, right? Do not ever, people know this intuitively, but just stick with this. Don't ever pay the contractors in advance. I mean, progress payments, you can do a deposit, typically, maybe 25%. But a lot of times, you'll get bids come in and they'll say 50% up front and then 50% Upon completion. Yeah, kiss my you know what, right? I will pay you a 20 to 25% deposit upfront, then we will do progress payments, right, depending on the length of your job, and then you will get the final payment within 30 days of completion. Sam Wilson 13:12 Yeah, that 25% Upfront is largely contingent upon what they're bringing, if they're not bringing any materials, and it's all straight labor. Correct. If it's straight labor, I would be really hard-pressed to give them anything. Well, sure. Justin Brennan 13:24 Yeah. So the usually the deposits are typically based on materials they're bringing on site roofing or fencing or, you know, basic stuff, then you're typically paying a 25% deposit, because there's an on site move for materials. Sam Wilson 13:41 Right, yeah, I get it. I was a contractor for way too long. I completely understand it. Justin Brennan 13:46 And I'm a licensed GC. So but yeah, I would never, we just learned that battle. And you'd have to fight it a bit because they want some more payment up front. Because they're either, with all due respect, not all of them. So I don't want to aggregate but a lot of really bad money management. So they're floating a job here for job there and money moving here for that here. And they can't really manage their money correctly. So they're taking money from here to pay some guys over here. And you see how that flows. And you're not going to use our job as your cash flow or so. Sam Wilson 14:15 Right. Not only that, but also just the risk of them. Like you said, backing up and walk and you go oh, okay, well, thanks. Well, that was enjoyable writing you… Justin Brennan 14:23 I paid you 50% upfront, right? Yeah, you go deposit, but that's specific, usually for materials. Sam Wilson 14:29 Right. Yep, that makes a heck of a lot of sense. Justin, if our listeners want to get in touch with you, what's the best way to do that? Justin Brennan 14:35 Google me, man, Justin Brennan on Google. That's probably the easiest way to have some stuff pop up or you can go to our website, which is brennanpohle.com. That's B-R-E-N-N-A-N-P-O-H-L-E.com. And, yeah, read whatever you want. Sam Wilson 14:53 Great. Sounds good, man. Justin, thanks for your time today. Certainly appreciate it. Justin Brennan 14:55 You bet. Thank you. Sam Wilson 14:56 Hey, thanks for listening to the How to Scale Commercial Real Estate Podcast. If you can do me a favor and subscribe and leave us a review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, whatever platform it is you use to listen, if you can do that for us, that would be a fantastic help to the show. It helps us both attract new listeners as well as rank higher on those directories so appreciate you listening. Thanks so much and hope to catch you on the next episode.
California farmers are no strangers to drought, although the magnitude of this, a third straight dry year, has widespread and significant impacts in Sacramento Valley rice country and nearby communities. A lack of adequate rain above Shasta Dam has brought historic water cutbacks to growers on the west side of the Sacramento Valley, with a major reduction in rice plantings. This contrasts the east side of the valley, where rice acreage is expected to be normal to potentially above normal. Full rice acreage won't be known until later this spring. “We're down to 25 percent of normal rice acreage,” said grower Kurt Richter, who farms in Colusa County. “For a westside operation, that figure is actually very high this year. I'm the only person I know who is on the west side who is even planting rice at all.” The sharp reduction in rice planting will have a ripple effect along the west side of the valley, including not only rice mills, dryers, ag pilots, supply companies and truckers, but virtually all people and businesses. “We have never seen a year like this,” remarked Rick Richter of Richter Aviation. Rick has aerially seeded rice fields since the 1970s. “We're basically one-seventh of what we normally do.” Other area businesses echo Richter's comments and concerns. “You talk to some of the guys that went through drought in the 1980s and this seems to be even worse,” said Jason Bowen, Pest Control Advisor at Colusa County Farm Supply. “This affects everyone. Every person you talk to. It doesn't matter where you work at, you're completely affected.” Bowen is among those who hope state and federal aid is forthcoming, to help during a time of significant economic hardship. “Any aid would benefit everyone,” he said. “Whoever the aid does go to, it's going to trickle down all the way through the local economies in any way, shape or form.” While faced with cutbacks not seen in decades, there remains a persevering nature that is a hallmark characteristic of this region. “People here are tough. They are strong and have a way of working together to make this successful ,” said Jim Cook, Director of Research and Technology at Colusa County Farm Supply. “We know we're in for a tough go. The bottom line is we have no other place to go. This is like the Alamo for us. This is our place where we're going to make a stand and we are going to survive.” Jennifer Abel is General Manager of Luis Cairo's in Williams, a restaurant with a rich history in the valley. She said they, like so many restaurants, have had big challenges in recent years, from COVID-19 restrictions, the economic downturn and large fires in nearby areas. Drought impacts to nearby farms and ranches will likely impact their business, but she remained positive about their future. “We're really strong and united,” she said. “We have a solid foundation of families and people that have been here for a long time that have been farming and working in this community. They're going to come together, make a difference and make something happen.” Episode Transcript Jim Morris: This is normally a time of activity far and wide in the Sacramento Valley, rice planting season, including here in Glenn County. There's a disconcerting lack of tractors and airplanes working on the west side of the valley right now, as a third year of drought is impacting our region in an unprecedented way. With so much farmland idle, impacts will be strongly felt. This year will be a test like no other. Kurt Richter: There's going to be a lot of people that are not going to be able to find work this year. Rick Richter: Every person you talk to around the local community has been affected. Jim Cook: This is really like the Alamo for us. This is our place where we're going to make a stand and we are going to survive. Jim Morris: Welcome to Ingrained: The California Rice Podcast. I'm your host, Jim Morris, proud to have worked with California farmers and ranchers for more than 30 years to help tell their stories. Simply put, there is no year in memory compared to what's happening this year, especially for those who live and work along the Sacramento River. Pain will be real and widespread. We won't know the total acreage of rice planted in the state until later this spring. For now, it's clear that planting will be dramatically lower on the west side of the Sacramento Valley, and it appears to be normal to perhaps a bit greater on the east side. Kurt Richter, what's happening in your rice fields right now? Kurt Richter: We are currently wrapping up getting the 2022 crop into the ground. It has been kind of a short season for us because acres are scaled back so significantly. Our workforce is scaled back significantly too, but we're probably a week away from getting the final fields planted and in the ground. Jim Morris: One of the words that comes up a lot this year is unprecedented. Is that a good adjective to describe what you're seeing? What type of cutbacks are you having? Kurt Richter: Notable cutbacks, the worst that we've ever seen in our operation, and I'm sure that goes out industry-wide as well. We're down to 25 percent of normal, and for a west side operation like us, that's actually very high. I'm the only person I know on the west side who's even planting rice at all. But we're very fortunate, with some of the leases that we hold, where well water is available, very good river water rights are available. We're able to maximize that. However, 25 percent is still the lowest we've ever been by a large margin. Jim Morris: The impacts from that reduction extend well beyond your farm I imagine, so let's start with your farm. How does it impact you, your workforce, and then how does it impact the communities around you? Kurt Richter: Well, we're running a much leaner crew than we typically run. We just don't need the people that we normally need because we don't have the acres to necessitate it. So, a lot of the seasonal people that we typically hire this time of the year are not coming on board with us. We just don't have anything for them to do. We're getting by with our full-time guys for the most part. That's how we're scaled back. Kurt Richter: I've heard many similar stories from other growers, too. There's going to be a lot of people that are not going to be able to find work this year. And then when you extend that out to the rice dryers, the rice mills, I mean they're all going through budget cuts right now too, layoffs, paring down and trying to figure out how to survive a year where, in some areas, there is no rice at all. Jim Morris: That sound is Nick Richter seeding a rice field in Colusa County, an all too uncommon sight on the west side of the Sacramento valley this year. Rick Richter is Nick's dad, and he owns Richter Aviation in Maxwell. You've been seeding rice field since the late '70s. Rick, how different is this year compared to all of the past time you worked in rice? Rick Richter: We have never seen a year like this if you really want to know the truth. Back in the '70s, like '76, '77, I remember we were at 50 percent, and I don't recall any year quite like this. Jim Morris: For those not directly involved in farming, they may not understand that impacts from not being able to plant crops extend well beyond the farm level. How does this drought and the idled acreage impact businesses like yourself and other businesses on the west side of the Sacramento Valley in particular? Rick Richter: Well, this year as an example, Jim, last year we did 42,000 acres. This year we'll be lucky to do 6,000 acres. So, we're basically one-seventh of what we normally do. And last year was a 75 percent year, so we were even short at that following a few years of cutbacks. So, this is pretty hard to take. Jim Morris: You'd much rather be in an airplane right now? Rick Richter: Most definitely, and I've got four other pilots that aren't here would rather be flying. So, right now we just have Nick, my son, he's out flying and doing the work. And he'll be done. This is his only seeding job for the day. Jim Morris: You've been at this a long time. I imagine you don't do any of this without the thought that you have to persevere through tough years. Will you and will the region largely come through this okay? Rick Richter: Well it has to rain, Jim. We're here because of the drought, and we understand that, but we'll persevere. Jim Morris: Work is well underway to try to help third parties suffering from the drought, businesses like yourself, for the sake of this region. How helpful would that be? Rick Richter: Oh, Jim, that'd be a Godsend. If there's aid out there, we'll take it. We'd rather be working, granted. Jim Morris: How concerned are you for allied businesses? Everybody has a different structure and financial situation, but so many are being impacted so seriously this year. Rick Richter: Oh, the allied industries, I've talked to several of them so far. From the fuel suppliers, to the fertilizer companies, to the trucking companies. Every person you talk to around the local community has been affected. And it's just going to get worse. We're just hoping this is a one-year deal and we'll get some rain and come out of this. Jim Morris: I'm in the Williams area speaking with Jason Bowen, Pest Control Advisor for more than 20 years at Colusa County Farm Supply, a Chico State graduate just like myself. Jason, tell me about this unfolding year and drought impacts as you see them. Jason Bowen: Started out the winter with a lot of hope with the storms that we had in December. Progressing through the winter that kept on going down, and down, and down. And we're kind of where we're at right now. Being a PCA, and then also a rice farmer, everything we're seeing that nobody's ever seen. You talk to some of the guys that went through this in the '80s, and this seems to be even worse. On our side of it, it's nothing we've ever seen. Hopefully we'll never see it again. Jim Morris: I'm going to mention a quote I saw that you stated, and would like you to amplify that a little bit. Several years ago during an earlier time of drought you said, "California rice farmers are a special breed of people, great stewards of the land who create environmentally friendly habitat for migrating waterfowl and other species of birds. I am proud to be part of this industry, not only as a consultant, but as a farmer who instills a love of agriculture to my wife and two sons every chance I get." Awesome quote. I personally share those sentiments. So someone who does not know this Sacramento Valley area, how intertwined are rice growers with the environment and the local business community? Jason Bowen: Completely. Everything goes hand in hand from starting at the farmer going all the way down, all the businesses in one way or the other are affected. From the aerial applicators, to the ground applicators, to chemical and fertilizer distributors, mills, all the way down, trucking, grocery store. It's a trickle down to everyone. When the farmers are affected, the entire community's affected. I live in Maxwell, right in the heart of rice growing country, and I've never seen anything like it. I mean my house is surrounded by rice fields that are completely dried up, and not an acre around there is being planted besides a few fields here and there. So it affects everyone, every person you talk to. It doesn't matter where you work at, you're completely affected. Jim Morris: Not too far from Maxwell is Sites, and there is talk and hope to get a reservoir built. I know it's in the future, but how helpful would additional water storage be for the future of the valley down the road? Jason Bowen: Any additional water obviously would be completely helpful with the world that we live in. Everybody knows when the water projects were built they were managed in a way that it was for flood protection, for environment, for farming, for everything. That's obviously being pulled on a lot harder. Any shape or form where we can store more water when we do have those high water-flow years is a benefit for everybody in the Northern Sacramento Valley. Jim Morris: And looking at the here and now, it's obviously going to be a tremendously difficult year. If it does come through, how helpful would state and/or federal aid be for this region? Jason Bowen: Any aid would benefit everyone. Everyone in the communities, it's a trickle down. So whoever the aid does go to it's going to trickle down all the way through the local economies in any way, shape, or form. Jim Morris: Jim Cook is Director of Research and Technology at Colusa County Farm Supply. Jim, tell me about the drought impacts you're seeing and experiencing. Jim Cook: Well, one of the main things that we see is, being a support group for a support business like Colusa County Farm Supply, is our capacity to provide information and new products to our growers and fieldmen. The delay or the abbreviation of trying to get trials out, trying to get accurate information, and it has just changed the entire scheduling, our pace, the way our guys operate. Jim Cook: But also what it's done for us is, all of our information that we develop from a research standpoint is localized. So you can't take information let's say from the east side of the valley and bring it over here to the west side. So that's why it's important that we get our own information put together. So you have a drought, you have less fields to work with, it delays that information process which our guys need to move forward with new things. Jim Morris: Those new things will ultimately help the grower and then the consumer. This takes years to develop, so this year is significant in terms of the challenge to get this done. Correct? Jim Cook: That's absolutely right. You just interviewed with Jason, who is one of the top rice people I've ever worked with. But he has thrown at me more problems than I can shake a stick at. But it gives us an opportunity to test the new materials against the new resistance issues, cultural factors, things that we're operating against. And that is the direction of where his business and the business of our fieldmen are going, so we need to provide that information. Jim Morris: On the website for this company it says, "This region of California is also a treasured source of year-round natural beauty. We're proud to be a vital part of this area, its communities, and production agriculture. We know a lot of people in this region that are hurting." Comment on how resilient this region is. Jim Cook: All of us come from farming backgrounds and have been through tough times. One of the main comments my father made to me is, "Don't go into farming," because of these issues. People are tough. They're strong. They have a way of working together to make this successful, but they know they're in for a tough go. We all know with that. Bottom line is, we have no other place to go. We don't have the golden parachute. We don't have anything that's going to bail us out. This is it. So it is up to us to make this happen. Jim Morris: The dominoes from this year's drought will fall well beyond the obvious farms, mills, ag pilots, equipment, and inputs for crops. Communities with agriculture as our foundation are hurting and they're bracing for a summer like no other. Jennifer Abel is General Manager at Louis Cairo's, a place she's worked at for nearly 30 years. Louis Cairo's is a dining institution in Williams, a short drive off of Interstate 5, about an hour north of Sacramento. Jennifer, please tell me about your perspective and the impacts you're either seeing or fearing regarding the drought. Jennifer Abel: I feel that it's going to be detrimental to our community. Already, the people that come in at the end of the day, normally the farmers talking about their rice, and their water, and what it looks like, and what the ground looks like as they're sewing it up, and everything like that. You don't see a lot of that going on. You see them coming in and having these meetings, and they're nervous, and they're tense, and things are getting scary. And the west side is, from my understanding, which is where we're at, has the hardest hit compared to the east side. It's going to be a huge impact on not only our community, but the entire north state, the entire state, and nation. Jim Morris: The Cairo family immigrated from Italy in the early 1900s. They had little money, so the entire family worked in prune orchards. Louis loved Colusa County and opened up a hamburger stand in the 1930s. Louis Cairo's has been in operation for more than 75 years. If you haven't done it, you need to visit, and you have to try their Louie Bread. You won't forget it. Jennifer, how connected is this place, this community, with the farmers whose fields surround all the towns in the Sacramento Valley? Jennifer Abel: I'd say we're incredibly connected to the point that ... Well for instance, going through COVID and everything. And there was a time when we opened, closed, opened, closed, to-go only, outdoors only. Then we just had to close for a while because we weren't monetarily making it on just being open for to-go. Then we had the wildfires that were up this way and it was literally raining ash, so you couldn't eat outside. It was bad for your health. Jennifer Abel: All these farmers got together and singled me out and said, "What can we do to get Louis Cairo's open? We are desperate. We will do anything. We will make it work." That's the kind of people that's in this community. That's the kind of people that want to see us thrive. And those are the kind of people that we want to continue to be here for to make a difference in their lives. To have that place for them to come and talk about their rice, and talk about their trees, and talk about their families, and have a great time. Jim Morris: You made an interesting point, because it's been really tough for restaurants well before the drought, from any factor you can name, from the economy, you mentioned COVID, but what about the resilience not only from the Cairo family that as you've seen, but from these communities? How tough is this region? It's going to need to be tough to get through all of this. Jennifer Abel: It's going to need to be tough, but I think that we're really strong and united, and there's a really solid foundation of families and people that have been here for a long time that have been farming, that have been working in this community, families that have been here from the ground up that make our community. I think they're going to come together and they're going to make a difference, and they're going to make something happen. Jim Morris: As I look at my surroundings here in Maxwell at an unplanted rice field, this is a year where adjectives fail. Perseverance will be needed like never before for this unique, wonderful, and productive part of California. I want to thank our interviewees, Kurt Richter, Rick Richter, Jason Bowen, Jim Cook, and Jennifer Abel. I also want to say goodbye. I'm retiring from rice. Our family is following our son off to college elsewhere in the West to start a new chapter, and this is my final podcast. Jim Morris: It will continue under great direction of Katie Cahill, who is a phenomenal person, and she will do a great job telling the California rice story. So please keep listening, send in your questions and comments, leave a review, and subscribe. I am so grateful to have worked in this wonderful region telling a great story with tremendous people doing it. Thank you to all who've been so kind and supportive. It has been my honor.
In this episode, I have the opportunity to speak with Alex Hagerup who is solving the problem of using AI to take costs out of your business. Grant Hey, everybody, welcome to another episode of ClickAI Radio. So today I have someone that I have been admiring by looking at his background, here with me today to talk about some amazing aspects of his journey to solve business problems leveraging technology, specifically AI which is quite cool. Anyway, let me stop right there. And welcome Alex Hager group. Hello, Alex. Alex Hey, Grant. Thanks for having me. It's a pleasure. Grant Thank you. Thanks for being here today and for taking the time. I know you're getting ready to head off trans continental here pretty soon on a trip. So thanks for for jumping on this conversation here today. Alex Absolutely. It's exciting being able to travel again. So I going home to the Motherland for a few weeks is exciting. I haven't been there for more than a few days, for the last three years, actually. So I'm definitely excited. Grant Have have have the COVID situations and those numbers pretty good over there at this point. Alex Yeah, everything is fine. So Norway is completely open again. And it's all good. But But Norway was one of those countries that really looked down hard. And also since the US didn't allow non US residents to actually come back into the country. If you left. It was just a problematic situation to go to Europe in general. Wow. Grant Yeah. What a great opportunity to get home to family. Well, thanks for taking your time here with me today on this. So Vic AI. All right, who is Vic AI? What happened here? How to what are you? What are you solving? What what problem? Are you looking to address with Vic? Ai? Alex Yeah, absolutely. So I'll take a little bit of the background to set that up. So I, I've always been very interested in both accounting, finance and technology. So this is a company that lives in the intersection of those. My mom had her own accounting firm. So I grew up there, which probably influenced my interest for for accounting in general. And I built a couple of companies. But one that I spent three years with just prior to starting, Aki was a cloud ERP system, an accounting and accounting platform that was being used by about 30 40,000 companies back then it's about 80 90,000. Now, and during working there, you know, observe the sort of, let's say, the challenges of accounting and the manual, repetitiveness, the tediousness, all of that from, you know, every day you felt it? Grant Where? I mean, what is the excitement in that? Right? I mean, where's the excitement? Yeah. Did you credit that properly? Alex Oh, gosh, yeah, exactly. So so we were we were just observing this. And then this was back in 2014 15. Just before we started with AI started having a new, you know, like a new summer or a new renaissance in a way and, and we were thinking like this has to be we can maybe like we can solve this in a better way than how the technology has solved it so far. And after some deliberation, we sort of thought that we could create AI algorithms that would be able to actually do accounting transaction processing better than humans. Grant Because that's a really key point I think you're making. So the way that we've been solving this problem up to this point has been, let me take the tasks that we do and just automate the tasks themselves. Right. In other words, let me take your actual transactional activities that you're working through, and just put some increased processing to that. That's how it's historically been done, right? Alex Yep. Correct. And that's been entirely driven by rules, right? So, you know, transaction, Uber, transportation, as, you know, rules based automation, right? And there are all sorts of problems with that. It's obviously better than doing everything manually, right? So we aren't we're progressing through stages there. If you go back before the spreadsheets, you know, everything was done entirely manually. So we are progressing here, but, but what we're building is not next face that comes off there, you know, what everyone is using today, all over the world. And, you know, AI will solve this in a more scalable and gracious way and more more effectively. So that was all right. Yeah. Grant Yeah. So real quick on that, can you articulate how is that different? Right? Because all of us come from this rules based way of thinking. So what is it that AI is going to do better? How will it do it differently than what we're used to? Alex Yeah, I mean, that's a that's a great question. It's kind of the essence as well. So when you when you look at how it happens today, it's not only rules are not only automation, it's automation, and a lot of human hours involved. So you can always ask yourself, why are all those human hours involved? If it's automation, right? So so it begs the question, right, so what happens in reality is that sort of rules and templates and RPA isn't sufficient, because there's so many edge cases, and there's so much variability in the world of accounting. So you know, rules only takes you so far. And then you have to staff up and have human cognitive reasoning step in and do the rest of it. So where AI comes in is that it can do both of those things. So it does the automation without rules, and it can do the reasoning that humans are there to do today. So I always say that AI is, is great at sort of mimicking that reasoning that humans are doing. So one of the areas that we're in is invoice processing. And when I give an invoice to any human, you know, it will always tell me, oh, that's the vendor, you know, that's the invoice number, lots of total costs. But that's not obvious to a computer. And if you're gonna write rules for every variability in the world, you can just end up writing too many rules. So it's just not a, it's not a great technology for it. And AI is way better. So it's just like in the early stages, so that's next sort of digital transformation, transformation journey that we're all. So as Grant So as you know, when you're working in the AI space, and you're saying, Oh, I'm going to apply AI to a particular problem, you end up building different models with different AI characteristics based on the nature of the problem, some more aggression based some more sort of classification based, as your people as your customers look to use your platform, do they get exposed to any of that? Are they even aware of what elements or aspects of AI are at play? Or? Or do they just jump in and start solving the problems they're used to, and then the right sort of AI model behind the scene is executing on their behalf? Alex Yeah, we've hidden all of that from our customers. So we do try to keep sort of Explainable AI in the way where our user interface is explaining why our AI predicted something. But we've kept all of the complexity, so sort of models and model training. And all of that is in the background, we decided to do like an end to end service where the customer, they don't really need to do anything technical. It's, it's, you know, just another SAS subscription that they're using, that they plug into one of their processes. And then we deal with all of the complexity of the models, both global models and AI models, specifically the same for each customer. So we keep all of that complexity hidden. Grant That's awesome. That way, I'm not touching any of that as the end user. So if I see the name Vic AI, I don't need to shy away and say, Oh, wait, I need to be an AI expert. It's more that this is the enabling technology. And it just turns out that you've made that simple for the people without needing to know that Wait a minute. So that brings a question on my use, you know, one of the challenges around AI is the whole notion around bias. And, and, and with the cognizance that's required for humans up to this point, and still largely today to do you know, counting processes. Therefore, that has the opportunity for some bias that comes in right terms of the way things get handled. How do you deal with that then in terms of applying AI so that that bias doesn't creep through? Alex Yeah, it's a great question. And it's a challenge for everything where we're data sets are involved in training, AI. So one of the ways that so one of The one of the good things with accounting data, if you start with that is that it's ultimately numbers and classifications. And you, you kind of want to have that, right? Because otherwise your your books of your business is wrong. So unless you want them to be wrong, you know, you have a very good incentive to keep this right. SO into SO, you know, I think we generally see kind of less less bias in accounting data, and then some other more like subjective data in a way. And then also we draw on data across 1000s and 1000s of customers. So we have customers in both Europe and the US and many other many other regions as well, but the little fewer and most of the concentration in Europe and US. And in all sorts of industries and all sorts of sizes, we have about 13,000 customers on the platform now. So when you start looking at such a wide data set, you also hopefully reduce some of some of that bias. And then you also have auditing processes that sort of sits at the end of their accounting. And hopefully also they'll you know, annually they'll catch corrections, and also fed in as well to make AI. So those are some of the tactics. Basically, it's all about keeping clean data, so that our predictions are accurate. That's really what we're trying to get to. Grant Yeah, boy, that's that's so critical, especially as you pointed out with the with the need to of course, be accurate for the business for sure. All right, so So let's say that you've got this data, you've cleaned it up, you've done the preparation, you're on the Vic AI platform, the question now in my mind becomes, therefore, what changes in the lives of the people that adopt this right and others, they may change? I'm supposing something about the way they do their daily work, or the way the CFO does certain things, or maybe even impact on regulations and audits. I mean, what's the impact of the organization when when this gets adopted? Alex Yeah, I'm also in question. And I want to point out also that the beginning of getting getting live with Vicki AI isn't complex for a customer, because we built an automated system to ingest and clean their historical data, which then goes into our system automatically and train our AI algorithms so that when we go live, we have, you know, pretty good knowledge of what's going to be predicted. We know your system, we know your accounting, we know how you do things. So when you start pushing new transactions through our classification, accuracy is high. And there's no complexity for the customer. In that process, it basically happens automatically in the background. Once you are live with Vic AI, some things will will change. But it doesn't sort of change. Like overnight. One of the things with AI is it gets better and better over time. And one of the things we're driving towards is what we call full autonomy. And full autonomy is you know, the AI's version of automation. But it means that it has perceived this not to need human review. And that's when it's fully autonomous. So that's our sort of end goal with the autonomy of transactions is that, you know, the AI system is perfectly confident in the work that it has been doing. So it doesn't even ask a human to review it. So this this increases over time. So when you start with Aki, you, you have a you know, you have a better interface, you have a smoother operation, you have already probably 50% time reduction in the first month of using the system. Grant Let me stop you on that right there. 50%. So, that would be 50% of those that are doing sort of the daily operational activities, or is that of the CFO? Or who who is that, that that percent impacted? Alex Yeah, that's on the accounting team that is doing the processing. So if you're doing you know, if you have five people or if you have 15 people doing invoice processing, whether they are onshore or offshore, you know, just in the beginning, you can drastically reduce that, and then that percentage just increases over time because you're substituting the AI for for for human FTE. So basically, and and what we see is that everyone wants to do something else than just sit and do like data entry and accounting classification, right? You you, you can be more proactive, you can do more value added work than that. And we're sort of at that phase now where the AI can substitute that's partly augments and also fully run things autonomously. So when you put this in place, in the beginning, there is a little bit of effect right away but you know, you got to read the sign some of your some of your processes and some of your routines because you have a platform here now that is doing Most of the work for you, and you're just reviewing and you're reviewing the AI and training the AI to become more autonomous. So you've got a little on my mind shifts, and some sort of routines, you don't need to double and triple check, check in have four people involved in reviewing, you know, one thing because the AI can tell you how confident it is. And if it is very confident, maybe you can have one person review it in the beginning, and then eventually it will be fully autonomous. If it's less confident, then it will also tell you, and you can review it in more detail. So it's pretty, it's pretty, pretty fascinating. Grant It is dang fascinating. And I'm assuming that there are some that have run into this, and they've worried about their jobs, right? They're like, wait a minute, you're taking my tasks away from me? Do you have to help them overcome that fear and say, hey, you know, you're gonna move towards more value added activities within the organization? Have you run into that problem? Alex So it will we see is that it's, everyone is just squeezed on time, right? Everyone's trying to hit the deadline of the month, the clothes and all of that. So it there is no shortage of work to be done in the accounting piece. And, and just having, you know, having faster turnaround time having more accurate data, because AI is more accurate than humans, like it doesn't fat fingers thinks the same way. And when it's uncertain, it asked for a human verification, a human looks at it, and then you get more accurate than then all the way. So we see that, you know, there's no shortage of things to do. Everyone wants to progress their careers. And I don't really perceive that as an actual problem. But it is like a, you know, people think about that as a problem, but I don't think it is in reality. Grant So this has been several years and coming. When did you start this 2 to 3 years ago? Alex Yeah, early 2017, was 5 years. Grant Okay, that's, that's awesome. And you built this ground up, meaning all of AI development AI technology that your organization's created, right? Alex Yeah, exactly. I mean, it's been challenging. That's why it's taken taken quite a few years, as well as because you we started, you know, completely scratch, and we had to figure everything out. So one of the things that sets the KPI apart a little bit as part of our founding story, where we were able to start the company, we had access to a gigantic data sets of accounting transactions, and all corresponding documents to that. So that helped us just spend the first two years we just spent on data analysis, data science and machine learning development, because we had some thesis and theories that this could work, but we didn't know. So it just had to do that in the beginning, for for a couple of years. So when we saw that this actually has promised, like, we were predicting more and more accurately, and you know, we're gonna get to this inflection point where it's better to use PKI, that do not use PKI. And at that point, people will use it, and then, you know, continue growing more and more customers and more and more data and more and more corrections, and better and better predictions. So we realized we would get to that point. And then, you know, then we raised the seed round back in 2017. And, you know, started developing, Grant What a great journey. I love this story. So tell me about impact outcomes. So you talked about a large number of customers that are using the platform now, what is what's been the results that they've seen? Alex Yeah, so we see. So there's a couple of numbers that we that we statistically enroll from the from the customers, we see that customers have about 80% reduction in the overall time spent on the process. And that comes from two things. One is the percent of fully autonomous. So let's say you're 50%, fully autonomous, that means you spent zero time on 50% of your volume. And then that other part, we've drastically reduced the number of minutes in two seconds. For each transaction a human has to review because the AI has done all the upfront work, humans just reviewing it, rather than sort of processing it from scratch. So you're at seconds rather than minutes. This turns into sort of an 80% reduction in in time. You also have things that we do like prevent duplicate payments, and we have some fraud detection in the system. So you also have some of those benefits that can turn into multimillion dollar when you have a large enough cost base. And then we have audit trails in the system, which helps with figuring out you know, making sure that you know, all of the approvals are doing rights. If anyone has changed in amount or something. It's all logged into the system electronically. So you have some some compliance and auditing benefits from it as well. But right now the main, the main effective impact our customers have, and we typically sell to the mid market and enterprise. So these are larger organizations, they can have hundreds of 1000s, or millions even have sort of vendor bills per, per year, and a substantial amount of people and resources involved in dealing with that problem. So they see very significant ROI from it. Grant So to sell into that particular group, then I'm assuming you've got to have a decent amount of integrations into all of their incumbent systems, right, all of their ERP systems and CRM systems, etc. Right? What does that look like? Alex Yeah, that's, that's true. So we build out these connectors as we as we go, it does, for each connector, the first time we build it, it does take a little bit of time. And then once we have that connect, for instance, you know, to NetSuite or intact or Oracle, the, you know, the next customers that we bring on board, we can leverage the same connector. So it is it is some work initially to build out all of the ones that we need. And then you can grow and scale on top of that for the customer. This is no complexity like we're taking not on completely. So the only thing we need is to know what type of system they have. And we develop that connector as part of the offering. Grant So let's talk about looking to the future in terms of when I'm doing FPA, a financial planning and analysis and I'm, I'm looking at my numbers, and I want to leverage a view into the future. How does something like this help an organization with that? Alex Yeah, that's a, that's a beautiful question. And a big passion of mine, actually. So what we're doing now sets us up to solve that specific problem. So if you think of where we are, now we're in accounting. And what you're talking about is more finance, which is what we'll dive into the idea and the vision that we are getting to is that we want to develop an AI that's basically is a real time cost optimization engine that serves predictions and monitors that in real time, we will be able to help you project kind of what your cost base should be, and how you could reduce spend in various categories and with various vendors. That's that's the piece that we're trying to solve as part of that equation of the of the future. So that you always have multiple pieces of the accounting equation, you have the cost side, you have the revenue side, you have adjustments and close process. And we're trying to stay within one of them for now. And make sure we sold provide real true value in that swim lane before we move on from from there. Grant Yes, I think that part's fascinating, as well, I've seen and interacted with organizations that are trying to leverage shift P and A even into capacity and resource planning, and trying to figure out what that looks like, and especially with it what's going on in the world today, right, with certainly high inflation and certainly supply chain challenges. The need for this kind of capability, I think is dire. Right. I think having the ability to provide something like this sooner rather than later is really crucial. Alex Yeah, definitely. And I think the technology has the ability to hold much more context and see data across all of the things that buck forms, like ours can do in in, in a compliant and anonymized ways, you can see data patterns, you know, across different companies. So you can inform yourself, no more than just sitting looking at your own data sitting inside your own office and their own silo. So that I will, you know, in the future greatly help with, you know, capacity planning, or, you know, cost reduction initiatives and so on. So I think that's one of the powers of sort of, like the cloud combined with with AI and big data, if it's leveraged in the in the right way. Grant And so if I go back just one moment on something, so if we take an AI model, and and we take it through a data set, and we were able to get sort of two key views at it, one is sort of more hindsight, right? One sort of looking backwards, right? It's the AI is looking at it saying here were the drivers that that contributed to the certain behavior, right? So it's more analytic Right. But then there's the other style of using it, which is looking forward, which is more predictive. And oh, okay, here's, here's where based on things we've seen, here's what the high predictive sort of correlations are opportunities are things that we expect moving in the future. When you when you look at Vic AI, and everything that you're providing, do you focus more on one side versus the other? Or you're combining both of those views together? Alex Hmm...yeah, we so in the, in the course of the work in the platform we have now, so every thing we do is a prediction on new data. So that means a new so if you sort of break it down into like, there's a new signal or a new transaction, or a new document coming in, that we've never seen before. And, and the platform then predicts what this is, Donald to vary like line item level detail, how to classify it, and so on. So it does predict this based on the algorithmic design, and the historical data that it seen both for this customer and globally. So it sort of is our engines are purely predictive in terms of what they're trying to predict what's going on. And you can extend that to two other parts, like we just discussed on the cost side as well. You can predict how how you should, you know, maybe they'll just classify this cost, but like, how, what your cost base should consist of a new look at categories. And you can sort of predict this based on your own current spend your growth in the company and maybe other comparable companies, so you can start predicting a journey based on the same technologies. Grant Awesome. So quick question for you, as COVID started to hit, obviously, a couple of years ago, and large companies have their AI models, you know, out there deployed, we're running, suddenly that disruption created an impact to the way in which business was typically being done, right. Not all industries were hit. But certainly a lot of industries are hit. And therefore, business operations changed. And the way in which people conducted business altered, which meant then, that those models were making assumptions based on former operational models, right former ways in which people executed, and therefore invalidated some of those predictive characteristics or capabilities of those models, which meant then, as you know that they had to go do some rework, right had to reduce retraining, right and update the data sets and so forth. So to what degree does Vic AI continually learn, right, so as you pointed out, you get a new document you've never seen before. At some point, I'm assuming it pulls it into its corpus, right? And it continues to learn or relearn on that. Can you talk to that? Alex Yeah. And it's a key feature of the platform, which, which is actually pretty enjoyable when you see it working in reality. So we, so for every transaction that goes through our platform, or every invoice or vendor Bill divest process through our platform, that leaves that leaves us with some learnings. So, you know, it's either it's corrected, and we made a prediction and a human chose to change it. Right? That is something that is fed back into our data set, and also our learning database of sort of, why would that ever happen? What did we get wrong in this prediction? And so for every prediction that we do, we learn something because if we predict something, and it's correct, we also learned something. So you know, we have millions of transactions just flowing through the system every month. And for each of them, we learn something so the system then improves basically, for each transaction that goes through the system. The level of, you know, transaction processing we're at isn't really affected by kind of like global changes, like you mentioned, for for COVID. Like, the only thing that could happen is you suddenly have some some new transaction because you need to do something differently, or you may have fewer transaction, which then just you know, is additive to our system. So you know, we will get something maybe we'll have lower confidence on this because this is something new. So you know, you will have a human come in there and tell the system what to do with this. And then that will be additive to the to the data sets and, and all the algorithmic design, if that makes sense. Grant It makes total sense. Absolutely. Yeah. And I loved how you tied the two together which is, well, I'm still gonna have the transaction. Although the world the macro world around me is changing the transaction occurs while may change is the rate of them. or how, or maybe even maybe even the units or the number of units, etc, right things like that will certainly or could change because of disruption. Being able to predict or understand how the organization can respond to, to disruption, I think becomes more and more critical, as we seem to continue to have more disruptions in business. Right? That happens a lot. Alex Yeah, absolutely. And I mean, what happened with with COVID specifically was also a lot of disruption in how people worked. And, you know, they were used to working from home and, you know, we have some, some of our customers, they have millions of invoices a year, which means, like, 1000s of invoices a day and, you know, suddenly you have, your whole workforce is like, not as productive as they were when something like this happens. But you know, you still need or your your system to be updated, you still need to pay your vendors on time. And otherwise, you know, you'll incur fees, and it'll so just like having an AI system in there that doesn't sort of care about those things. It has the same throughput and outputs 24/7 all year around, makes you very resilient for for sort of things like that are like workforce changes. Grant So that's the right word resilient, you want that organizational resilience, and as the point I wanted to drive out, which is, even though there's these disruptions that take place, most of which are outside of our control, getting our companies into a position to handle and respond properly or well, to that, or to pivot is what organizational resilience is about. And my experience has been AI is one of those tools to help us do that. Yeah, that's, that's awesome. Okay, I want to ask you a very forward looking question. Right? You're ready? Yeah, sure. All right. So I'm not going to ask what are you going to do Norway? Or what I'm asking is tell me about blockchain? What does that mean to you in your world and things that you're doing? Alex Yeah, I mean, that's, we've been thinking about that. And, to be, to be honest, we haven't really seen yet the connection between specifically what we do and how to leverage a blockchain effectively, I like the technology of a blockchain is really awesome. And it can unlock a lot of things. But it doesn't mean that you need to use it for everything. One thing that I think could be an interesting exploration is when you start looking at accounting, ERP data, and whether the accounting systems could run and have their data in a blockchain that is verifiable, to prevent all sorts of, you know, fiddling with the data. That could be an interesting application for for blockchain in in our area. And there's clearly things around, you know, like money movement and value movements that blockchain can solve pretty pretty well. So just in the layer where we are, we haven't really found a great application that applies to us with the blockchain. Yes, but I think that technology is super fascinating. And I think that there are many areas where it is a superior technology to sort of like the trust based system that we have now. And it's an epic thing, when you can run that successfully in a resilient way. Grant When you think and that that makes a lot of sense. It's, it's got some, as you pointed out some interesting potential benefits to the industry. But I suppose at some point, it doesn't really matter where the transaction sits for you, right, in terms of the problem that you're solving, right? In other words, whether it's sitting on a blockchain or it's somewhere else and an Oracle ERP or whatever, right to it, at some point, that probably doesn't matter. Right? Alex Yeah, for us, the Store of the the sort of the store of the data ultimately is for us in the ERP system. And we are not an ERP system, we just layer on top of the ERP systems. So that is the ultimate sort of storage of the data. And that's where if, if, if at all the like blockchain technology could be leveraged to, to kind of store data in in a safe and transparent way. But there's also some new or some transparency issues with accounting data as well, that's going to be kept in mind. Grant Yeah, I would imagine that one of the greatest use cases to for what it is you provide is in the area of fraud to fraud detection, right the ability to regardless of where the data sitting, and regardless if it's on a blockchain or in an ERP system, you Your ai i would imagine would help to discover or uncover some of those potential opportunities. Is that accurate? Alex Yeah. And you have this this platform benefit as well is what if one customer sort of reports. So what happens a lot is just invoice fraud, right? You have, you have invoices that are not from the vendor that they appear to be from. And you have different variations of trying to change payment details, and you know, all of that. So when you see when you see data across 1000s of customers, you, you have a way of detecting those things, and at least flagging them for like, Hey, someone should have an extra look at this, because something may be up, if we're all good with it, that's fine. But you know, have an extra Look at this. And for people, you know, when we, as people, when we're doing something for six hours straight, you know, the last few hours, we're just like, you know, we're just clicking enter and trying to get, you know, the day over with, and, and things can easily pass by that shouldn't pass by. So this is this is problematic in two ways. Number one, your accounting data could end up being wrong, like you just have things that are misclassified. And then you can have things that are, you know, paid, or you're paid twice, or you pay the wrong thing, or you pay an extra zero, you have all of these things that are just humans are it's easy for humans to do those mistakes. And you just want to sort of get rid though those with a technology that can help you remove all of those errors. And we know how, you know, a billion dollar cost base? Just you know, half a percent is, you know, quite a lot. Grant A big number. Yeah, it is. Yeah, you'd hate to get false positives on a fraud situation, right, where you might be accusing someone that, that they've conducted fraud, when in fact it was was just a mistake. This is fascinating technology. So, Alex, where do people go to? I mean, where can you point them to, to learn more about you and your organization? Alex Yeah, I mean, the website is, is the safest place to go right now. So just go to Vic.ai. And we have, we have a good bit of marketing collateral and informative collateral blog posts, we try to educate the customers and the finance team. So finance teams are interestingly, you know, they're, they're not buying new things that often because you know, your ERP system, you have it for a very long time, which which you definitely should. So you know, you're not like a high. There's no high velocity necessarily on procuring things for the finance team. And, and we try to do a lot of educational material as well, because AI is new, but it has true effects or the finance team, and they'll find them blog, blog posts and collateral and can happily reach out to us and we'll help guide anyone through the process. Grant Oh, okay. That's, that's awesome. Alex, you've been so generous with your time here today, especially as you're getting ready to jet off into the sunrise just real quick. Any last comments that you want to share? Alex Um, I think this has been this has been a cool chats. It's been it's been really good. I love talking about, of course, AI and our company, but also the technologies in general. So I think this has been been super cool. And I think that it, you know, it's just wanted to say that we've we've spent a long time building the platform, so glad it's not complex for the customers right now, all of the AI performance, which is actually mind blowing, but you have no level of complexity. So, you know, if you if you want to get started with with AI for a function, this is a very specific function within invoice processing, where you can deploy AI, get the effects out of it with no complexities, and we'll deal with all of that for you. Grant That's actually the beauty of this, you know, to be able to get that down to a few points. Now splint clicks on a SaaS solution. They have all that taken care of, I've written my share of AI code, and oh, my goodness, the fact that you've handled that so seamlessly for the business people is huge. Nice job. Really great job on that. Yeah. Thanks. Great. Alex Thank you. Grant Thanks for taking the time today. Again, Alex. My gosh, this is awesome, everyone. Thanks for listening to another episode of ClickAI Radio. And until next time, go check out Vic.ai. Thank you for joining Grant on ClickAI Radio. Don't forget to subscribe and leave feedback. And remember to download your free ebook, visit clickairadio.com Now.
In this episode of the How to Scale Commercial Real Estate Podcast, we welcome Anthony Scandariato back to the show. He shares what he's observing about the current housing market, the benefits of setting up a TIC and 1031, and how capital raising has become more efficient in recent years. All this and more! Anthony Scandariato is a real estate entrepreneur & multifamily investor with a focus on in-place cash flow and forced value-add appreciation. He's the co-founder of Red Knight Properties, a privately held boutique multi-family and mixed-use real estate investment & property management company with a track record of building and managing portfolios that deliver dependable cash flow and equity upside. Anthony is also the host of the popular podcast “Discovering Multifamily”, and teaches others how to become financially free through multifamily investing via tons of free content/events on RedKnightProperties.com and through his Facebook/Meetup Group Community - "Discovering Multifamily Investor Association." [00:01 - 06:09] Welcoming Anthony Back Catching up with Anthony and what he's been up to with Red Knight Properties Listen to Anthony's first time on the show! Why he's selling early Restrategizing and tapping into properties in the Southeast [06:09 - 14:24] The Real Estate Landscape Anthony's thoughts on the inflation to rent price ratio and its unsustainability The wage inflation's disparity with CPI inflation will cause greater supply and demand issues How Anthony is handling this next exit Setting a 1031 and TIC initially How capital raising has changed in the last 4 years [14:25 - 17:31] Closing Segment Advise Anthony has for those getting started in real estate Figure out whether you want to be a passive or active investor How to connect with Anthony Tweetable Quotes “It becomes complicated if you don't have a Tenancy in Common structure set up from the beginning because you could have one investor that just wants out, and just wants their money back,” - Anthony Scandariato “So with the 1031 and the TIC, if we set it up from the beginning, they would actually all just move forward because it's not set up initially. If everybody was on board except one or two people, it blows up the TIC.” - Anthony Scandariato “Figure out if you really want to be active, or passive, figure out what you want.” - Anthony Scandariato Resources Mentioned: How to Scale Commercial Real Estate Podcast: Investing in Workforce Housing with Anthony Scandariato ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Connect with Anthony Scandariato Website: https://redknightproperties.com LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/anthonymscandariato LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/red-knight-properties/ IG: https://www.instagram.com/redknightproperties/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/redknightprop Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/redknightproperties Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChvn3ruK6_OAY0RG5Y8LgIQ Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/discovering-multifamily/id1506820688 Connect with me: I love helping others place money outside of traditional investments that both diversify a strategy and provide solid predictable returns. Facebook LinkedIn Like, subscribe, and leave us a review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or whatever platform you listen on. Thank you for tuning in! Email me → email@example.com Want to read the full show notes of the episode? Check it out below: HTSCRE #529 [00:00:00] Anthony Scandariato: Just figure out what your goals are, figure out what you want. You really want to be managing maintenance, technicians, leasing agents. It's really an operating company. So you really want to take on that or do you just want to partner with someone who's experienced like Sam or whoever the sponsor is and have your money work for you? [00:00:16] Do whatever you're doing as a hobby or passion or whatever, just really figure out what you want to do. [00:00:21] Intro: Welcome to the How to Scale Commercial Real Estate show to Scale Commercial Real Estate. Whether you are an active or passive investor, we'll teach you how to scale your real estate investing business into something big. [00:00:32] Sam Wilson: Anthony Scandariato auto is the co-founder of Red Knight Properties. [00:00:36] Red Knight currently has over a hundred million dollars in assets under management, 750 units in four different states on the east coast. Anthony, welcome to the show. [00:00:45] Anthony Scandariato: Great to be back on Sam. Really appreciate you having me on again. Pleasure's mine. [00:00:48] Sam Wilson: You came on episode number 72. So the show was just getting kicked off there. [00:00:53] I think you want to go back and listen to Anthony's story. We won't spend a lot of time on today's show, here. Previous the story that he shared with us on episode 72, that was on February 9th, 2021. By the time this goes live, this will probably somewhere close to June of 2022. So that's almost 16 months later in case somebody though they didn't get the chance to listen to it. [00:01:13] Can you give us a 92nd synopsis where you started, where you are now? [00:01:18] Anthony Scandariato: Yeah. As Sam said, one of the co-founders of Red Knight Properties were a privately held boutique mixed use and multifamily investment management company for real estate, as well as a property management team. As Sam said, we have about a hundred million dollars under management. [00:01:32] I think when I came on Sam show, we were more like 60 million. So basically doubled from that your time period. We did quite a bit of deals in 2020. And over 750 units, I think we only had maybe 400 units give or take in three different states. Now we're in four different states. So pretty exciting. [00:01:49] I think we were just closing in our first Southeast state of this great state of Florida. We're actually starting to sell some assets now given the state. Where the market is and how quickly, especially the state of Florida has really grown from so many different standpoints. So we're starting to sell some of our assets that we weren't even considering selling for another three to four years from now. [00:02:13] We're actually selling early. So happy to talk about why we're starting to sell early. Yeah, deviating from our business plan a little bit. [00:02:21] Sam Wilson: Love to hear that the floor is yours. Why are you selling early? [00:02:25] Anthony Scandariato: Sure. So I started my company 2018. We can go back to the other episode and listen, but since basically 2018 acquired almost a thousand units at this point. [00:02:36] And once we're value added investors, we come in and find operational inefficiencies. From a management standpoint and mostly from a management standpoint and we're buying assets from motivated sellers long-term owners, when we're investing in CapEx that hasn't been put to a life and 10 to 15 years, and we're really bumping the rents up and for us to get 25% rent bump within the year with. [00:03:01] We're not just investing the dollars necessary in order to get that bump. We're not just going in and raising the rents like a lot of other operators. We just think at this point in the cycle and this is releasing in like mid Q2 in 2022, when interest rates are on the rise inflation is still going to be carried out in my opinion for the next couple of years, probably not going to be as elevated as it was 2021, but it's still going to be a problem. [00:03:25] Moving forward. Long-term depends what the fed decides to do probably by the time this is released, we'll probably raising another half a point. But with all those macroeconomic situations rates, aren't going to go down inflation is going to stay pretty high in which means rents are still going to go up. [00:03:42] We just think the value, it's almost like we front-loaded a lot of the appreciation over the past couple of years. And I feel like we're not going to just see that huge increase in spike and value that we saw. Once the fed basically did their QE and rates were at near zero for a couple of years, it's just, the values are going to start to slow down. [00:04:03] I'm not saying they're going to crash. They're going to slow down. And obviously in the commercial real estate and all it's all driven on NOI, right? So as quickly as you can get rents up for us and we see the value, there's a property in Florida we're selling for double what we pay for it a year ago. [00:04:19] And our projections weren't even assuming that five years. So we're looking at the returns and we're like if we can provide people basically double their money in a year, and then we could do some tax deferred strategies, reinvest the capital. If they decide to come back, reinvest the capital into another opportunity, that's maybe not in as hot of a market as far as, because there's a lot of capital. [00:04:42] We were talking about this on our show, which I'm planning to release as well. Sam was on my show, Discovering Multifamily and we were just talking about some of the pivots he's been making to his business. We're doing very similarly, but we're sticking with our asset class, multi-family we're going into other markets. [00:04:57] Now we're looking at Midwest markets that haven't really been tapped as much as the Southeast has been lately, even where I'm based in the Northeast. It's always been a little saturated. So we're pivoting. Where all the money's flowing. We want to come in early and then you kinda gotta know when it's right to get out. [00:05:14] And as of right now, we could refinance. Everybody can get the money back. We can roll that into another property. Great birth strategy for commercial real estate. And I think we touched on that in the previous session. You just got to do your numbers and see what makes sense and really just analyze all the risks in the economy and an informed and educated decision might not be the best decision, but at least you want to just have an opinion and you want to be able to come up with some logic behind, okay, why are we selling early? [00:05:41] Why are we selling four years early? The reason is X, Y, Z so it's very interesting and you're seeing it in the market as well. I'm sure. We'll see what happens. A lot of other operators I've talked to are experiencing the same type of feelings, starting to sell assets early. And they're doing well on them. [00:05:58] Sam Wilson: There's never a bad time to execute the entirety of the business plan in a shorter timeframe. It's oh, great. Lucky us. We said five years and now we're going to do it in one. That's okay. That's quite okay. I'm really curious when you think about the inflation to rent price ratio, right? [00:06:16] Like we've seen inflation the published seven ish percent and then we've seen rents again it's a very localized number, but let's just use. Arbitrary insights, 15% on a national average. I don't know what it is on a national average, but it's greater than what inflation has been at some point. [00:06:32] Do you feel like that is going to swap like positions there where the rents are not keeping up with where inflation is going? Just because people don't have the income to support it at some point. [00:06:44] Anthony Scandariato: Do you think that okay, you're right. It depends upon wage growth. At the end of the day, you really should be looking at CPI that likes to quote PCE. [00:06:52] So PCE. They don't have. Really rent, like the real red figures in that number. So I think inflation is higher than what they're representing, to be honest with you. And I know a lot of other people do as well. At some point, yes, it's good. We like to look in markets where rent is maybe 25% to 33% on the high end of their wages of their income. [00:07:15] So if the wage inflation is not keeping up with rent or just regular CPI inflation, Yeah, it's going to be a problem. There's still a supply and demand issue. Over the past couple of years, I think the level of new homes and also new apartments are down 50%. It's only going to get worse because now with rates rising, there's gonna be a lot of builders that go belly up, unfortunately is going to be a lot of customers. [00:07:39] I think on the single family side, pulling out of deals on the apartment side, it's getting harder to build because costs are just higher. So they're going to have to pass that onto the consumer. I specialize in the class C space. So we're trying to buy deals below replacement costs in the first place. [00:07:55] So yeah, it's going to be a problem. I, again, like I said, I keep going back to, I think we front-loaded a lot of the appreciation. We're not going to see 20% year over year. It's just, it's stupid. And I get opportunities from other sponsors who will still believe that's going to happen. [00:08:10] Who knows if you're buying in the state of Florida, maybe it's going to happen. I don't want to see a projection where, you know, on a class C property where you're projecting $2,000 a month for a one bedroom apartment. Even if you renovate it, it's just something about that in a suburban area. It just doesn't seem right to me. [00:08:25] Like you said, Sam, you got to look. The employment drivers and it's all local employment drivers in the area. Where are the jobs? What type of wages are they paying? Is that industry experiencing wages, coalitions across the board? In my opinion unemployment's near time, all time low. [00:08:42] I actually think the unemployment rates probably in the short term, going to go down. Even further, but then probably by the end of the year and go back up a couple of points. We'll see. So it's a very interesting conundrum. The good thing about the commercial real estate world is if the rents still keep going up, let's say three to 4% a year. [00:08:58] Your NOI keeps going up. If interest rates rise, theoretically, it's not always one for one, but. Rise a little bit, maybe 10 basis points for every hundred basis points and interest rate move, which is weird. Cause it's not one-to-one correlation. And again, it's still a lot of money out there that we're just on the sidelines for two years, chasing multifamily, industrial self storage, those three hot asset classes concentrated in different areas. [00:09:24] Now, like I said, in the south and my opinion, it's just still a lot of cheap money out there. A lot of balance sheet lenders, a lot of bridge debt. I'm a little nervous for some of the sponsors who took on very high leverage bridge debt, and they think they're going to get out of it in two years and they're may be slow in their business plan. [00:09:39] And when they go to refi, they got to do a capital call because the value is not there. So I'm a little concerned with that. But for sponsors that have been experienced around there, that's good opportunity for them to start picking up some of those quote unquote distressed properties. But I still don't think we're going to see that for a couple of years, right? [00:09:56] Sam Wilson: No, couldn't agree more. Talk to us about your deal that you are exiting. Your role in that, or at least some of the proceeds of that into another deal. Are you doing one large, 1031 with your investors? And they're just going into the next deal or what's the process like on that? [00:10:12] Anthony Scandariato: Yes, the sale hasn't been completed well, by the time this is released, it'll probably be completed. As a sponsor and just some pieces of advice, it's very difficult to do a 1031 in a syndication. Very difficult in my experience, if you don't have a TIC set up from the beginning, it's going to be very challenging for you to moving forward. [00:10:29] So what we're doing is. As if we sold the building and we were buying nothing else, however, we are fortunate to find another opportunity. And we do cost segregation studies and the ability to pick up bonus appreciation. This is 2022, I think is the last year for a hundred percent bonus depreciation. [00:10:47] So whatever capital gain my investors, including myself, cause I invest as well. I have to pay hopefully if they choose to reinvest most of it or all of it can be offset by another reinvestment. So it's not a 10 31 exchange, but there still is some tax benefits and deferrals, cause you still have to pay it at some point. [00:11:05] So that's what we're currently working on. But yeah, it's tough to do a 1031, if you don't have it set up for the beginning of the TIC, [00:11:12] Sam Wilson: when you say set up from the beginning, can you explain that? You mean set up in the initial investment as a, so you're saying you're going to a Tenancy, which to those you're listing a Tenancy in Common deal, you're going to Tenancy in Common. [00:11:25] Then you go to your 1031 intermediary, you roll the money into the intermediary, and then you go to the next deal as a Tenancy in Common. Is that what. Correct. [00:11:32] Anthony Scandariato: And it becomes complicated if you don't have Tenancy in Common structure set up from the beginning, because you could have one investor that just wants out. [00:11:39] Just wants their money back. And it happens. We've done deals where we've refinanced. We give everybody a money back and maybe one or two people, oh, I need the money because I'm buying a house or I'm doing this I'm going on vacation. So with the 1031 and the TIC, if we set it up from the beginning, they would actually all just move forward because it's not set up initially. [00:11:58] They and everybody was on board except one or two people. It blows up the TIC [00:12:03] Sam Wilson: there's a way around that. Cause I was just involved in a deal and I was that investor yeah, I didn't want to roll over one cause I wasn't in love with the next opportunity. And then secondly, because I had invested with my IRA funds, so it didn't really matter to me if we were 10 and they didn't set it up as a 1031 in the beginning. [00:12:18] So I'm like, one, I don't like your deal. The second deal. And two, like I gain nothing by this is a self-directed IRA. So I gained nothing by 1031-ing this. So I want out, right? So I was that pain in the neck investor, sorry, Anthony. But there was a way around it and I don't know what they did in the deal. [00:12:35] They found a way, but it was paperwork heavy to your point. It was paperwork heavy and there was new LLCs created [00:12:42] Anthony Scandariato: and neither of us are tax advisors or experts. So we're not the right people. [00:12:46] Sam Wilson: Right. No, don't take anything. I say here's tax or legal advice. That's for sure. But just to note that there is a way around it, it's just messy. [00:12:53] So to your point, let's avoid all the mess. We can get 2018 to now, what have you seen change on the capital raising side of things? And are you guys doing anything differently than you were four years ago? Yeah, [00:13:06] Anthony Scandariato: I think it's streamlined more, becoming easier to raise capital. And as we were talking, there's a lot of money still out there in the system. [00:13:13] And also a lot of we cater to individual investors. So we're usually talking to mostly high net worth individuals that putting in 50,000 or a hundred thousand into a deal and looking for income and also equity upside at the sale or the. It's really grown upon itself. I think once you've been around and I've been in the industry since 2014, so it's not 2018, I worked for somebody else. [00:13:40] But once you develop a reputation and you start producing case studies, you start selling, you start refining. The case may be, you'll be able to show those returns into find more investors and more partners. It becomes easier in that sense. And your network starts to grow. Obviously we both have podcasts, so both of our networks have grown from that. [00:13:59] I think you just have to have a system in place. We have investor portal, we have software that kind of manages relationships, CRM, and it grown upon itself. Most of our new investors come from existing investor referrals. There's always the one-off the founders on LinkedIn or our podcast. But it's probably similar to you. [00:14:18] 70% of referrals. Yeah. [00:14:19] Sam Wilson: Awesome. And that's so true. You'll get one-offs. But a lot of it, it's a very referral based system. If someone were getting in the business today and they're launching out and they want to invest in multifamily, what is one piece of advice you would give? [00:14:34] Anthony Scandariato: Just figure out if you really want to be active, or if you want to be passive, figure out what you want. [00:14:39] Cause they're both very different. I started out active. I'm obviously still active my ultimate goal. And we were talking about this on your show. Staff is I'm still young. So are you is to become fully limited partner and fully passive at some point. Just figure out what your goals are, figure out what you want. [00:14:54] You really want to be managing maintenance, technicians, leasing agents. It's really an operating company. So you really want to take on that or do you just want to partner with someone who's experienced like Sam or whoever the sponsor is and have your money work for you? To whatever you're doing as a hobby or passion or whatever, just really figure out what you want to do. [00:15:14] Cause I have people who have come to me that want to be active, and then I start telling them how much work it is and be like, you know what, let me just put my money in a deal and then let's see how you do it. And then if I think it's a lot of work, then I'm not going to do it moving forward. [00:15:26] So that's happened. It can count on one. Definitely multiple times happened, [00:15:31] Sam Wilson: right? Yeah. That's so true. Absolutely so true. And that's a great point because a lot of people want to get involved in real estate. Then they get overwhelmed with the mechanics of it. Oh my gosh, there's so many terms. How do I do this? [00:15:42] How do I do that? And then it becomes confused. Mind says no. And they shut down the easiest way and the best way, at least for me, the same as you, I think is that become a passive investor. That's how I cut my teeth in this. It came in as a passive investor and I learned through. While investing. And it was like, oh, okay, now I understand it. [00:15:59] So that's an absolutely fantastic point, Anthony, thank you for coming on the show today. Pleasure to have you back. I've enjoyed our conversation. Learned certainly a lot more about what you guys are doing while you guys are exiting deals where you see the market going. And then also, you know how you guys are protecting yourselves. [00:16:14] Certainly enjoyed that. Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us. If our listeners want to get in touch with you or learn more about you, what is the best way to do. [00:16:21] Anthony Scandariato: Sure we have a website and my company is redknightproperties.com. Just go there. We have a free e-book titled Leave Your Nine to Five Through Investing in Real Estate. [00:16:28] That will actually pop up. Just putting your name, your email. I can send that to you for free. All my contact information will be on there. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, either my name, Anthony Scandariato or a company Red Knight Properties where you know, we're on everything. Absolutely. [00:16:42] Sam Wilson: Anthony, thank you again for your time. [00:16:44] All right, Sam. Thank you. Hey, thanks for listening to the How to Scale Commercial Real Estate podcast. If you can do me a favor and subscribe and leave us a review on apple podcast, Spotify, Google podcast, whatever platform it is you use to listen. If you can do that for us, that would be a fantastic help to the show. It helps us both attract new listeners as well as rank higher on those directories. So appreciate you listening. Thanks so much and hope to catch you on the next episode.
The partisan leftism of much of the tech industry has led to conservatives calling for state intervention in the digital sphere. Elon Musk's recent purchase of Twitter proves this was wrong. Original Article: "Austrians Have Been Correct about Big Tech: Elon Musk Just Proved Them Right" This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon.
The partisan leftism of much of the tech industry has led to conservatives calling for state intervention in the digital sphere. Elon Musk's recent purchase of Twitter proves this was wrong. Original Article: "Austrians Have Been Correct about Big Tech: Elon Musk Just Proved Them Right" This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon.
Joseph Mocanu is Co-founder and Managing Director of Verge HealthTech Fund, which invests globally in seed-stage healthcare technology startups relevant to emerging Asia that focus on disease prevention and management, digital therapies, and health system efficiency. Chad talks with Joseph about the healthcare landscape in different places of the world, funding criteria for companies, and how the pandemic has changed prospects for the fund and the market in general. Verge HealthTech Fund (https://www.vergehc.com/) Follow Verge HealthTech Fund on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/company/verge-healthtech-fund-i/). Follow Joseph on Twitter (https://twitter.com/jmocanu) or LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/jmocanu/). Follow thoughtbot on Twitter (https://twitter.com/thoughtbot) or LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/company/150727/). Become a Sponsor (https://thoughtbot.com/sponsorship) of Giant Robots! Transcript: CHAD: This is the Giant Robots Smashing Into Other Giant Robots Podcast, where we explore the design, development, and business of great products. I'm your host, Chad Pytel, and with me today is Joseph Mocanu, Co-founder and Managing Director of Verge HealthTech Fund, which invests globally in seed-stage healthcare technology startups relevant to emerging Asia that focus on disease prevention and management, digital therapies, and health system efficiency. Joseph, thank you for joining me. JOSEPH: Thanks so much, Chad, for having me. CHAD: So you have been focused on emerging Asia healthtech for a little while both at Verge HealthTech Fund, and prior to that, how did you get involved in this space? JOSEPH: I wish I had a really cool, deliberate story that made it sound like it was a smooth transition from point A to point B. But I simply have to owe it to an opportunity to transfer to the region through my old employer which is Oliver Wyman, a global management consultancy. So I joined this consultancy in 2011 after doing my Ph.D. and MBA really to understand how to be a better investor, which, again, sounds a little bit backwards. But I had worked at a hedge fund in China just after my MBA, and I learned that they use management consulting techniques to add value to their portfolio companies. And I thought that's a great skill to learn. And it'd be great to even learn it in English and doing it in healthcare 100% of the time. So I had joined Oliver Wyman in 2011 in Toronto office back home, where I spent a lot of my life. And they asked me one day if I wanted to transfer to the Singapore office to help start healthcare over there. And when I went to Singapore, of course, it's this futuristic city, really well planned. It's got a lot of fine names and a reputation globally of being a modern cosmopolitan place to do business. Some people refer to it as Asia-lite. But the surrounding areas have a lot of issues when it comes to their health systems. I knew this from an academic perspective, having studied about the region before moving to Singapore but seeing it firsthand was a completely different experience. At the time, I was working for primarily pharmaceutical clients, helping them with market access and other commercially relevant activities. And they were faced with a fundamental challenge of trying to sell their product, which was usually placed in the premium category to markets that had difficulty affording this. And not only did it have difficulty affording this, it had difficulty in delivering it as well as in using the product appropriately, making sure it gets to the patients when it's needed at the right time, at the right dose. And so they were looking for partners. They were looking for partners on the ground that could assist with this delivery education, the technology, and the financing around it as well. Now, there was a real shortage of said partners on the ground. At the same time, there were also insurance companies that wanted to expand their business. They also realized that the policies tended to be a bit simple, and they tended to resemble one another across competitors. And also, to manage increasing claims, they had a tendency to increase the premium that they charged. This was not possible to do indefinitely. And at some point, they needed to actually manage the medical conditions, which you're probably seeing more and more of in the U.S. and in Western markets, less so of in this part of the world. And then lastly, you had conglomerates and investors who said, "Hey, we hear healthcare is going to be a pretty hot field. How do we get started? How do we invest?" And all of this basically set me on a mission of target hunting. And during the course of this, well, I met a lot of interesting companies, a lot of them really, really early in their journey and really too small for any of my clients to find a meaningful way to engage with them. And unfortunately, they couldn't get to the point where they are relevant and large enough to engage with without a lot of capital. This is where, you know, you'd have a nice investment ecosystem coming in to fill in the gaps. This, unfortunately, did not really exist at the time. And I had the hubris of thinking that I could do something about it by being an angel investor and starting to support these founders directly, which, thankfully, seemed to work to a certain degree. It worked to the point where one day, I woke up, and I realized I had 13 angel investments, 9 of which were in healthcare technology, and not a lot of money left in my bank account to do other things with. CHAD: Uh-oh. [laughs] JOSEPH: Yeah. And at the same time, I also realized that the work that those founders are doing is a whole lot more impactful than me sitting up until 3:00 o'clock in the morning every night writing PowerPoint slides or begging analysts to write the PowerPoint slides that would more or less sit and collect dust on my clients' shelves for various reasons. So I came to the realization that I need to do this full time. I didn't have, you know, $10 million in my pocket as reference to spending all my money on angel investments. So I realized that I have to use other people's money, and the way to do that is to join a fund. Now, the problem with that idea is that there weren't any funds that were doing this, like really, really early investing in healthtech companies in the region that was really geared to helping solve some of these really big access challenges. So then I realized I had to start a VC fund that did this and only this. So that's really kind of a long-winded introduction as to how I got started with this. CHAD: Yeah, I want to come back to the process of actually starting a VC fund in a bit. But I'm curious, were the companies that you were doing angel investment in and now doing seed-stage investment in do they tend to be local companies, or do they tend to be international companies that are planning to solve a problem locally? JOSEPH: It's funny you ask that. At the beginning, they were local. Well, actually, if I really were to take a step back, the very first angel investment I made was for a mentee, and she was based in Toronto. But I'd say that the first true angel investment I made, you know, it was in Singapore, first and foremost, because I was there. And then I started branching out. I started making investments in the Philippines. I started looking at companies in Taiwan and other parts. And actually, that opened my eyes to the fact that there may be other companies around the world that are trying to solve a problem that may not necessarily be in my own backyard. So I started to, you know, cheekily, I sent my wife to tech conferences around the world. And she herself is an entrepreneur from the tech industry; hardware was her specialty. And we started identifying companies from all over the world. And the second angel investment where I was the very first investor was actually from a company in South Africa with similar challenges. So the things that we saw as major health system deficiencies or maybe shortages in infrastructure and human capital were very much true not just in Southeast Asia but in a lot of parts of the world. And we noticed that while there were different reasons for why they ended up in that position, the outcome was similar. CHAD: I'm not sure that everyone listening has a good sense of what the healthcare landscape actually looks like in these different places of the world. So let's take insurance, for example; what is the insurance landscape, generally speaking, in Southeast Asian countries? JOSEPH: So, in Southeast Asia, we do have insurers. I mean, private insurance is certainly there. But it's just not -- CHAD: Do most companies have public insurance, too, like universal healthcare? JOSEPH: That depends on which country you're in. Now, the one interesting thing about our entire region is that they've all committed to universal healthcare coverage. I would say that the implementation thereof has been heterogeneous; let's put it that way. Out of Southeast Asian countries that are not Singapore, I'd say that Thailand probably has the strongest public healthcare system. And in fact, they even do health technology assessments, which is really looking at the true cost-effectiveness of a new intervention versus what's currently done in practice to make decisions as to whether they're going to pay for it. And they cover a pretty high percentage of their population with this. And then there are other places where the financing mechanisms are in place, but you don't necessarily have the doctors or the hospitals where they need to be to address the needs of the population. Still, we are dealing with places that are not fully urbanized. And in fact, a good deal of the population is still working on the pharm, basically. One of the other complexities of our region is that just between the Philippines and Indonesia, which together has a combined population of 380 million at least, maybe it's 390 now, you've got 25,000 islands, and not all of those islands tend to hold major tier-one cities, even though they can hold a lot of people. And if there is one thing about healthcare that seems to be a universal truth is that highly skilled workers like to live in the rich cities. CHAD: And so what I'm hearing is that on an individual island, if there's not a major city there, the access to the actual healthcare might be really limited. JOSEPH: That is exactly it. CHAD: In these economies in these countries, it's typical to have private insurance layered on top. But the pharmas probably aren't doing that, right? JOSEPH: Oh, no, no, unfortunately not. There are some pilots of trying to do co-ops or collective insurance or micro-insurance policies. But again, when you look at the amount of premium that they could pay in, the kind of coverage they get is pretty basic. CHAD: So, how does that landscape influence the solutions that startups are creating? JOSEPH: Well, first and foremost, you've got to try to get some sort of mechanism by which you can seek care without having to travel too much. And I think that concept is extremely familiar to all of us thanks to the global pandemic that I hope we're coming out of right now, although there's always a new strain surprising us. The idea of basic telemedicine is one that can have a great deal of impact in these populations. But even before that, just understanding the importance of healthcare, like, what the concept of healthcare is, what the concept of the modern medical system is, is something that a fair number of people never really had awareness of. And I'll call out an example country, and I try not to call out too many examples. But Indonesia did a really good job of educating people about the concept of healthcare when they promoted their universal healthcare coverage. Even if they didn't have the ability to deliver it as well as they wanted to or as widespread as they wanted to, at least they got people paying attention to this concept called health. So awareness is really the first step. The second challenge is all right, so you know health exists. When do you know when you need it? Where are you going to find a doctor? How do you know if a doctor is even good? And how do you know that the products that you're going to get are appropriate? So there are so many challenges that you have to face when you are in a lack of access situation. CHAD: I assume you're getting pitched on a lot of ideas coming to your fund, a lot of startups. Correct me if that's wrong. [laughs] JOSEPH: No, no, that's absolutely true. So one of the blessings and curses of being one of the very few super early-stage healthtech venture funds out there is that there aren't many of us out there. And when we started...let's just put it this way, if I could find a fund that was doing what I wanted to do, I would have sent my CV in, and I couldn't. And starting a fund was basically the last thing I wanted to do, having never worked at a VC before or ever raised money in my life before. So I still think that we are the only truly global impact-oriented seed - I hate the term pre-seed, but I'll use it because of the audience's familiarity with it- investment fund out there right now for healthtech. So by virtue of that, we do see a lot of companies. CHAD: So what are some of the criteria? JOSEPH: So I'd say some of the criteria that we look for is number one, are you solving a real problem? And we define a real problem by the breadth of the problem, like, how many people are suffering from it or how systemic is this problem if it's an infrastructural one? And depth being how severe is this problem: is it life or death, or is it a minor inconvenience? So first and foremost, it's got to be solving a real problem. Second, it's really around the team. You need a lot of clinical, technical, and commercial experience in order to pull off a healthtech startup successfully. And even before that, we want to understand why are you doing this? Because this is not easy. I'd say on a scale of 1 to 10, doing a startup is like an eight, and then doing a healthtech startup is like an 11. It's slow; it's technical, it's regulated, it's super risky. And health systems are very pathway-dependent in the intent to not have many things in common with one another. So it is really, really hard. So we want to know the motivation. Are you going to stick through the thick and thin, or are you doing this healthtech startup because you think healthtech is cool or hot this particular period in the market cycle? So that's another criterion. Another criterion is, well, what's your edge? I mean, okay, you can have a great team, and I think that is definitely a prerequisite. You can solve a problem. But do you have something that could make sure that you are going to be competitive and remain competitive? CHAD: Given the barriers to market entry that you just outlined, do most of the companies that you're investing in have any sort of traction already in the market, or where are they in the product development or business development cycle? JOSEPH: I'm going to give the ultimate cop-out answer of it depends. CHAD: [laughs] Yeah. JOSEPH: But I will qualify that by saying it depends on whether it's hardware or software, and it depends whether it's regulated or non-regulated. So if you are a software company that's unregulated so, what does this mean? It could be like a marketplace. It could be health education. It could be some telemedicine in a loosely regulated market. We'd really like to see user traction. We'd really like to see revenue even. However, if you're a device company and you need to get FDA before you can earn a single dollar, we're okay with it being a science experiment or a prototype on the table as long as the science part of it has been de-risked. So if we know that the fundamental scientific principles are sound, then we're willing to take the productization and regulatory risk because we've been through this journey ourselves. CHAD: And also, you said a team is really important, so if it's a team that has never gone through that before, that's less attractive than a team that has done it before, I assume. JOSEPH: Yeah, absolutely. However, one of the challenges is that outside of the U.S., certain European markets in Israel, it's really difficult to find a team that's gone through the entire medical device development process before. So you are going to rely heavily on your professional service providers, consultants, advisors, other investors who've done this before. And as long as you have at least a path to getting to a point where you can unlock and utilize that expertise, that's okay. But if you don't, then that's a really, really big risk. 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That's A-G-E-N-C-Y, the letter U. CHAD: Earlier, you said FDA. FDA is a United States thing. Do most countries in Southeast Asia have a local regulatory agency like the FDA that things need to be approved through? JOSEPH: Yep, every single one. The question is, what's the process to go through that? Generally speaking, the FDA, as well as the European equivalent, which is the CE Mark, are used as predicates in order to kind of shortcut the process, make it go a little bit faster. Because then you don't have to create a bunch of new work or get the local regulator to really try to do things that they're unfamiliar with. CHAD: You said it's fairly rare for teams to have concrete experience doing that in the local market. Does that mean that most of these markets have been served by, I don't know, large companies previously? JOSEPH: Yeah, and still are. A fair number of emerging markets don't even have the manufacturing capability to even do local production, so they require a lot of importation. I'd say that this is a different case when it comes to generic pharmaceuticals and maybe vaccines and some consumables. But complex devices and biologics are generally manufactured in more developed markets or larger economies. CHAD: Yeah. Well, you mentioned the pandemic, and I'm curious how the pandemic has changed either your prospects for the fund but also the market in general. JOSEPH: I would say, again, it's both a blessing and a curse. So during the start of the pandemic, there was a great deal of societal and economic uncertainty around where are we going to be as a species in six months? And I remember early 2020; it was kind of these Hollywood movies that would paint this kind of semi-apocalyptic picture of where we're going to end up. And as a consequence, people really puckered up and stopped investing in things. I would say that the other side of it is now much of the world understands what it's like to not have access to quality healthcare or even access to healthcare. You see people not going to the hospital for things that they ought to and then suffering the consequences at home, like, let's say, not going for that heart checkup, and then you having a heart attack at home and passing when you otherwise wouldn't have. Or even cancer patients having to delay their therapy because the hospital is just too full. So this concept of telemedicine which has always been resisted by both the payers and providers for being infeasible, or inaccurate, or impossible to fund properly, suddenly had to be done. And the concept of telemedicine is fairly old. I mean, how else would you treat your astronauts in space in the '60s if they got sick? So this is something that NASA thought of and invented and implemented, you know, decades and decades ago. And finally, this came forward. And I was pleasantly surprised to see...and again, I'll quote the U.S. here where The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services or CMS actually reimbursed a bunch of remote procedure codes, which is pretty amazing. And I think that was opening Pandora's Box. There's no going back from that. So I think telemedicine is absolutely here to stay. And the real challenge now is really how to make it more user-friendly, how to improve it, how to improve the decisions that come from it. I really don't think it's going back. And as a consequence of this, it's really benefited a lot of our startups that were trying to build this remote-connected future anyway. CHAD: Has there also been an influx of those kinds of startups? JOSEPH: Absolutely. I would say that there has been a veritable Cambrian explosion of startups where everyone and their uncle is starting a healthtech startup as well as a healthtech fund. I see a lot of new funds coming up promising to invest in this space. So I think it's good in that there's going to be a lot of really new ideas, and hopefully, it's going to improve the standard of care for everyone around the world. But at the same time, it is creating a lot of noise, and it's becoming increasingly difficult to filter through that. CHAD: Do the solutions tend to be local? I guess the nature of my question was, you know, like messaging apps. [laughs] Different countries have different popular messaging apps. What do you see as the penetration of different telemedicine solutions in the different countries? Do you think it's going to be, oh, you know, this is popular in this country? Or do you think it's possible for one company to come in and really have a significant impact in the market across multiple markets? JOSEPH: Yeah, I think it's eventually going to be the latter. So at the start, you do see that you have your national champions. And like instant messaging apps, it's kind of like a 90-10 rule where the number 1 player takes 90% of the market, number 2 takes most of what's left, and then number 3 player caters to some niche or another. And I see two competing forces here; one is, yes, there may be a big player like Babylon or Crew who comes in and rolls up everything backed by heaps of capital. But the other thing could also be that all the health systems start saying, "You know what? Why are we working with an external company? Why don't we just develop all these capabilities ourselves and then keep the patient captive?" And you are starting to see middleware providers who are basically providing that telemedicine layer, white-labeling it, or giving API access to the providers themselves, the legacy providers themselves, and then allowing them to do that. And I actually saw this statistic...I don't know how accurate it was, but I saw a chart in the U.S. that white-labeled or internal telemedicine consults exceeded the number of Teladoc consultations, which is the largest platform in the U.S., at some point last year. CHAD: I'm wondering, do you know if Teladoc uses Twilio? JOSEPH: I really should know the answer to that question, but unfortunately, I do not. CHAD: Because my sense is the real winner in this game might be companies like Twilio because I think everyone is using them. [laughs] JOSEPH: That makes a ton of sense. So when we do look at some investments, we actually want to invest in middleware because why duke it out to be the platform when you're the utility provider? CHAD: So let's turn our attention to the actual creation of the fund. And I know you just opened your second fund last month, right? JOSEPH: Actually, this month. I mean, last month was the paperwork, but it takes time for stuff to get approved. CHAD: Yeah, fair enough. So you already said actually starting a fund was, I think you said, the last thing on earth that you wanted to do. Why was that the last thing you wanted to do? JOSEPH: Frankly, it was a whole lot more uncertainty than I was prepared to handle at the time. And I was either blessed or cursed with this momentary clarity of purpose where I knew with all my being that this is what I wanted to do with myself for, if not the rest of my life, a very long time. And the only alternative, or rather the only choice to pursue this at the time, was really starting a fund. So that's what I had to do, right? CHAD: And how large was the first fund? JOSEPH: It was pretty small; it was $7.6 million, which in local currency equates to a nice number of just above 10 million sings. CHAD: And where did you...I'm going to ask where that ended up coming from. But in terms of the mechanics of actually starting a fund, what did that look like? JOSEPH: Well, it depends on each market. But typically, what happens is you need to first have permission from the regulator in order to actually start and run a fund. So in Singapore, you need to apply for a venture capital fund management license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore. That's what had to be done first, and we got that approved in a pretty good time, actually. I think we might have captured a lull period because now, with all the funds coming out, I've heard the queue is months long in some cases. And then came the business of incorporating the fund itself and then starting to draft all the legal paperwork, the conditions, the private memorandum or prospectus, depending on which geography and how regulated you are, that you show around to investors once they've expressed interest in learning substantially more details about your fund beyond what a simple PowerPoint deck or a casual coffee conversation can yield. And then you start collecting commitments, and then you start collecting the money. And at some point, you have enough money to say, all right, we'll do a close or first close, and that then gives you permission to start deploying that money into investments. And some funds they'll only do one close, some funds will do a first close, and then a final close when they get the rest of the money in or some money committed and then calling the rest of it to come in. Or some will do multiple closes just so that they have the ability to keep deploying continuously while they're doing this fundraising process. And in our case, we were doing rolling closes. So we would close every few months, and we'd continue to deploy. And by the time we finished fundraising, we actually already had nine companies out of the 15 that we have in our portfolio done. So it really depends on all sorts of different factors, which we probably don't have that much time to get into. And I risk perhaps putting my foot in my mouth and misspeaking if I give too many examples. CHAD: [laughs] When it comes to starting a fund, how cookie-cutter is it? Or do you find yourself having to create everything from scratch, all the legal documents, whatever platform you might be...or access you might be giving to the people who are contributing to the fund? JOSEPH: I'd say, again, it depends where you are. I think in the U.S. and especially with the advent of great service providers platforms like AngelList and Assure, it is super cookie-cutter. In our part of the world, I still think it's somewhat cookie-cutter, but we got a little too cute. CHAD: [chuckles] JOSEPH: We thought, okay, it's our first time doing a fund. I've been an LP in other funds. What did I wish I had as an LP? And as a consequence, we introduced some hurdle rates of tiered carry, and even zero carry if we don't hit a certain return. And all that really did was just create more questions from the investors. So we should have probably done it as cookie-cutter as possible in hindsight. CHAD: So I often hear from founders who talk about how it's important to have a VC fund behind you that you agree with, and want to work with, and are excited about, and that can be value additive. Do you need, as someone raising a fund, do you need to consider things like that or other things when it comes to the people you're taking money from the fund? JOSEPH: Absolutely. Maybe knock on wood here, but our relative inexperience when starting a fund probably selected out all the folks who might not have gotten along with us anyway. And the fact that we're pretty straightforward and direct with what we want to do in our objectives probably helped with that selection process as well on the positive side. But I absolutely, absolutely can recommend having that alignment of values and mission with those who are on the journey with you for a good decade. It's like getting married, right? CHAD: Yeah. Well, so when you're planning a fund and thinking about time horizons, is a decade what you're thinking about? JOSEPH: Yeah, all things considered. So our fund lifetime was eight years from final close. But still, it takes time to raise the fund and plan the fund, and you have people that are on board even before the fund begins. So it is a decade-long relationship, at least. And then some of the larger funds because they want to have a longer investment period, will push that out even further where they're going to be a 10-year fund from final close. And if you have enough of your portfolio that hasn't exited yet but still has some value to be uncovered, you may ask your investors to extend the fund life even further. So this is a supremely long relationship that you have. And aside from evergreen funds that don't have a fund lifetime, I think this is about as long as it gets, although I have seen some people float the idea of a 20-year fund or a 50-year fund, but that's really not widely practiced. I think five years is the fastest I've seen, and ten seems to be the average. CHAD: Where did that first fund come from? How did you drum up the interest and decide who would be a part of it? JOSEPH: It's really the folks who have known me the longest or worked with me. So you know how they say when you're raising money for a startup, you get it from the three F's, Friends, Family, and Fools? For funds and for first-time fund managers, I think it's a pretty analogous group of people, although I don't think we have any fools. CHAD: [laughs] JOSEPH: And, unfortunately, don't have family either. So it's really all friends, old co-workers, old clients, and then the people that they introduced us to. There were some serendipitous moments where people liked what I said at a conference, or we asked a tough question. And people asked, "Well, how can you ask such a tough question?" Then they got to know us and then decide to invest from there. But majority of it was just introductions, warm introductions. We never did any cold emails. CHAD: Have there been any exits in the first fund? JOSEPH: Not just yet. We do come in as either the first or second investor in these companies. So there is quite a long journey that we expect before we, you know, see some exits. There may be some this year. But if I look back at my angel investments, there was only real serious talk of an exit at the six-year mark for one of the companies that's doing really well. And even that exit turned out to be just another, you know, the investor changed their mind, and instead of buying the company, they decided to just invest more money into it. So this is a long journey. CHAD: Yeah, definitely. Did that make putting together the second fund any harder, or is that what everyone expects? JOSEPH: I am cautiously optimistic because we're still so early in our journey that the only folks we've really spoken with are the ones who invested in our first fund or passed on our first fund because they don't back first-time fund managers. They come to expect that your second fund is built on the momentum of the first fund. And it's really your third fund that's built on the exit and actual realized track record of your first fund. CHAD: That makes sense. What do you think is next for Verge HealthTech? JOSEPH: Well, first things first, we got to get started with the second fund and see if we can build something to scale. I mean, the first fund was an experiment. It was a small fund, you know. Could we build the world's seed-stage global impact healthtech fund on basically a shoestring? And the second fund is now let's take everything that we wish we had for the first fund and scale it up so bigger initial ticket sizes because we want to own more, the ability to follow on properly, the ability to do more deals, which requires a much bigger team which we now have. As well as to go back and support the winners of our first fund as well as some of the companies that maybe we made a mistake on and passed but still have a strong enough relationship to revisit and get them on the next round or the round after that, or just new companies that the market has moved. You know, the area that we might have been really interested in at the seed stage is now a pre-A stage or an A stage. So that's really what we want to do with the second one. And it would be amazing to see where this goes. I'm thrilled that we actually have, well, I think, one of the best healthtech investment teams in the world; maybe I'm slightly biased with this. CHAD: [laughs] JOSEPH: And I'm excited to see what we can do together. CHAD: That's great. Well, I wish you the best. And I really appreciate you for stopping by and sharing with us. If folks want to follow along with you or get in touch with you, where are the best places for them to do that? JOSEPH: Probably LinkedIn is the best way to do it. Also, I have a blog on Medium, which I'm sure can be linked in the show notes. I've been really bad...I've been traveling intensely in the past half-year. But I promise my next blog post will be interesting. CHAD: [laughs] JOSEPH: Because I just got back from Rwanda and Saudi Arabia, which are two very, very different countries, however, with a great emphasis on improving healthcare, especially on the digital side. CHAD: Well, that's exciting. So folks definitely can find the links for that in the notes, which you can find the notes; you can subscribe to the show and a full transcript of the episode at giantrobots.fm. If you have questions or comments, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And you can find me on Twitter at @cpytel. This podcast is brought to you by thoughtbot and produced and edited by Mandy Moore. Thanks for listening, and see you next time. ANNOUNCER: This podcast was brought to you by thoughtbot. thoughtbot is your expert design and development partner. Let's make your product and team a success. Special Guest: Joseph Mocanu.
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Brian, Blake, and Richard are back for an all-new episode of the Chasing Tone Podcast!Brian digs a hole immediately because the whole team is lacking in sleep and this derails into animal based nonsense early doors. Richard recommended the movie "Metal Lords" to Brian and he kinda liked it. Blake is not convinced so the guys discuss why he needs to re-evaluate his life choices. Brian's been rehearsing with his band and he is loving it but there is definitely an odorous side factor he hadn't bargained for. He tells us a bit more about his love for G and B-Bender equipped guitars and we have an acoustic player recommendation from Blake. Richard has been playing with the new Neural DSP Tone King and Soldano SLO-100 plugins in ProTools and he has a question about how to minimise plugin processor utilisation when recording multiple tracks of guitar.Blake's made his first Impulse Response - based off a throwaway comment from Brian - and it is better than he anticipated so we congratulate his mastery of science as he embraces his new IR driven life. Guitar Center have a new logo and Richard has managed to forget about it for a week or so but is excited to weigh in with his semi-qualified views. Quaggas, Fence jumping, Specialist peanut butter content, Scarypoolparty, Mr. Monoamp, Man the Helm, He has the hat, You cant spell Wampler without Ample ...it's all in this week's Chasing Tone!We are on Patreon now too!Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/chasingtonepodcast)DIY mods:https://modyourownpedal.com/collections/booksFind us at:https://www.wamplerpedals.com/https://www.instagram.com/WamplerPedals/https://www.facebook.com/groups/wamplerfanpage/Youtube:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdVrg4Wl3vjIxonABn6RfWwContact us at: firstname.lastname@example.orgSupport the show
Joy Beghtel and her husband Greg wanted more for their family so they bought a strawberry farm that they've transitioned to a larger asparagus operation. Enjoy the story and deep-dive into all things asparagus! Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (00:00): Joy Beghtel joins me today to discuss hand snapping an acre and a quarter of asparagus spears with her family on their farm, Fields of Joy, in Anderson, Indiana. Enjoy this conversation as we dive deep into all things farming with this perennial crop and their transition away from strawberries. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (00:22): Welcome to More Than A Mile, a local food podcast from Market Wagon, focused on connecting you to local food through farmer stories from across America. I'm Nick Carter, your host, a farmer and CEO and co-founder of Market Wagon. We are your online farmers market with a mission to enable food producers to thrive in their local and regional markets. Food is so much more than just nutrients and calories. It's actually the fabric that holds us together. And I look forward to crafting a generational quilt of farmer stories and experiences, the victories and challenges of individuals, families, and teams doing their part to help democratize food in America. Thanks for joining me for this episode of More Than A Mile, and thank you for buying local food. It's one critical step in making an investment in food for future generations. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (01:11): My guest today is Joy Beghtel from Anderson, Indiana. Not very far from Indy, just a few miles up the road from where we farm and where the Market Wagon headquarters is at. Joy, thanks for being with us today. Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (01:22): Yeah. Thanks for having us, Nick. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (01:24): So you grow one edible crop--and one only that I know of, right? Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (01:31): Yes. . Well, one only that we sell on Market Wagon. Yeah. We do grow other things, but primarily just for our farm stand the rest of the year. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (01:38): So you've got a farm stand where you grow some other produce for, but what do you sell on Market Wagon? Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (01:43): We sell a lot of asparagus. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (01:46): How much, how many acres? Is it measured in acres or row feed? How much asparagus do you have over there. Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (01:51): It is measured in acres. We actually grow that much. So I always laugh and say, isn't it every little girl's dream to grow up and own an asparagus farm. We right now have about an acre and a quarter of asparagus. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (02:06): Wow. Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (02:07): Yeah, that's a lot. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (02:09): Okay. That's a lot of asparagus and this is--for our listeners who don't know--this is a permaculture, right? So it's perennial. Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (02:18): Correct. It has a 15 to 25 year lifespan on it. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (02:22): Oh, wow. That long. Okay. Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (02:23): Yeah. It just depends on the variety and I think kind of the weather and that sort of things, but we should get at least 15 years, we're hoping for somewhere around 20 on the plants that we put in. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (02:35): And so when did you start this farm? Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (02:37): Yeah, so we actually bought the farm in 2013. When we purchased it, it was a U-Pick strawberry farm. We kind of just stumbled onto it--kind of a long story. I grew up on a, what would probably be considered a small hobby farm. Probably not far from where you grew up, Nick. I grew up in Northern Grant County, so... Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (02:58): Yeah, I actually showed dairy calves in Grant County. Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (03:02): Okay. I thought you said on one of your podcasts, that you were a Howard County boy and I was like... Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (03:05): I'm a Howard County boy, but there was no other dairy farms in all of Howard County so I got special permission to drive to the next county over and show my Four-H dairy calves. Yep. Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (03:15): Very fun. Very fun. Yeah. So I grew up in Northern Grant County. We had probably what would be considered a hobby farm. You know, we did like a third of an acre of garden and had goats and chickens and rabbits and all of that kind of stuff. And so I didn't think much about it. I really had just an idyllic childhood looking back on it. It was all of that good stuff that you get living out in the country. And then I grew up and went to college, got a couple degrees in social work and Greg and I got married and started living the good life... Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (03:46): Two degrees. Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (03:46): Two degrees in social work. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (03:47): Because if you're gonna get one degree in social work, you may as well get multiple. Right? Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (03:51): I mean, you might as well. And then end up growing asparagus. Right? I mean, why not? Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (03:54): So it's a great application of that. Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (03:56): Yeah, perfect. My parents were thrilled. No, my parents actually are thrilled. I should say that they love what we are doing and how we're living our lives. So yeah, so Greg and I were just really happy living in Fishers, had a couple of girls and adopted our son from Ethiopia. And then as you do, when you have kids, I think probably Nick, you realize you get that itch to give your kids what you had growing up. And... Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (04:19): That is exactly why we started our farm. I mean like, verbatim. I can't, I know that you can grow up to be a functioning adult without growing up as a farm kid, but I don't know how to make it happen because it hasn't happened to me. So... Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (04:34): I don't know either. And I kind of, I told Greg I was getting panicked because I thought they don't, they don't have animals. Like cats and dogs to me aren't animals. I'm like goats, chickens. We have alpacas. We have, you know, I was just getting real nervous that the kids were not having the experience that I had growing up. So we started looking for a small farm and spent a couple years with a realtor, trying to nail something down when somebody at church casually mentioned like, 'Hey, I picked strawberries up at this strawberry farm in Anderson. And the guy said, he's putting his farm up for sale.' So I literally that day got in my van, loaded my kids up and drove up here. And I remember calling Greg from the field and just saying, I think I have found our spot. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (05:19): Pack your bags, hubby, we're moving. Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (05:21): Yeah. We threw our house on the market. It was sold in two weeks. We closed on this place and we told ourselves, I remember my dad saying, 'you know, strawberries are not an easy crop to grow.' We grew them as kids. Right. You know, everybody grows a patch of strawberries, but this was... Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (05:36): So you promptly ripped them out of the ground and went to asparagus. Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (05:40): No, I let myself suffer for three solid years. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (05:43): Three solid years. Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (05:44): Oh yeah. Well we promised ourselves, you know, it was a business that we were purchasing. Not only was it a house that was as large as our house in Fishers, but we got five acres with it and it had a functioning business. So we didn't wanna just toss that out. You know, we're like I remember saying, we'll give this three years and see what happens. And I think what we didn't realize is when you grow large scale, I mean, three acres of strawberries is large scale. When you do that in central Indiana, where there's a lot of water, a lot of late frost, it's a real risky product and it's extremely weather sensitive. And it requires a fairly significant amount of chemicals that we didn't realize we were getting into. And so after three seasons where every season we had a four and a half to five inch rain--in a day--during that season. Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (06:37): I remember literally the third year walking into the house and saying to Greg, 'I don't care what you do, but I'm not growing strawberries anymore.' Like I'm done with this crop. And we had a real serious conversation after that season and really had to pivot and say what works for our family? What is not going to cause us a lot of stress and anxiety weather-wise what will still produce a good income and not consume our whole summer. And I remember laying in bed talking about this one night and Greg said, 'I think we go for asparagus.' Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (07:17): How did he--had he ever grown asparagus before? Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (07:19): So the farm when we bought it, in addition to the three acres of strawberries, had just kind of a lot of little stuff. Like there was about 300 feet of established asparagus. There was 40 fruit trees. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (07:30): So you were also growing asparagus in addition to the nightmare of the strawberries. Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (07:35): Right. 300 feet. It wasn't a huge amount. I mean, I grew up with this asparagus patch as a kid. I remember it was the worst place to get chiggers in the whole world. You know, it, it was what it was. And so he said, 'I really think it's a perennial crop. It requires no chemicals. And asparagus is such a smart crop--when it is cold, it stays underground. When it is hot and sunny, it comes up. So you kind of--you're at the mercy of the crop and the weather, but it does not ruin your crop in the way that strawberries are so weather sensitive. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (08:15): And are there natural predators to the--the strawberry issue is that the bugs that live in Indiana really love our strawberries. Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (08:24): Yeah. That and the fungus. Yeah. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (08:25): Uhhuh. Yeah. What, what do you have, what do you have that threatens the asparagus? Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (08:30): There's an asparagus beetle that sometimes we fight. But to be honest, we really haven't had a lot of issues. I've kind of attributed that to we don't have a ton of bug pressure on our farm. And I think part of that is we're in the middle of conventional fields. So whether I want to be organic or not. I don't have that luxury because I butt up to conventional farm fields. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (08:53): So they're using chemicals that are actually--you're not spraying them on your field, but they're keeping the beetles away. Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (08:59): Right, right, right. And we're on the Indiana Drift Watch Program and we have a good relationship with the farmers close to us. We had a struggle with the farmer that was right next to us, but he sold that field and the other farmers are very conscientious. They've come, they've looked at what we're growing. They call us before they spray. So we've had a good experience. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (09:21): Good. Now I have a similar experience. We grow a lot of sweet corn but we are nowhere near conventional ag. We're in the middle of Indianapolis. So there's not a cornfield for miles and miles around. So there's this moth that lays a larvae. If you've ever peeled sweet corn and you've got that one worm in there, it's actually a larva of a moth. And we thought that that was gonna be a big challenge. I've never seen a single one of them on our farm in four years because there's no other habitat for that moth anywhere around. Well the beetles that you're dealing with, can you deal with those with D.E.? Can we say that word? How do we say that word? Diet-tenacious... Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (10:04): Diatomaceous earth. Yeah. We used it a lot for our chickens and all kinds of stuff. You know what though? The issue that we've really run into, which has been great is the asparagus beetle does not tend to cause a problem when we're harvesting. They tend to come out after we've already let it fern out. So at the end, when we're done picking. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (10:24): They're damaging next year's crop. Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (10:26): They're damaging next year's crop. But to be honest, there is so much asparagus out there that they're not really doing too much damage. So... Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (10:36): It's a welcomed population control. Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (10:38): Yeah. We've just been really grateful. We've not had to spray for anything. We fertilize once a year and that is it on the field. That's the only treatment that we do. Yeah. Other than, you know, mowing it off at the end of the season and a little top tilling at the beginning of the season. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (10:53): So I was going to ask you because--and you brought it up. I know you mentioned that you are chemical free, so you don't use any chemicals. So what kind of--but you've said fertilizers--so what kind of feeding does asparagus need? Is it a heavy nitrogen feeder? Like tomatoes? Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (11:07): It's a real heavy nitrogen feeder. Yeah. it's not straight urea but it's like a 35 or 30 dash zero dash five something. So it's a real heavy nitrogen. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (11:17): Heavy nitrogen. Got it. Do you have chickens? Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (11:20): We have chickens. Yep. We have chickens. We don't have enough chickens that we could fertilize this whole field. We have alpacas and we use every ounce of their fertilizer. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (11:29): Is alpaca manure high in nitrogen too? Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (11:31): It's fabulous. It's not high in nitrogen. It's actually kind of like similar to a rabbit manure. So you can put it straight on. No aging. I put it on all my flower beds, rhubarb, all that kind of stuff. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (11:42): We have goats--goats and horses and we put their manure straight on in the fall after everything's out. And then just under and let it know it's aging out in the field. But we have we have 400 laying hens. And so we get a decent amount of nitrogen. I gotta tell you. Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (12:02): Maybe you should bring your nitrogen up here for my field. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (12:05): Oh, I'm using--I'm hoarding it. Sorry. No sharing of the nitrogen. Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (12:09): We're that way with our goat and alpaca poop. We sometimes get requests for alpaca fertilizer and I'm like, 'Nope.' I use it on everything. Yes. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (12:18): So it's a heavy nitrogen feeder. What is, I should know this, but I don't. What technically is asparagus? Is it a broad leaf? Is it a grass? What is it? You want me to edit this one out so that we both sound smarter? Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (12:33): No, edit this one out. No. So asparagus is a crown. I don't know if you've ever seen what it looks like to plant it. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (12:38): Oh, of course. Yeah. Yeah. Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (12:39): For sure. So when we decided to put in--in 2016 we put in 5,000 crowns. The next year we put in 5,000 additional crowns. So in addition to the 300 feet plus a little more, we had added to, we added 10,000 crowns of asparagus. And we're really lucky. I don't know if most folks would know that Michigan is a really good supplier of asparagus. That's where a lot of our asparagus comes from. When you get more kind of local asparagus. So there are a couple of different asparagus farms that sell crowns. So we were able to drive up to Southwest Michigan and right in front of us, they dug up the crowns. We brought 'em home, put 'em in fresh. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (13:21): Oh, so you got to go get them. You dug them up yourself. Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (13:24): Yeah. They dug them right there for us, packaged them up and we brought them right home and got them directly in the ground. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (13:29): So we've never gone into asparagus. I, and before buying our farm, we did we attempted a failed attempt at a small asparagus patch. The crowns just never took. And I may, maybe I didn't fertilize him. Right. Interesting. Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (13:42): Yeah. You've got a trench really far down. It's about 14 inches that you trench way down into the ground. And then it's a pretty laborious process to plant 5,000 grounds. I'm pretty sure we should have hired that out. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (13:54): But you only have to do it once every 20 years. Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (13:56): That's right. Right. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (13:57): Once every 20 years, Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (13:59): Trust me, I will not be doing it in another 20 years. Somebody else will be doing the labor on that. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (14:04): You will not be doing it in 20 more years. So you you've decided that you've got a cap to how long you want to be an asparagus farmer. Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (14:13): Well, I think yeah, In 20 years Greg and I will be pushing retirement age for sure. I think that's, what's so great about this farm--us buying it--was, although I would love to have inherited, you know, an old family property that I could have kept the legacy going. The really great thing about this property is we've been able to make it what we want to and transition it to what works well for our family. So I think in another 15 years you know, our kids will all be grown--if one of them wants to come back and put in the next round of asparagus or grow flowers. Great. If they don't and they wanna put in something else or, you know, if they wanna go and do something else, that's great too. I don't want to put any requirements on what they choose. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (14:57): Until they get that anxiety that, oh my gosh, I'm not raising my kids with animals. Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (15:02): Well, you know, teenagers, I've got three teenagers right now. And of course they're all like, oh, we're moving to the city. We're gonna eat processed food all day long. You know, they're at that stage of life. And I think, yeah, maybe, and that'll be fine. And if not, we'd love to have them back and love to see them raising our grandkids out here. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (15:19): Yeah. Well Anderson's not that far. Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (15:23): No, no. Anderson's a great community. You know, we've really had a good experience here. A lot of people kinda looked at us strange when we left Hamilton County and said really Madison County, but it has been a really great fit for our family. The community's been really welcoming and we love it up here. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (15:39): Talk to me a little bit more about the family. So your family's involved in the farm. Are your kids--they are out there cutting asparagus and bundling it and bringing it to Market Wagon? Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (15:50): Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Our kids don't have much of an option. It's all hands on deck during asparagus season. They know that kind of late April to the beginning of June that's just what our family does. We kind of sign off from friends and family, say we'll see you in about four weeks. And we hit it hard as a family, so the kids harvest and then two of my kids harvest with Greg and then my middle daughter and I kind of trim it up and bundle it, weigh it all out and get it ready in the kitchen. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (16:19): Wow. That's so great. Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (16:19): Yeah. And it'll be interesting. We don't know how much the crop will yield every year. That's the other thing that's unique about asparagus because it comes up from the ground, kind of like little fingers cropping out of the ground. We know what an acre of asparagus should produce when it is fully mature, but we're just now hitting that full maturity with our crop because it takes about three years for an asparagus patch to really produce fully. So, you know, last year we picked, well over 2000 pounds, we think this year we'll pick over 3000 and then we should level off somewhere in the next couple of years, somewhere between four and 6,000 pounds off of that acre. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (17:01): Wow. Wow. Where, where all does it go? Do you sell that much on Market Wagon or do you sell most of it at your own farm stand? Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (17:11): Yeah, we've got several different outlets. So of course the farm stand is always the first place that it's out because we can put it out here in our front yard, on our big cart and, and it is a little temperamental when it's cold and, and cloudy, the crop doesn't come up. We have to wait for a hot sunny day to get it going. Once that gets rolling and we're a little later in the season, we'll be at the Pendleton Farmers Market. We have a couple of different little grocery stores that we sell to. And then we're excited to hopefully do both Tuesday and Thursday on Market Wagon this year. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (17:44): Yeah, yeah. You should. Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (17:46): We're thrilled. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (17:47): Yeah. That's great. So, all right. We've kind of talked about it. We can, people can find you at Pendleton Farmers Market, on Market Wagon.com. You have a farm stand, right? So people can drive out to your place. How else can customers learn about you online or otherwise? Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (18:05): Yeah, so we have our Facebook page and our Instagram, Fields of Joy produce. And then we should have asparagus this year at R&R Market in Pendleton and downtown Anderson at Collective Roots and then Wildwood Market downtown Indy. We sold with them for a long time. So we're excited to be in all those locations. Yeah. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (18:26): Awesome. Now I don't know, Ross may cut this off, but I just wanna have fun learning a little bit more about asparagus and what you could do. So, and maybe this, will be the fun addendum to the end of the podcast. You said top tilling. So you have to go out and, and break the surface for the asparagus Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (18:42): To come through. Yeah. Just helps to, to allow the asparagus to come up through the ground a little bit easier. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (18:47): Do you use a disc or a rototiller for that? Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (18:49): A rototiller. Yep. We just go slightly over the top of all of those rows. Our struggle sometimes is weed control and weed pressure. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (18:56): That's my next question, right? Yeah. You can't because this stuff, it spreads underground. Right. So you cannot use a weed block of any kind. Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (19:03): Correct. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (19:04): So what's the weed pressure like, does it eventually win? Like does it... Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (19:09): Well, we hope not. We're hoping it doesn't eventually win. The good thing is that by the time we are done harvesting, that's really when you have your heavy weed pressure coming on. Right. So that kind of late May, we've already really harvested by the time heavy weed pressure comes on. And at that point, you let your whole field go to fern, that fern shades out those weeds, and they really don't get established. So other than thistle, we, you know, if we find thistle we go out and try to deal with that. Horse weeds, we had a horrible problem with horse weeds when we first--what we call horse weeds. Digging those things out, you know, making sure you're staying on top of seeds, all of that. But people ask us that all the time, do you weed your asparagus? I'm like, oh, there's no way I could weed this patch. And it's really okay. It doesn't bother me that there's weeds out there. Because we can pick around all of that. And then that fernage just kind of shades it out. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (20:09): Yeah. So that's what I meant when I said, does it win? I meant does the asparagus eventually win? Cause I know that happens like corn. It will it'll canopy eventually. So you just need to keep ahead of the weeds until the canopy. But I hadn't thought about the fact that yeah, the weed pressure, you know, I always feel like I'm a big victorious vegetable farmer until like the first week of June. And that's when I'm like, oh man, , it's like a tortoise and hare race. And I'm the hare in the first month and a half of produce season and then the tortoise always catches up. All of those weeds become overwhelming. So what does harvest look like? How do you, how do you have to is it's not by hand, is it you're not cutting every spear? Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (20:51): Every snap. We are, we are actually hand snapping every spear. So we've found it's just the best way, you know, there's certainly methods. People can use a tractor and you can lay on your belly and kind of pick it that way. We just, I know-- Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (21:06): I just picture myself telling my daughter, no, it's gonna be fine. You just lay under the tractor like this. Yeah. Daddy won't I won't roll over your legs. It's gonna be fine. Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (21:13): No, it's totally fine. If you look on YouTube, I'm sure you could find a whole bunch of creative inventive ways. At this point we are still hand harvesting it. You know, when we get to that four, 5,000 pounds, we may decide to, to invest in something different. But for us right now with our kids, we've hired a young boy to come and help us harvest. It is what it is. And that's what we say makes our asparagus different. It's not machine harvested where, you know, they set a height on the asparagus and it all gets knocked. At the same point, we are running our hand from the bottom of that spear up. We're finding that tender spot. We're popping it off there. And then it, it gets brought in. We sort all of our asparagus into four different sizes so that your full pound of hand snapped asparagus--not only can you eat the entire stalk because the entire stalk is tender , but it's all sized appropriately so that you can cook it in the same way and have a good success. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (22:13): Because that is something that happens with store bought asparagus--you can't eat the bottom of it. Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (22:19): No, it's usually... Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (22:20): Do they? Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (22:20): We basically tell people it's not the same product. If you buy something in the store. It might all be sized similarly, similarly, similarly, but lemme get that word out. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (22:30): Diatamatious earth... Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (22:33): Diatamatious. Let's just call that DE. You're definitely going to cut the bottom third off to get to your tender spot where we've already hit that tender spot for you. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (22:43): And is it a true cut and come back? Like you're gonna get another spear out of that same plant or it's just different spears are coming up. Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (22:50): Different spears. Yeah. So if you think about that asparagus, crown, that little crown that you plant with one little spear coming up, it will build every year. So off of that crown, you will have buds all of those buds then produce spears coming up off of the ground. And that's really where you get your different sizes. I think people sometimes think that the real thick ones are real Woody and you can't eat those. Those are just as tender. It's just an older bud off of that crown. So every year we should get more and more of the thin spears because new buds produce thin spears, but as they age, they get bigger. So yeah, so always we have lots and lots of different sizes coming up out of the ground. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (23:39): One of the others--we talked about strawberries being a headache. One of the other headaches about strawberries is if you intend to grow anything else, you also have to be murdering strawberry plants every year because they want to, they want to invade and take over. Does asparagus do the same thing? Is it difficult to keep in place? Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (23:55): No, we've actually we designed all of our field so that the asparagus has plenty of room to spread. That's what we wanted to do. So our older patches are you know, a foot and a half wide. Well, they're probably more like three feet wide at this point. And then when you plant your new patch, when we planted all of those 10,000 crowns, they were of course in a one little single row. And every year when you go out that wide, that road just keeps getting wider and wider. So we've left plenty of room between all of those rows, not only to mow, to keep a good walking path down, but to allow that one little crown to just take off over the next 20 years and start widening out and develop lots of different buds coming off of it. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (24:42): Very fascinating. Thank you for the asparagus farming tutorial that most of our listeners would've turned off about five minutes ago, but this was great. Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (24:51): I'm not sure I should be proud of myself that I know quite so much about asparagus . Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (24:56): You know, if it takes two social [work] degrees in order to know this much about asparagus, I guess... Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (25:00): That's right. That's right. Well, I can do other things too. I can do other things too. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (25:06): Oh. Joy, this has been great. I really appreciate you sharing your story and letting people know a little bit more about where their food comes from and how difficult and challenging it is to raise good, both strawberries and asparagus, and everything else because it just engenders, a greater appreciation for what you do and where our food comes from. So thanks for joining me. Joy Beghtel (Fields of Joy) (25:27): Hey, thanks for having me, Nick. Nick Carter - Host (Market Wagon) (25:34): Thanks for listening to this episode of More Than A Mile. Be sure to sign up for Market Wagon at MarketWagon.com or after downloading the Market Wagon app for iOS or Android. Follow us @MarketWagon on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook for stories, recipes, special announcements, news, and just digital handshakes from our friendly farming community. If you enjoyed More Than A Mile, please rate the podcast and write a review on iTunes, CastBox, PodChaser, or wherever you listen to your favorite podcast. Thank you for continuing to support local food.
Tim Ryan (info @ stronglifetraining.com) is the owner of Strong Life Personal Training in Barrington, Illinois. He is a Master Super Slow instructor with certifications from ACSM, ACE, and the Super Slow Exercise Guild. His expertise includes personal training, mentoring trainers, and exercise equipment design. Contact Tim for his business services here: Website: stronglifetraining.com Email: info @ stronglifetraining.com Phone (US): 630-862-5176 Listen to Part 1-5: 352 – Tim Ryan – The History and Philosophy of HIT – The High Intensity Training Fundamentals Series 354 – Tim Ryan – How to Articulate the Benefits of HIT – The High Intensity Training Fundamentals Series – Part 2 358 – Tim Ryan – Movement Speed – The High Intensity Training Fundamentals Series – Part 3 360 – Tim Ryan – The Optimal Window for Time Under Load and Time To Concentric Failure – The High Intensity Training Fundamentals Series – Part 4 361 – Tim Ryan – How to Determine the Optimal Resistance Level – The High Intensity Training Fundamentals Series – Part 5 In this episode, Tim joins me for Part 6 of our HIT Fundamentals Series where he discusses the assumed vs. real objective of exercise, common form discrepancies, how to coach form, proper head and neck position, proper breathing technique, and much more. Attract and retain more clients This podcast episode is brought to you by ARX Do you struggle to attract and retain clients in your strength training studio? ARX machines use breakthrough motorized resistance and computer software to give your clients the perfect workout every time, so you can start to deliver great workouts and grow your business with confidence. Get $500 OFF by going to ARXFit.com/HIB and booking a call with the ARX sales team – Book Here For all of the show notes, links and resources - Click Here
In this episode, I talk with Dr. Terry Harmon about how he brings God into his healthcare practice. He explains his CAMP acronym which stands for Courage, Autonomic Nervous System, Mitochondria, and Purpose. 2:52 - The Bible and Naturopathy 6:14 - Correct what is off 10:12 - God's intentions toward us 11:09 - Get healthy to lose weight 16:54 - Prayers for healing going unanswered 21:14 - Jesus will give us rest 24:05 - CAMP 30:40 - Oura ring 33:28 - Improve the ANS 38:32 - Get in touch with Dr. Terry Show notes page: https://www.davidsandstrom.com/76
Have you ever heard someone say, “my horse just doesn't get it”? Oftentimes, if a horse just isn't ‘getting it,' there's a good chance that the signals that animal is receiving are not correct. Most trainers know the importance of being consistent; however, I often see trainers consistently sending the wrong signals to their horses. On this episode, I'm sharing a few small changes that can be made to consistently send the correct signals to your horses so that they understand the responses you are asking for. Read the full show notes at philhaugenhorsemanship.com/podcast.
If you're not having the passionate sex that you want in your marriage…You're probably making some of the common mistakes that high achieving Christian men make.There are common, unattractive ways of thinking, feeling and acting towards sex…That IMMEDIATELY turn your wife OFF.Learn what these are…And how to replace them with ATTRACTIVE ways of thinking, feeling and acting…In today's episode.Listen on Strong Men Strong Marriages here. Watch on YouTube here. Dr. MikeP.S. If you're a high achieving Christian man who is ready to create deep mental, emotional and sexual intimacy with his wife starting TODAY…CLICK HERE to apply to join my Love, Intimacy And Legacy program.You'll get daily coaching and accountability to become the strong, attractive man that God wants you to be.It's in line with Christian principles, so the changes are lasting and set the example for generations to follow.Because of this, success is inevitable.See results here.Let's get to work my friend!
DwD 0330: CPR and Racing – Correct, Pause, and Recover) CPR is typically referred to in a medical emergency. But in racing, CPR is in reference to Correct, Pause, and Recover when you are out of sorts on the track. The thought behind the acronym is that when your car gets out of shape or out of control on a track, one of the things that should be taken into consideration is that this can often require a procedure where you not only correct for the issue/error, but you must wait an appropriate amount of time for the correction to take effect on the car. This allows the change to be transferred to the car through the vehicle through the suspension and then after seeing the car respond, the driver will then have to finish the process with a recovery to continue along the desired pathway on track. This is because the correction will often lead to a change of course that requires a further input to track properly. The unique aspect of this process is being relaxed enough to wait and feel the pause before applying the recovery before the correction has taken place. Without the pause, a driver can often get caught up in greater and greater oscillations and get “behind” the vehicle and end up in a worse condition than the original issue would have caused. This is likely part one of several episodes. A link to the episode is: https://tinyurl.com/CPRandRacing If you would like to help grow our sport and this podcast: You can subscribe to our podcast on the podcast provider of your choice, including the Apple podcast app, Google music, Amazon, and YouTube etc. Also, if you could give our podcast a (5-star?) rating, that we would appreciate that very much. Even better, a podcast review, would help us to grow the passion and sport of high performance driving and we would appreciate it. For instance, leaving an Apple Podcast rating is amazingly easy. If you go to your podcast library, look under shows. Then click on this podcast. Here you can leave a (5?) star rating and enter your review. We hope you enjoy this episode! PS If you are looking to stream or save your integrated telemetry/racing data with you video, Candelaria Racing Products Sentinel System may be the perfect solution for you. We are in the midst of installing the system in two of our cars. If this sounds like something that may help you and your team, please use our discount code "GHIT" for a 10% discount code to all our listeners during the checkout process. PS2 Please do not forget that if you are looking to add an Apex Pro to your driving telemetry system, do not forget to use our discount code for all Apex Pro systems you will receive a free Windshield Suction Cup Mount for the system, a savings of $40. Just enter the code “ghitlikesapex!” when you order. They are a great system and invaluable to safely increasing your speed on track and/or autocross, etc. The recently released second generation systems and app increases the capability of the system. Best regards, Vicki, Jennifer, Ben, Alan, and Bill Hosts and Drivers for the Garage Heroes In Training team
The Sacramento Kings have agreed with Golden State assistant Mike Brown on a four-year contract to become the franchise's next coach. Do you like the move? Drop a comment below.Please like, share and subscribe for more NBA coverage. ► Subscribe to our Podcast on iTunes:https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/ck-podcast/id1143709061?mt=2► Subscribe to Leo's YouTube Channel:https://www.youtube.com/c/LeoBeas► Subscribe to our YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/c/CowbellkingdomTV► Follow Basketball Zone for
Matt May is Founder and CEO of Premier Team Building and Interactive experiences, he's also a speak and author of the Book, "Take the Fear out of Team Building." In this engaging and fun show, you can learn: Why “team building” is not a “bad word.” Why grown-ups have developed fear and anxiety around play and team building? How do you go about having fun/play yet keeping the learning real and authentic? How do you get folks to participate who just don't want to get involved. Join our Tribe at https://leadership-hacker.com Music: " Upbeat Party " by Scott Holmes courtesy of the Free Music Archive FMA Transcript: Thanks to Jermaine Pinto at JRP Transcribing for being our Partner. Contact Jermaine via LinkedIn or via his site JRP Transcribing Services Find out more about Matt below: Matt on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mattmayptb/ Matt on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PremierTeamBld Matt on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/premierteambuilding/ Matt's Website: https://premierteambuilding.com/ Full Transcript Below ----more---- Steve Rush: Some call me Steve, dad, husband, or friend. Others might call me boss, coach, or mentor. Today you can call me The Leadership Hacker. Thanks for listening in. I really appreciate it. My job as The Leadership Hacker is to hack into the minds, experiences, habits and learning of great leaders, C-Suite executives, authors, and development experts so that I can assist you developing your understanding and awareness of leadership. I am Steve Rush, and I am your host today. I am the author of Leadership Cake. I am a transformation consultant and leadership coach. I cannot wait to start sharing all things leadership with you Our special guest on today shows Matt May. He's the founder and CEO of Premier Team Building & Interactive Experiences Company. He's also a speaker, an author of the book, Take The Fear Out Of Team Building. But before we get a chance to speak with Matt, it's The Leadership Hacker News. The Leadership Hacker News Steve Rush: The values and culture play a real part in leadership post pandemic. We're going to look at how environments have changed dramatically over the last 10 years and particularly since the pandemic. It's exposed weaknesses and for some businesses strengths and the effectiveness of company values and how they're put into practice. I want to dive in and have a quick look at how leadership drastically changes company culture and how values inform it. There's a fantastic report from the ILM called leading through values if you get a chance to get your hands on it, which gives you much more context and detail about the things I'm going to talk to you about. And just to throw something else into the mix that helps inform culture and values, right now. I wrote an article in CEOWorld Magazine and on LinkedIn called Mind The Gen Gap. For the first time, we now have four generations in the workforce, Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, Millennials, and Gen Zers or Gen Zers if you're in the UK. And the reason this is important is because values is the principles, the rules of the game, and we all have perspectives based on our generations. And whilst these are not scientifically proven, it's a good barometer and we should take it into consideration. The ILM research found that 69% of people will reconsider a job if the company culture seems to be toxic, 77% felt that company culture was incredibly important to them and the values that their boss also brings to the culture and 56% ranked opportunities for growth as more important than their basic salary and package. So, the top values that impact on culture are having a person centered and authentic approach with the core elements, being congruence. In other words, your words and actions make sense to your employees. Being genuine in essence, empathy, having a deep understanding of what it feels like for employees of every grade and every level and an unconditional positive regard for the individual. And only if there is a genuine approach to demonstrate these values from senior leadership. There can be congruency throughout the organization. You'd expect wellbeing of employees to be up there and of course, it is. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, CIPD. Run a survey of over 3000 individuals in the UK. And the survey consistently found a 38% of workers experience work stress on a weekly basis. The problem in a lot of companies is that there is no clear standalone health and wellbeing strategy. In fact, only 8% of companies had such a strategy And at least 34% of managers expressed a need for independent authority and feel unempowered to really do anything. My observation here is if we have a people centered approach, wellbeing should be part of that, and we don't necessarily need to have a strategy or strategic. We do however need to be more thoughtful and compassionate. And as a talent management and learning and development, professional. It's music to my ears, to see self-directed on autonomous learning to sit up here in the top tier, there's been a significant shift away from organizations investing in organization-wide learning programs and much more focused self-directed autonomous learning and it's becoming more prominent in most company's culture. And this means that the company values are the basis of helping employees engage when it's meaningful and when it's right for them. But this strategy provides some challenges, too. Some people really struggle to learn on their own. They do need guidance, support, and others to help them on their journey. There are people not able to extract and absorb the information in the same way and still need that for face-to-face facilitator led sessions. And there's such a thing too, to have too much freedom. The number of possibilities can create overwhelm and anxiety. So, we have to sometimes help people direct them to the most appropriate resources. And their last one on my list today is recognition. Remuneration is important for sure but recognizing staff for good jobs well done is most important and a significant indicator in value-based leadership. Many employees want to feel that their work is being valued and valuing values plays an important role in this because they should stipulate in some way that there is a recognition of the hard work outside of the salary and the direct results as a result of their work. This will also inform great culture and culture can be formed so that this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The final thing I want to draw our attention to is your company's purpose is not your purpose and your mission, but finding that connectivity by what you do to why they do what they do will really help you find true purpose in your work, as well as in your life Values based culture gives you the principles to accelerate progress together and purpose will anchor the activities that bring people together to drive great culture. That's been The Leadership Hacker News, lets dive into the show. Start of Podcast Steve Rush: Joining on the show today is Matt May. He's the founder and CEO of Premiering Building & Interactive Experiences Company. Who's putting the fun and energy back into play. He's also a speaker, an author of the book, Take The Fear Out Of Team Building. Matt, welcome to the show my friend. Matt May: Thank you so much for having me. I'm thrilled to be here. Steve Rush: So, I'm really looking forward to our interactive experience today. But before we get into that, maybe you can just give our listeners a little bit of the journey from where it all began in theater to you and how you ended up running in interactive experiences firm. Matt May: Absolutely. So, I was in music and theater in high school, middle school. I always was creative. Hey, let's put on some sort of a show or a presentation or do something for the family and the parents and the yada, yada in the backyard, in the garage. And when I went to school undergraduate, I went for theater. I earned a dual major in theater and arts administration. So, I got that business side. I also was a camp counselor when I was a teenager. I went through a three-year counselor in training program as a camper. Took some psychology courses in undergrad, as well as a number of leadership courses. And I don't know if they're call all seminars or what but opportunities that were presented through a variety of organizations within the university setting. So that kind of all sorts of came together for me after I graduated school, I went to New York city and did the professional entertainment thing for a while, but I also was always kind of had an education thought in my head. So, I really did a number of different things. I finally left New York after five years. I said, I'm moving to sunnier pastures because I want to be able to have my coffee outside, whether it's January or June. Steve Rush: That's right, yeah. Matt May: [Laugh]. I moved to Florida in the states and really haven't looked back. But when I moved there, I started working in administration at a performing arts high school and college and had a number of different opportunities that I embraced and did. And finally sort of fell into team building per say. I happened to be bartending at a comedy show on campus at the Fort Lauderdale Performing Arts Center, the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. And the stage manager happened to be staffing an event, a team building event, just helping the company, which is actually based in Massachusetts. So not even close by. And she said, hey, do you want to do it? And I said, yeah, absolutely. And that was my first official team building as an assistant staff. And I said, oh, huh, there's something about this. So, jump ahead, several years I was facilitating, I started doing a lot of producing because of my theatre background. I was able to do production and logistics and whatnot, and finally said, you know what? I quite honestly, I'm tired of being on the front lines and not having control and what goes into all of the preparation beforehand and created my own company. And I like to call it a perfect storm because I have my logistics and my business and my entrepreneurship and my sales skills. And by the way, sales is my least favourite thing to do. But I get guess I have some sort of a knack for it. But then I also, when I facilitate jump on stage and I'm able to get people working together and be entertaining and whatnot. So, I'm able to use all of my experiences and all of my different training, whether it be from education or professional or theatre or business, and it kind of a perfect store and collides together. So that's kind of how I got to where I am now. And looking back, of course, hindsight is always 2020, I think. Oh, all right. Well, that's why I did all of those different things and worked in education and professional theatre and, you know, did some temping offices and whatnot so that all of this came together for me to where I am now, Steve Rush: Steve jobs, I think famously said you can't always connect the dots forward, but you can definitely connect them back. And that's perfect example, right? If you were trying to create the path to where you are now, you'd probably never get there. Matt May: No. And you just made me think, I don't know if I'm the only one, but I remember as a kid, when we would try to do mazes, you know, the mazes that you draw, the pen or the pencil through it all. Steve Rush: Yeah. Matt May: Some reason, they seem to be easier going backwards. Steve Rush: Oh, that's interesting perspective. I wonder if that's something to do with the way that our brains are wired as well. Matt May: It must be, I've never really researched it, and until you mention that Steve Jobs quote, I hadn't really thought of it, but I think that's on my to-do list this afternoon. Steve Rush: Shout out to all amateur neuroscientists, or any professional ones that listen to the show, they can maybe contact us and let us know. That'll be interesting to have a look at. Matt May: Yes. Steve Rush: So, the work that you do now, it's very still theatrical, isn't it? So, you get to be that front to stage guy, but also then be that production guy as well. Is there a natural kind of thing that you prefer? Are you more of a front man or more of a production man? Where would you say you're kind of true passion lie? Matt May: Geez, that's a tough question to answer. You know, certainly being a performer as I was younger and going to school for it initially, that's instilled in me, but it's funny. I will have clients who are new clients often come up to me after an experience ended and say, where did you come from? And the first few times that happened, I didn't understand it. But now I do, when I walk into a ballroom or whatever, and I'm setting up and managing staff and we're getting ready, it's very organized and logical. And you know, I'm just doing what needs to be done and I'm talking to a client or whatever, and it's very professional, but something happens that when I jump on stage or jump in front of a crowd or grab a mic or whatever, I just inherently turn it on if you will. Steve Rush: Yeah. Matt May: And that's what they refer to now. The challenge is, in my line of work is. I'm not there just to entertain, right. And I'm reminded of the late Alex Trebek from Jeopardy. He was never wanted to be introduced as the star of the show Jeopardy. It was always the host of the show because his feeling was that contestants were the stars. Steve Rush: Yes. Matt May: And I try to keep that philosophy that the participants in the experience, they are the stars, the light shines on them. When I start a program, I'm doing kind of what I like to think of as audience warm up. And yeah, I do my skit and whatnot, but that gets people going. But then once the experience really gets going and they get hands on, it's all about them. Steve Rush: Yeah. And of course, the biggest thing, most of all is, you're there to facilitate a learning outcome. Matt May: Exactly. Steve Rush: And that's the one thing that is different from a performance, because actually as a performer, you are still having an ambition to want to entertain, but you are not having to be as thoughtful of the specific way that you construct an experience so that somebody takes away a different learning outcome, right? Matt May: Correct. Correct. And when we're watching as patrons watching entertainment, whether it be on a screen or on a stage. We are there for them to entertain us. Where in my line of work, I'm not here to entertain you. As you said, I'm here to facilitate the experience. So, you put in as much as you're going to get out of it. Steve Rush: Exactly right. So, when we start to think about the whole concept of team building, when you mention that word to groups of individuals, what's the reason you get a different response. So, some people will love it and some people will running in fear from it. What causes that? Matt May: The simple answer in my opinion is bad experiences. Steve Rush: Yeah. Matt May: They have been thrust into experiences that didn't have positive outcomes for them, for whatever reason. So many people think of team building as trust falls or paintball or zip lining or white-water rafting, you know, extreme sports, if you will, or sitting in a room and being told, this is how you work together as a team, while watching a slideshow, right. I don't do any of those things. And I think it's because people have been thrust into those things, or that's the majority of their experience. They just have a negative connotation in their head that team building is a bad word. Now there's also, as you mentioned, some people are very excited about it. People who are extroverted and tend to be well, extroverts generally like it more because they're excited and their energy is locomotive full speed ahead. Where people who are more introverted and maybe have anxiety, or even if it's not full-blown anxiety just don't like to be in a crowd or don't like to be in a small group because they can't hide as easily. Those people have more apprehension. So, when they hear team building, I think their negative thoughts are even more heightened. Steve Rush: Of course, in any audience, you are going to have a mix of those types of individuals, because many will be extroverted and thinkers and feelers, and others will be introverted thinkers and feelers. How do you make sure that when you are constructing a session that you are thoughtful of those different types of personalities that might come out? Matt May: Well, our experiences are designed in such a way that everybody is on an even peel, equal, right. I generally tell clients; I don't want to know who the boss is. The CEO is here, okay great. Don't tell me who he is, or she is. I don't want to know because I want to treat every single person the same. Now Murphy's Law inevitably comes into play nine times out ten, and that's the person I wind up picking on [Laugh] just organically. And then, oh, that's the CEO, well, thanks for playing [laugh]. But generally, most of our experiences, Steve call for teams of ten, and we start off having everybody in the team of ten, doing a group exercise, and they're all doing the exact same thing before they even break out into, quotes, unquote. And I'm using air quotes here, roles and responsibilities that they will be in charge of, if you will, during the experience. Everybody does the same icebreakers and the same introductory games and challenges and activities. So that everyone is completely even keel. Then a lot of times when you break off into the experience, say it's building bikes for kids. For example, some people are more mechanically inclined, or they're really good with wrenches and they want to put something together great. Somebody else is better with puzzles and mind games and mind solving great. They'll focus more on that. Other people are better at marketing. And so, they'll kind of work on their team presentation more, but by the same token, a lot of times people say, well, you try this. This is not your forte or what you would normally gravitate to, this particular component. Why don't you try this? And that allows people to see their colleagues in a whole different light. Steve Rush: Yeah. Matt May: For example, sometimes the CEO or the C levels or the Directors, whatever will be on teams with somebody who's the front desk receptionist. And that person will, for whatever reason, wind up in more of a leadership role or whatnot. And then next thing you know, the boss is saying, you are totally underutilized signing for packages and answering the phone. We need to talk next week. And, you know, ultimately the person becomes an office manager or whatever, because he or she was seen in a different light. Steve Rush: I suspect that having the opportunity to throw away the natural conventions of the work labels gives everybody the opportunity to see how others behave and perform. Matt May: Absolutely. Steve Rush: Yeah, I love that. So as kids, when, you know, you first got up in front of your folks and did your, you know, theatre production and, you know, I probably did the same. What is it that causes some people like you, Matt, to continually have this energy to want to continually innovate and play where others like me will, you know, be a bit stuffy and go, well, I don't do any of that kind of stuff anymore? Matt May: Well, I don't know. I don't know if there's a certain quote unquote thing that is in me or not in you or whatever. I think some of it is inherent and its personality and as well as likes and desires, you know, what we follow or chase, but I think a big part of it too Steve is that we are conditioned as we grow up. Now I can only speak for the States, right. I can't speak for European school upbringing, but for the States, and this is changing to a degree, but for so long, it was sit at the desk, take the information that's presented to you, go home, do some exercises, commit it to memory, come back and regurgitate, wash, rinse, repeat, right? Steve Rush: Right. Matt May: So, as kids if we look at it, their favourite, well, I'm generalizing. Often the favourite part of the day is recess because they get to go outside and play. But as we get older, recess is removed from the school day. And by the time we're out of primary schools and into middle school, junior high, high school, and then certainly in college, we go, and we ask people to give us information and educate us that we are then going to theoretically use, but the play is gone. So, I think that's a big part of it is, just society. And don't get me wrong. Look, adulting is hard [Laugh] okay. Steve Rush: That's true. Matt May: We all have responsibilities. We can't play on the playground all day. We have to work so that we can survive and support our family or if we don't have a family, at least keep a roof over our head and keep us fed and clothed. But the fun element in our work and our workday seems to have been removed. Steve Rush: Yeah. Matt May: And it, takes like going on a boy's weekend to have our fun or the girls. I'm going out with the girls tonight or whatever. That is how we have our fun. Well, why can't we still have fun in the workday? And I know fun is not necessarily something we use to measure success or productivity, but it doesn't mean it can't be prevalent. And it doesn't mean it doesn't help success and productivity. Steve Rush: I think you actually might be able to measure that. So, when you look at things like employee engagement, you'll see fun represent itself in different ways. So, commitment to the organization, prepared to stay, creativity, innovation, elements of peer group recognition, that kind of stuff. But often we don't apply that three-letter word to it because we feel it's got less relevance in a workplace. Matt May: Correct. Steve Rush: Would that be fair selection? Matt May: Absolutely. I think that's very fair. And I will let you in on, well, I guess it's not going to be a secret because I've already told other people coming out there right now. I am a Hallmark movie junkie. I fully admit it. I'm a sap. I'm a big romantic at heart. I love Hallmark movies. And there was one that I watch about a year ago now. And there was a line that I sort of kind of touched on a moment ago, but the line was, and I know that fun, isn't typical metric in the corporate world, but you know what it's worth because fun allows people to relax and be fully themselves, which makes them productive and more engaged. And that affects the bottom line. Steve Rush: Right. And is that something also that helps remove some of that fear and anxiety around team building as well? Matt May: Absolutely. And I've had, I don't want to say arguments. Discussions with people who have said anything competitive is not valuable in team building. Well, hold on, going back to the whole paintball, I will agree with you on that. I don't, for me, that is not exciting. That is not team building. That's just crazy, whatever. However, the majority of our team building experiences are competitive in nature. However, we're not talking about tackling each other and taking each other out with guns. We're talking about light-hearted competition. People are naturally competitive, Steve, right? Steve Rush: mm-hmm. Matt May: Again, I'm generalizing. Steve Rush: That's a fair generalization, yeah. Matt May: Yeah. When we start, we go to school, we earn, or we are provide with good grades for positive work and productive work. The mother of all, and I don't know if you have this over in the UK, but at least over here, the mother of all winnings is the lottery. People play, whether it's scratch off or the big one, people go to a casino for a night out, whatever, but they put their coin in the machine, pull that lever and they want to get the pay-out. We are competitively, we like to win things. So, when you tell people, hey, you are doing this for the winning title, and yes, you're going to win a gold medal at the end, whatever. It's just fun. We're just there to have some light-hearted competition, but people inherently enjoy that. Then they start talking smack to their colleagues. You're going down, whatever. Just again, it's all light-hearted fun. Nobody really means any ill will to each other. But doing that in an environment outside of the office allows you to see your colleagues in a different light Steve Rush: And neurologically, of course. It releases dopamine. Matt May: Right. Steve Rush: And that's a rewarding chemical transmitter, neurotransmitter that we thrive on. And you get a hit from that. So not only is it fun, it's also a learning, so you want more of it. Matt May: Exactly. We crave more of it once we've had the burst of it. Steve Rush: Yeah. Matt May: And like I said, the whole medals, I have a discussion and I usually talk about it on when to do team building exercises. I always say, if you have people that don't know each other and coming out of the pandemic, I have hear from more and more people, we're doing the sales meeting and 75% of our team has not met each other, other than on Zoom. Okay, well, then I would recommend doing it at the beginning. Well, we wanted to wrap up the three-day conference with it. Okay, we can do that. But if you're telling me, people don't know each other yet, do it at the beginning, they're automatically going to know nine other people from their direct team. The winning team is going to win gold medals. Maybe they'll wear them at lunch that day. Maybe they'll wear them that night to the cocktail reception. We'll encourage them to wear them the rest of the three days to remind everyone that they were the winners. Good for them. Well, that's a conversation piece right there. Somebody else might come up and say, we were robbed. Yeah, well, sorry. We got the medals, right. So, it automatically creates conversation. And again, it was based on that fun competition factor. Steve Rush: So, during your experiences as well, one of the things that I've noticed through the work that you do, Matt, is that there is always a purpose behind what you do. So mentioned kids for bikes earlier. So that's something that you use, exercise as a team together, but something that's also serving communities well. Just tell us a little bit about some of the things you do. Matt May: Well, as far as the philanthropic experiences, yes. Building bikes is for kids is one. We have an experience where we build wheelchairs for veterans, or maybe not even veterans for people who are mobility challenged. Foster care programs, kids entering foster care. Kids that need snacks. They don't get them during the school day when they're on vacation, places that they can go to get the snacks because they're underserved and maybe their parents can't afford to give them a snack every day. So, all of those types of things, many companies have CSR, Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives. And if we can align with them, that's great. Because, let's say, let's be honest. If we can get something out of it, i.e., getting our teams to work together, having fun, doing something out of the norm of the workday and give back, well, then it's win-win for everybody. Steve Rush: Yeah. Ticking all the boxes, right? Matt May: Exactly. And it doesn't have to be philanthropic. It could be a culinary program and your company, I don't know, maybe your company makes salsa. We could do a salsa margarita challenge. See, oh, wait, maybe that is the next new recipe for your brand, right. Or for an alternate version of your salsa, or maybe you make hospice sauce and, well, great. Let's use your sauce in this culinary team building experience. So, there are ways to incorporate the company as well. Steve Rush: Yeah, exactly. Love it. So, have you ever had a time where you've just had a participant who's just, you know, folded arms, stuffy, I'm not getting involved in any of this? Have you ever experienced any of that? Matt May: Yes [laugh]. Steve Rush: How do you deal with that? Matt May: To be honest with you, I don't, and I'll tell you why. Usually, well, it's never not happened. So, knock on wood. The person ultimately says, well, I look like a schmuck standing over here, and I'm the one who's not having fun. Who wants to be in the corner? Right. All by him or herself. If your colleagues bring you in and you insist upon being that stuffy jerk. Okay, fine. You're only hurting yourself. So, peer pressure I guess, is the bottom line. And I say that in a positive way, not a negative way. That ultimately your peers are going to say, come on, let's go. You're being a jerk. Steve Rush: [Laugh]. Matt May: And it happens, right. If somebody doesn't have the realization by themselves, that there are only hurting themselves and look like dunce. Somebody else, or several other members of the team are going to say, come on, let's go. Now, I'll be patting myself on the back. That rarely happens because our experiences are designed in such a way that you really can't sit out, starting right at the get go. And when I facilitate, and our other facilitators have been trained to really put on the charm immediately, put on the energy immediately. So, we inherently, not we, but the participants inherently say, okay, I'm already in this. Steve Rush: The one thing I notice in those experiences as well is the other thing of course, is that, that individual's looking at everybody else having loads of fun, thinking. Now I'm losing out. Matt May: Correct. Steve Rush: So, I know over the last couple of years, Matt, you've had to really pivot your business model as we were going through the experiences of the pandemic. But I wonder having had the experience of being face to face and virtual, what the pandemics really taught us about how we participate or get involved if the case around things like team building or activities, what's it really highlighted for us? Matt May: Well, I think that it's proven to us that face to face interaction is necessary. And it's certainly good for us. We learn so much more and we get and give so much more when we're face to face. When you're on a video call, yes, you can see the person, but you may not see the person's hand gestures because the camera is close, right. And you don't get the body language. You don't get the nonverbal cues. You don't get touch, right. Human beings need touch. There's a wonderful book and its old. And it was Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom. And there was a movie made with Jack lemon and Hank Azaria, many, many years ago. And I'm paraphrasing here, but Morrie was diagnosed with ALS, and he basically taught this former student, Mitch Albom life lessons. And one of them was, when we come into this world, we are cradled by our mothers, right. Until we learn to walk. And even then, we are constantly cradled by our parents. Craving human touch. When we die, nobody wants to die alone. I know this is a grim thought. And I apologize for doing that on the podcast, nobody wants to die alone. Steve Rush: Right. Matt May: So, we crave it, but why do we push it away for the majority of our lives? Why do we begin and end with it, but not continue to make it so important to us during our adult lives? But again, going back to face-to-face, handshakes. Now, I know people are still, some of them are nervous about that and whatnot, okay. Then do an elbow, bump, whatever. But when you touch someone's hand and you grasp it, you are having a physical connection that you don't get virtually. Steve Rush: Yeah. Matt May: Now, team building experiences and other were very valuable. They still are. We do them. I personally prefer face to face, but I know a lot of people are saying, we're just not ready to go back yet or we don't have the ability to bring in everybody just yet. We've got it six months down the line, but we want to do something right now. Great. So, it's still valuable because you're getting people interacting and hopefully having fun. But the face to face in person is just so much more valuable. Yes people were doing virtual events. I get that. But this wasn't even in our brains, right. As a thought, this conversation right now. Steve Rush: Right. Matt May: Because of the pandemic is why we're having this discussion. I can't articulate this. I don't know why, but going back, we never would've thought about that before. Steve Rush: That's true. And it's fair to say I think that people certainly in my experience in the last three to five months, I would say, are really grateful in when people come together as a group, there's definitely much more appreciation for that now. Matt May: Yes. It's not just, well, we're going to a sales meeting. It's oh my gosh. We're going to a sales meeting live and in person. Steve Rush: [Laugh] and therefore there's something deeply intrinsic that you refer to as that kind of cradling. That is a, also a very real metaphor for us wanting connection with people, isn't it? Matt May: Yeah. And when we're in face to face, at least in my experience. Observe people being more organically involved, right. When you have a computer screen behind you, how many times have we seen somebody looking down and we say, oh, well, he or she's checking text messages right now, or, you know, or, oh, oh, he's reading his email, we can tell. You're not as engaged because you have so many more distractions and there's no real accountability either. Steve Rush: That's right. Matt May: And I don't use that as a negative term. I use it as a positive term, even to ourselves, we're just not accountable because we have so many other things right in front of us on that fancy screen, that when you take that away and what's in front of you is an actual face. Oh my gosh. Okay. I'm totally engaged with you right now. Steve Rush: Well, fingers crossed for wherever anybody is listening to us in the world. They're going to get back to some level of connection and normality pretty soon, anyway. Matt May: Yes, I hope so. Steve Rush: So, this part of the show, Matt, is where we start to turn the tables, you've learned lots of different teams and had lots of different leadership experiences over your career. And I'm keen to really hack into those now. So, what I'm going to ask you to do, if you can, is try and think of all of those experiences and just distill them down to your top three leadership hacks. What would they be? Matt May: One is to utilize people's strengths and not only participants, but also staff and facilitators, right. In an office setting, in an assembly line, in a factory, whatever. We hire people based upon their qualifications and skills. So, let's do the same thing in a fun atmosphere. Now, again, this is going back to what I said before. Maybe let people get outside of their comfort zone, but at least for me with staff, I always want to find the right staff person, not only the experience, but the client. Steve Rush: Right. Matt May: What's the demographic of the client who is going to work best with that demographic? So that's one. Utilizing people's skills and strengths. My catch phrase is regress to kindergarten. Take off the sport coat, take off the tie, take off the high heels, whatever you're wearing. You're in a safe space. Nobody's judging you, if they are, judge them right back, because they're probably doing the exact same thing. It's not going to go anywhere. It's kind of like what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. What happens in this room stays in this because if you don't have those inhibitions, you're going to organically be in a much better place to give of yourself for your team and the experience. And the third leadership hack. Geez, I would say. It's really kind of, my new catch phrase is, take the fear out of team building, which is the title of the book. And that is, let's give people experiences where at the end of it, they say, okay, so my goal is, when you see me walk in six months from now, you're not going to go, oh, that team building guy. Hopefully say, Ooh, what are we doing today? Or at the very least say, all right, let's see what he is got out of his sleeve today. Let's see how it compares to last time. Steve Rush: Mm-Hmm. There must have been some magical experiences you've had over your careers. If you could just maybe call one out. The most fun, extravagant experience that you've had with a group or, an individual in a group, what would that be? Matt May: It's hard to pinpoint one. And I can't remember the exact number. I facilitated a military care pack program. This is probably seven years ago or more. Those always get me. I'm a big supporter of the U.S. Military. And I know you're over in Europe, but I'm a big supporter of people who put their lives on hold to make our lives better. Steve Rush: Absolutely. Matt May: That is very important to me. So military care pack programs always hit me pretty, pretty tough. They hit me hard in a good way. Also, when you see a kid who is part of a boys and girls club or whatever, come into a room and they don't know why they're there. And then all of a sudden there are 12, 24, 50, bikes, and they're then told these are going to your organization. The look of huh, on their face is just amazing. And little ones are just, I don't have kids. I'm too old to start at this point, but boy, some of the things they do and say they just melt my heart and make me just crack up [laugh]. Steve Rush: Makes it all worthwhile, right? Matt May: Exactly. I'm always appreciative for that. Steve Rush: Well, the next part of the show we call it Hack to Attack. So, this is typically where something hasn't worked out for you. Maybe been pretty catastrophic, could have screwed up, but as a result of it, you've learned, and it's now a force of good in your life or work, what would be your Hack to Attack? Matt May: [Laugh] be careful what papers you sign to be quite honest. Steve Rush: [laugh] yeah. Matt May: Really and be careful with whom you go into business and protect yourself because you're the only anyone that's going to protect yourself. And I don't want to sound cold and snarky, but it's true. You can be a wonderful person and be very giving and loving and generous and still protect yourself. Steve Rush: Yes, you can. Matt May: And that's the business side of me, careful what you sign and know who you're getting into bed with proverbially. Steve Rush: Yeah. You're not the first guest mine you to have said that over the two years or so, we've been running the show. We must have at least half a dozen of our guests have, you know, some really similar circumstances where the greatest trusted relationships have gone wrong because of one piece of paper. Matt May: Exactly, exactly. And it's bad that happens. But it's the reality of the world we live in. Steve Rush: Certainly is. Now the last thing we're going to do is you get to go and give yourself some advice at 21. So, if that time travel happened now. You stood right in front of Matt. He's 21, you're in front of him. What's your advice? Matt May: Probably to embrace the opportunities that you're presented with wholly, don't be fearful of them. Again, hindsight is 2020. The older I get; I do subscribe more to the philosophy of everything happens for a reason. And for whatever reason right now, this is where you're supposed to be. And it may not be the happiest of circumstances, but what do you need to do to not only get through this but thrive beyond it and learn from it. Steve Rush: Great advice. Matt May: That would be my two words. It's okay. Steve Rush: Hmm. Love it. So, what's next for you and the team? Matt May: Well, we are very excited to be getting back to face-to-face experiences. Really trying to provide those to people who are ready. I hope more and more people continue to be ready and jump on this. My hope is that now, companies who are allowing people or have just made the decision to, we're not going to own real estate or rent real estate anymore, because we know work from home, works for us. Great. That money that you're saving, bring your people together. At least twice a year, quarterly is better. Have an all hands. Even if it's just lunch, an address from the CEO and a team building experience where people get to play and work together, hands on, do it. It's more important now than ever. My dream would be that it becomes instilled in everyone's minds that this is as important as ordering copy paper. Steve Rush: Right. DNA and the fabric of an organization should have all of those experiences to really exploit some of those unlearned or unobserved behaviors that you talked about earlier, right? Matt May: Exactly. Steve Rush: Yeah. So, when folks have listened into this Matt, where's the best place for us to send them so they can bump into some of the work and maybe get a copy of the book? Matt May: The best place is the website, which is premierteambuilding.com. It's premier as in like number one without the E at the end of it. But if you do happen to put it in, it'll direct you to the correct place. There's a contact form there. There's a links to Amazon where the book is. All of our social media links are there. You can follow us there. I love to travel personally. So, we do programs throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, abroad. I'd love to get over to the UK at some point. So more than happy to do that for anyone who's listening over there. Steve Rush: Course of action. Yeah, exactly. Well, Matt, listen, I've love chatting to you and you know, there's no surprise that you've been a success in the business that you're in and the energy and focus you bring to it. So, I just want to say thank you and we'll make sure all of those links are in our show notes. So, when folks have listened as well. They can dive straight over, but thanks for being on the show. Matt May: Thank you, Steve. Closing Steve Rush: I want to sign off by saying thank you to you for joining us on the show too. We recognize without you, there is no show. So please continue to share, subscribe, and like, and continue to get in touch with us with the great new stories that we share every week. And so that we can continue to bring you great stories. Please make sure you give us a five-star review where you can and share this podcast with your friends, your teams, and communities. You want to find us on social media. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter @leadershiphacker, Leadership Hacker on YouTube and on Instagram, the_leadership_hacker and if that wasn't enough, you can also find us on our website leadership-hacker.com. Tune into next episode to find out what great hacks and stories are coming your way. That's me signing off. I'm Steve Rush, and I've been your Leadership Hacker.
What you'll learn in this episode: Why the pandemic inspired Evon and Lori to write their book, “Ready-Made Marketing” Why it's a misconception that marketing has to be expensive and time-consuming How Evon and Lori vetted the technology resources recommended in the book Why so many small businesses struggle with marketing How to access automation tools to make marketing easier About Evon Rosen Evon is a strategic and creative marketing professional specializing in financial and legal services, healthcare, and real estate. Her highly-creative and fresh ideas help develop brands, increase market share, facilitate client retention, and improve processes. Evon has held executive marketing positions at both public and privately held companies that include City National Bank, First Federal Bank of California, Celtic Capital Corporation and the Peak Corporate Network. Evon is the first two-time recipient of the Commercial Finance Association's Essay Award and has had numerous articles and white papers published. She was a featured speaker at L.A. Direct Marketing Day, and received the U.S. Festival Association Award for Creative Excellence. She received both her undergraduate degree and California Teaching Credential from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). About Lori Berson For over 20 years Lori has developed break-through strategies effectively integrating marketing automation, demand generation, sales enablement, branding, interactive media, advertising, email, social media, print, outdoor, video, events, and promotions, for many of the country's leading marketers, including Anthem, Charles Schwab, Disney, Dole, Lexus, Seinfeld, and Coldwell Banker. Her remarkable business acumen, creative talents, and knowledge of emerging technologies have contributed to the success of these organizations and more. Lori began her career at a variety of advertising agencies, including Diener, Hauser, Bates, Needham, Harper and Steers, and Asher/Gould. She established the in-house creative department (servicing the automotive industry) at the Los Angeles Herald Examiner. Lori then went on to create advertising for the major studios (Paramount, Disney, Fox, and Warner Brothers), entertainment public relations firms, and celebrity management companies, at The Hollywood Reporter, and designed for Seinfeld, Lilo and Stitch, Oprah, The Wheel of Fortune, Entertainment Tonight, The Disney Channel, Cheers, Family Ties, Fantasy Island, Beethoven, Charlton Heston, Shirley Jones, and Martin Sheen. As a member of the faculty at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Art Center College of Design (her alma maters), Lori teaches Advertising Concepts, Design, Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Video Marketing, Landing Page Design, and How to Manage a Photo Shoot. Photos: Additional Resources: Lori Berson LinkedIn: Lori Berson BersonDeanStevens LinkedIn: BersonDeanStevens Evon Rosen LinkedIn: Evon Rosen Ready-Made Marketing Transcript: The pandemic may have left many small businesses with limited marketing support and budgets, but that doesn't mean marketing is out of reach. That's what marketing experts Evon Rosen and Lori Berson wanted to prove with their new book, “Ready-Made Marketing For Business Owners, Business Professionals and Independent Contractors.” The book features hundreds of templates and technology recommendations that professionals with little time and budget can easily leverage for immediate results. Evon and Lori joined the Law Firm Marketing Catalyst Podcast to talk about their motivations to write “Ready-Made Marketing”; how to use the book effectively; and why even professionals with no marketing experience should learn how to market their businesses. Read the episode transcript here. Sharon: Welcome to the Law Firm Marketing Catalyst Podcast. Today, we're talking with Evon Rosen and Lori Berson, coauthors of the recent book, “Ready-Made Marketing For Business Owners, Business Professionals and Independent Contractors.” They are marketing experts and have worked with businesses in a range of industries, including law, and have helped their clients grow their brands, increase market share, facilitate client retention and, most importantly, increase profits. Today, we're going to hear more about their book and how it can help all of us be better marketers. Evon and Lori, welcome to the program. Evon: Thank you, Sharon. It's so nice to be here. Sharon: So glad to have both of you. First of all, I want to know how you ended up where you are. Evon, why don't you go first? What was your career path? How did you end up working in marketing for a variety of different industries and professions? Evon: My career in marketing has been focused on business development. I've been helping companies and business professionals in financial and legal services, as you said, as well as healthcare and real estate to develop and enhance their brands, grow market share and increase profits. I started in marketing research, and I moved into product management along the way. Then for 20 years, I helped senior and executive-level positions in both public and private firms. One of my longest stints was with City National Bank, where I created the brand positioning “The Way Up.” The bank is still using that today, I'm happy to say. Sharon: Did you develop that? Evon: Yes. Sharon: Oh, wow! Evon: It started off with a blue ladder. It's now a white ladder, but it's “The Way Up” campaign they've been using for many, many years. Sharon: Yes, for a long time. I forgot that's where we first met. I totally forgot about that. Evon: Yeah, that is where we first met. I think you introduced me to Lori at that time. That's how Lori and I met. Sharon: I first want to ask you, Evon, what did you study? What would you recommend that people study? Lori, the same question when we get to your background. What would you recommend people study for marketing? Evon: It's interesting; I studied sociology and I got a teaching credential, both from UCLA. I think what was so great about both of those areas in terms of marketing is that sociology is all about people and all about behavior, and that's basically what marketing is about too. Teaching helped me focus on being up in front of a group, being able to write business plans and marketing plans and things like that. It all works to help in marketing. Sharon: Lori, what was your path? Lori: I actually started my marketing career over 23 years ago. I've been creating revenue-generating strategies in branding, demand generation, advertising, interactive media, email, social media, print, outdoor—a myriad of things, including sales and marketing automation, for many of the country's industry leaders in consumer package goods, financial and professional services. Some of those companies include Anthem, Charles Schwab, Dole Food Company, Fisher Investments. That was in addition to working for entertainment clients like Seinfeld. I did it for many, many years. Actually, I started in entertainment. I've also had the pleasure of teaching advertising and marketing at UCLA, and email marketing and video marketing at Art Center College of Design, which are my two alma maters. To answer your question about what I studied, I started studying in the design area, graphic design. From there, it morphed into more of the marketing side. A lot of it comes from not only from the college education, but from when I was very young and did internships, and from taking online courses throughout the years and then teaching. Like Evon said, that teaches you a lot as well. I'd also say what's really important these days is to continue learning and to stay up to date, especially with the rapid change of what's going on with new technologies. Now it's NFTs and crypto and Web 3. There are so many exciting things happening that it's important to stay up to date continually and to keep learning. Sharon: I didn't know there was a Web 3. Lori: We're in Web 2 now, but Web 3 is the metaverse. Sharon: Oh, O.K. Lori, you have your own company; it's Berson Dean Stevens, correct? Lori: Correct. Sharon: Evon, you're independent, and you also work with Lori a lot. You both started in traditional marketing. How did you segue into marketing automation and video? How does one do that? Lori: That is a great question, Sharon. I remember about seven or eight years ago—I always like to keep up with technology. That's part of what we offer in the book, a lot of technology resources, which we'll get into. But as I was looking at things, I thought, “O.K., what seems to be the trend? What is important to learn going forward?” So, I dove in around 2013, 2014 and started learning. I got together with one of the first animation software companies and learned as I did it and got clients involved. It was all very new, and we all jumped in and learned as we did it. Sharon: There's so much to learn. Evon, you were going to add? Evon: It's kind of the same for me. When I was with many companies in a senior position, I had a staff. I had a lot of people working for me that had a lot of the tools and knowledge that I didn't, so we would all jump in and do things together. As Lori said, marketing evolved, and we had to evolve with it. Sharon: There's so much to learn when you say to keep up with what's going on. Lori: It's overwhelming. Sharon: Yeah, it is overwhelming. That's a word for it. Evon, you and Lori wrote the book. What was your impetus? To me, there are a million and one books on marketing and how to market, and there are a million and one podcasts. What was your impetus for writing the book? Evon: The original idea came out of Covid, because during the worst of the pandemic, as you know, firms were forced into doing new ways of business. Everybody started working remotely. In-person meetings were no longer an option. It was unfamiliar territory for everyone, and a primary concern for both firms and their clients was financial. Cost-cutting led to layoffs and people quitting, which left many professional firms and professionals with no internal marketing support and no budget to hire external expertise. Lori and I had seen so many people struggling with how to reenergize their businesses and jumpstart sales, so we wanted to make marketing accessible and help people bounce back from Covid setbacks. You're right, Sharon, there are a million and one marketing books out there. Most of them deal with developing business or marketing plans, or they're specific to using social media as a marketing tool, or they speak to building brands. They're planning oriented. We wanted to write something that was action oriented, which is exactly what “Ready-Made Marketing” is. It provides the words and the tools to enable business professionals to start marketing themselves immediately. It addresses an unmet need that the business community has, and I'm happy to say it's resonating. Sharon: It's quite a successful book, and it's a very hands-on book. Evon: Mm-hm. Sharon: Lori, tell us how the book was constructed. How did you write this book? What was in mind when you wrote it? Lori: “Ready-Made Marketing” was constructed in two sections. The first part includes over 70 customizable email and video templates and scripts that can be used in a variety of business situations. It also includes step-by-step instructions and screenshots for using proven and effective marketing tactics like LinkedIn, podcasts, webinars, video and text messaging, just to name a few. The second section of the book is where we've included over 400 technology resources that are free or affordably priced. This was key because we wanted it to be not only simple, but cost-effective for people to be able to use. All of the technology resources have been vetted, and we have the top two in each category, which are our recommended options. The bottom line is that we wrote the book to be handy and easy to use, with everything laid out so you could quickly get to what you need, when you need it. It starts with a chart that is entitled “How to Use this Book.” If you want to write a sales email, you go to the customizable templates. If you want to host a webinar, there are ideas to develop content and step-by-step instructions for production. Basically, the book takes the guesswork out of marketing. Sharon: It's a very up-to-date book. Lori: Yes. Sharon: It sounds very different from so many marketing books with everything you're talking about, the video and podcasting and all of that. You don't find that in many traditional marketing books. When you say you've vetted the resources, how did you vet them? Evon: I've researched and used all of the resources with clients. Both Evon and I have used all of the resources, whether it's both of us or one of us separately, with clients. Sharon: So, they're tried and true. Evon: Exactly. Sharon: That's great. Evon, it seems that the teacher always learns something from the student. Tell me what you learned from writing this book about marketing, things you didn't think of before. Evon: It's interesting because I was thinking about that, and I think the difference is no other books are like “Ready-Made Marketing.” You can hit the ground running with this book, and that was our goal: to use marketing to help people generate sales as fast as possible. That can be done. Marketing doesn't have to be expensive. It doesn't have to be a time suck. It can be done relatively easily. Not everything, but there are things you can do to jumpstart your business, and that was great for people to see. What I learned is not so much about the book or marketing itself, but the impact the book has had. When I hear from business professionals and read the amazing reviews on Amazon, it's heartwarming to see how appreciative people are. They have something that's really made a difference in bouncing back from the pandemic and beyond. Even if a business didn't take a big hit, they love the fact that they can do so much marketing themselves without spending a lot of money. In fact, the book has a testimonial from an attorney who says it's a game changer. That's amazing to hear. Sharon: It sounds very gratifying. Do you think the book would have had the same impact if we weren't coming out of the pandemic? Evon: I'm not sure the book would have been written had there not been a pandemic. Sharon: O.K., that's a good point. Evon: We're hired for our marketing expertise. Marketing is a lot more than what's in the book, but the book is a wonderful place for people who need to do some marketing who don't have a budget, who don't have a lot of time, but still need to get sales and have their brands out there. That's what this book does. We were happy to make it something that people can use themselves. Sharon: Lori, what do you think you learned from writing the book? Lori: I learned that I didn't realize the need out there. From talking to other business owners and even from some of the testimonials and reviews that Evon mentioned, a lot of people don't know where to go to find information on how to market themselves. They don't have the time. It feels very onerous to a lot of businesspeople and professionals. They're focusing on their business, so they don't have time to get into the growth of it as much as they should. They're going along with a certain amount of clientele, but we all need to grow business to stay alive. I was quite amazed at the response to the book and to the tools that we presented, how people have said it's made their lives so much easier. We knew there was need, but we never realized how much of a need and how broad-based it is. Sharon: It seems there'd be such a demand for something like this. This is for both Evon and Lori. Do you think people were skeptical when you said this book is going to be a hands-on, how-to book? Do you think people said, “Yeah, tell me about it”? Lori: I'll take that to start. I think people were confused a little bit, because typically what they see is the strategy and planning, which doesn't get to what they need as quickly as possible. Granted, strategy and planning are important. But I think it's so new and so different from what they've seen from other books that it was a little bit confusing. Then, once they got into it, they thought, “My god, this is so easy. It's super simple.” Evon: I didn't think that people were particularly skeptical. I think what's interesting is that many people don't really understand what marketing is or what they can do themselves. I think when they started looking at the book and saw what was in there, it was more of a revelation, like, “Oh, my gosh, I can do this, and it's right there. This is what marketing is. That's great.” Sharon: Looking through reviews on Amazon—it is on Amazon, and the reviews are glowing. Something interesting to me is that it's on Kindle also. There's a Kindle version, which I was surprised to see. Is that something you thought about or planned for when you were writing this? Evon: We did. We wanted to do the different versions, the Kindle version, the hardcover, the paperback. We wanted to make it accessible to anybody's needs. However they access it, we want them to have it. Sharon: It's widely available, it seems. Lori, who was your target market for the book as you were writing it? Lori: The target market is business professionals and their firms, other small businesses, independent contractors, people with limited or no marketing expertise and those with no marketing staff or, as Evon mentioned earlier, those with limited or no marketing budget, which we find is a majority of the small businesses out there. Also, we found out that people who have some marketing experience are especially appreciative because of the distillation of those 400 technology resources in the book. Working with other marketing professionals, I found that they may know a couple of the really well-known technology resources, but many times those can be super expensive. One of our primary focuses was to get stuff as much for free as possible in addition to really inexpensive technology resources, something like $5 a month and at most $15 a month, to give them some of those automation capabilities to help them save time and focus more on their business. Basically, “Ready-Made Marketing” is perfect for anyone looking to start or enhance their marketing, whether they have no experience or they do have some but need extra resources. Sharon: I was thinking about the fact that in marketing today, even more than 20 years ago, you have to be an expert in a certain area. What you wrote is more broad-based as opposed to, “I'm a web developer” or “I'm an SEO expert” or “I do videos.” Do you think people embrace that, or did they say, “I got to find somebody else,” meaning, “I've got to find an SEO person for my SEO”? Lori: I think it's a little bit of both. In this particular case, because we're focusing on people that don't have expertise, we wanted to give them tools to be able to do some of the basic stuff themselves. There's always going to be a need to hire because you're right; everything is very specialized. There are agencies that just work on each of those sections. They're going to want to eventually hire those people once they get the budget and once they get to that level. But as a starting point, this gives them some basic things and demystifies a lot of it so they can decide, based on what we give them, “O.K., I want to focus on SEO. Maybe I'll go hire an SEO agency,” or “Webinars are going to generate a lot of leads. I've got the tools to be able to do that on my own for very low cost. Once I get to a certain level, then I can bring in some of the specialists with more expertise.” Sharon: It sounds like a great resource. Evon, if I'm an independent lawyer alone in my office and I don't have a marketing staff or a marketing professional to advise me, how should I use this book? I envision tearing it apart and copying the templates. How would you say we should use it? Evon: The book is truly a desktop resource. We have it organized by marketing tactic. There's a section on email communications, on using video, on podcasts and panels, on webinars. Within the email section, for example, there are templates for emails in a variety of situations. We have cold communications, which you would send to someone you don't know, a prospect. There are follow-up emails to send after a meeting or sales call, emails to reengage with people you haven't heard from recently. When situations arise, you just refer to the book and use whatever you need. The technology is there to help bring some of those tactics to life. As Lori said, the book takes the guesswork out of marketing. To go back for a minute on what you were asking about the research of it all, we wanted this book to be something of a starting point for people who don't know much about marketing or don't have a budget for marketing. Marketing is about getting the right message to the right people, and there are a number of ways to do that. This book deals with the basics. If you start with the basics, you can build from there. Sharon: Was the catalyst for the book that you were both talking with clients, and you just looked at each other and said, “These people don't have a clue”? Not to knock anybody, but if you spent your career studying finance or healthcare or law, then you didn't study marketing. Was that the impetus? Was it like, “We've got to show people how to do this. You can do it if you apply yourself”? Evon: I think for me, I felt so badly that people were coming back into a world of business and they really didn't know how to start with marketing. They didn't have an internal staff anymore; they didn't have money to ask anybody. They were floundering. We found that out within our client base and outside. For me, it was the pandemic that got it going. It's not that they didn't know what to do generally; it's just that they didn't know what to do in this new world. Lori: To add to that, Sharon, Evon and I also had interactions with clients who hired us to revitalize their website and their branding and everything else. They really wanted to get into automation and help their sales team, but they were restricted by budget. I encountered several clients like that. That was another reason for the book, too: to help people who didn't have the time to even bring on staff or to hire an agency. They knew they needed it; they just didn't have the tools. We thought, “O.K., between Covid and these other people who weren't hurt by Covid but do need these extra services, how can we help?” Sharon: Did you think about putting in a section about marketing via Zoom? Let's say we backtrack or there's another outbreak of a different kind of strain. Is there something about marketing via Zoom in there? Lori: Absolutely. We have a section called “Video Messaging” that talks about sales calls. I'll let Evon talk about some of the scripts with that, but it not only covers how to connect with people via Zoom or Webex or whatever else, but also how to connect via LinkedIn and audio and video message via those channels. Evon: And we have screenshots for the how-tos. We show them how to do it. We write the scripts for them, and we show them step by step how they incorporate the technology to do these things. The book is really do-it-yourself. It literally provides thousands of dollars of marketing expertise for less than the cost of a week at Starbucks or, more relatable, it's less than half a tank of gas. Lori: Or a quarter-tank nowadays. Evon: It's all there. Sharon: Are the templates fill in the blank? Evon: Yes, they're based around various scenarios. They all have a subject line to deal with the issues they're trying to address. Then it gives you the template itself and what you should say with blanks to fill in certain things about you or the situation. It's very easy. Sharon: It sounds like a great resource, whether you're a marketer within a marketing department or on your own. Evon: A lot of people look at a page and don't know where to start. They want to write something, and they can't do it; they don't do it; they don't know how to do it. With the book, the words are right there. Sharon: That's a good point, when you're looking at a blank computer screen and you don't know what to do. Evon: Right, right. Sharon: I want to mention again that the book is “Ready-Made Marketing.” It's for business owners and independent professionals of any stripe. Tell me if I'm leaving something out. It's a do-it-yourself book. It's on Amazon in a variety of formats. It's gotten fabulous reviews, so please take a look at it. Evon and Lori, thank you so much for being here today and telling us about this book. Lori: Sharon, thank you. Evon: It's been our pleasure, Sharon. Thank you so much for having us. Lori: Yes, thank you, Sharon. It's been great. We appreciate it.