Tampa SEO Training Academy’s Steve and Justin Scott discuss the founding and evolution of their family-run SEO business. Beginning as a website designing endeavor in 1996, the Academy has transitioned to provide a comprehensive suite of SEO services coupled with personalized training programs.

The discussions also highlight how they constantly adapt to changing times, including the recent pivot to more digital operations in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Justin talks about using his business degree to aid in problem solving and sales while Steve emphasizes the importance of learning to work on the business and not in it.

There is a strong theme of creating a nurturing work environment that aligns with the principles of a family business throughout the conversation.

Their conversation provides a masterclass into understanding corporate and entrepreneurial cultures, sales, learning from mistakes, and the constantly evolving world of SEO. Whether you’re new to SEO or looking to pick up some strategy tips from a longstanding practitioner, this is a must-listen!

Contact Steve and Justin through their website at https://www.tampa-seo.com or call 877-736-7361.

00:00 Introduction and Welcoming the Guests

00:16 The Origin Story of Tampa SEO Training Academy

00:58 The Evolution of the Business Model

03:52 Justin’s Journey into the Family Business

05:58 The Value of Training and Personal Growth

14:58 The Unique Approach to Customer Service

17:48 Creating a Family Atmosphere in the Workplace

23:58 The Importance of Appreciating Clients

24:47 Embracing New Ideas and Innovation

25:44 Empowering Employees and Encouraging Growth

26:06 Leveraging Technology for Efficiency

27:05 The Power of Trust and Delegation

27:41 Creating a Blame-Free Environment

29:18 The Impact of a Strong Corporate Culture

31:01 The Value of Learning from Mistakes

33:17 The Role of Family in Business

36:40 The Journey of Learning and Growth

38:09 The Importance of Understanding Business Numbers

40:18 Working on the Business, Not in It

45:19 The Power of SEO and Online Presence

Transcript
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Today we are celebrating Steve and Justin

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Scott of Tampa SEO Training Academy.

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Hi, Steve.

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Hi, Scott.

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Welcome.

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Hey, John.

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Hey, Connie.

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How you doing?

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How are ya?

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Doing very well.

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Yeah, very well.

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We're really curious about, about you guys

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and your business, your family business.

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So where did it get started?

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How did how did Tampa SEO

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Training Academy start?

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Because I see stevescottseo.

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com behind Steve.

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Yeah.

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It actually started for me back in 1996

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where I was I was working in the computer.

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Well, maybe go back a

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little further than that.

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Like I first got my first

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computer when I was 16.

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So it was like 1982.

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It was a Vic 20.

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And I knew I liked it a lot.

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I had an affinity for it.

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And when I got into the real world, I

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started to mess around with computers

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and I when the World Wide Web came about,

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I thought, well, this is pretty cool.

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I like the concept of this.

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I was a marketing major in college

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already had marketing in my blood had the

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computer background before that, and so

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I got into designing websites and then,

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component to the, the new, where you've

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got the online training, but then are

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there like live Q and A's or something?

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Yeah.

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So in fact, the, the new model, we

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were just actually running through the

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different levels that we're going to be

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doing, but the Tampa SEO is more of the

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agency and training and so on, right?

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Live in person consulting and so on.

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The the video on demand training

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is going to come with, depending

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on what level you're at.

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either like email support or weekly Q and

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A's weekly email, , ask an expert emails.

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We're going to be doing monthly reviews

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of websites so that everybody gets a

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chance to kind of ask questions, see other

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people's questions and their responses.

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And then those will, of course,

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we'll record all of that.

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So like you guys will be recording

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this and then we'll share that with

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everybody else so they can see how.

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Changes that some people are needing

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or how they need to implement.

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They'll be able to now see how

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others are doing it and how, what

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recommendations we're making to others

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so that rather than asking the same

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question again, they can go implement.

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There'll be a live Q and A's as

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well for certain membership levels.

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Monthly I do what I call an ask

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anything session, ask the expert,

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and it's like the third Monday of the

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month or second Monday of the month.

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I forget which one it is, honestly.

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And it just, it's an open call, right?

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You get 15 minute call, just gimme

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a call, pick up the phone, ask me

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a question on, on a problem you're

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having, a question you're having.

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I've had, , students ask

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me how to get started.

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I've had people who were like, Hey,

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I'm leaving the corporate world

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and want to start my own business.

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, how do I get started?

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Or or it's just, Hey, , can

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you look at my website?

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I don't know what's going

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on, why it's not working.

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Right.

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? So it kind of just depends.

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But so certainly that, and then I also

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have consulting hours that we offer too.

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So those can be anything from, hey,

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I'll teach you how to do it live, or you

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be the driver, I'll be the navigator,

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kind of get you around, show you how

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to do things, give you homework for the

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next the next day or the next meeting.

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So yeah, we offer, like I said, monthly

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services, this sort of consulting,

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which is kind of, , a work together.

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And then the on demand or in person,

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the in person is available for group

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sessions, but the on demand is, it's

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really more like you said, more the sign

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of the times, , we started to see a lot of

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people not wanting to put butts in seats

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as they used to call it back in the day.

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And then when COVID hit, obviously

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that was like an immediate no more,

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you know, it ain't happening anymore.

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And now I'm starting to see a

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bit more of, of people requesting

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in person live training, but.

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It's a smaller segment of the market

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these days that want to go and sit in

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the classroom, want to be in a room, and

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everybody wants everything right away.

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They don't want to wait.

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They don't want to, they want to

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get it free or cheap or whatever.

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So we had to adapt, as you said, you

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got to pivot as the times call for it.

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And that's what this, the newer

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brand is, is trying to do.

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I see.

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So, yeah.

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So, you know, Justin, how did

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you get involved in all this?

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Well, I mean, I've, I've been

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around it since I was a child.

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I mean, like it's, surprisingly, he

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would always be upstairs and I'd hear

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him talking to different clients.

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I'm like, what is he talking about?

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I had no idea.

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Like me, myself, I'm

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like, what is this CEO?

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I always thought it was CEO

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too, or just something before

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I even got into the business.

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But I was in college

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and not even a year ago.

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Excuse me.

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And I was like, what do I want to do?

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I just, every, every, grad

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grad asked that question.

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They're like, what are, what's next?

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And he was, dad was like, you

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could always come work for me,

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and I was like, you know what?

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I didn't want to jump into the

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corporate world right away.

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Definitely could have gotten a job.

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100 percent knew that had offers.

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I was just like, I don't

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want to do that right away.

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It just wasn't on my mind.

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That was like, I was like, I can't be.

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Okay.

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Getting micromanaged, just

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answering to somebody right away.

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I just couldn't do it personally.

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I had never been like that ever.

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So I was like, he was like, make

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your own hours, make your own calls.

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You can make some money.

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I can help the business out as a whole.

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And I'm like, that

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sounds like a great idea.

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So I started to learn a little

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bit more about the company, about

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what it was, about what we do as

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a whole and how we help people.

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And it really has been tremendous

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since January when I started, I.

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I've learned a lot.

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I'm still learning but I'm able to

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hold a conversation with people,

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anybody, honestly, and talk about SEO

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because I understand it more so than

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I think a lot of other people do.

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So that's kind of how it got started.

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It's going great right now.

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I mean, I like, I like, I met you

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guys, you great people through RGA

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and just through the networking events

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because I've been calling people on

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the phones all day talking, which I

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like, honestly, some people obviously

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don't like cold calling warm and just.

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Following up with people, I personally

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do speaking with clients, but, getting

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out there, getting, put boots on the

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ground type of thing, meeting new people

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showing people what we could do for them.

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I really enjoy and that's why, I think

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I, I, I like what I'm doing right now.

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So definitely going to keep doing

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what I'm doing, you know, sales

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portion of temp SEO, and then we'll

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just see where we go from here.

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So that's how I got started.

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With the business itself.

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Yeah.

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And what's been great too is like I've

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had other sales people before and the

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role has intimidated a lot of people,

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because we do do so much and there's

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so much to know, and even experienced

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sales people I've had come in.

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lasted a month or so and just

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couldn't, they couldn't do it.

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They couldn't handle it.

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But Justin has always been very

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tenacious about he doesn't want

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to, he wants to make sure he's got

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it, and everything that he's done

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ever, like since a child, really.

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And which has been fantastic for, for me

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in many ways, for him in lots of ways.

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And when he's and he always had that sort

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of You know, he's very charming, you know,

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he gets it from his father, of course.

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And he, he's very personable.

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Again, he gets from his father.

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And so, he really, he's,

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he's good like that.

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He's always been like that.

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Even as a child, I would hear

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this, we, we both are in CrossFit.

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It's been about, what,

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eight or nine years now.

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And, he's 21, so 13, 14 years

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old, he's in CrossFit with adults.

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The adults would come up to me

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separately and they'd be go,

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you've got an amazing kid there.

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Like he's so charming.

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He's so personable.

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He's so this.

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And some of the dads would be like,

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man, I hope my kid turns out like yours.

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And, he was just always had that,

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of course, as a father, you couldn't

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ask for anything better to hear.

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So when he asked me, he finally

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I was never one to push either.

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I didn't push sports on him.

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If he wanted to play a

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sport, we'll do a sport.

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He wanted to do this.

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We'll do this.

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It was always like,

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what do you want to do?

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What, what, what drives you?

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What fuels you?

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And so when he came to me, he said,

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I don't know what I want to do.

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I know I want to do, I want to

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do a, I want to do a personal

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coaching and training, but you

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know, I want to make some money too.

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I don't know what to do.

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I said, look, sell, sell for me.

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I need someone to answer the phones.

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I need someone to go out and

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ground, but ground and pound.

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I need someone to follow up with people.

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I don't have time.

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I'm managing clients and managing the

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people that are managing the client.

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I don't have the time for this.

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I said, you can make some, I said,

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I'll pay you to call me calls.

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I'll pay you to get

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people on appointments.

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I'll pay you to get people on a

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newsletter and I'll give you a

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commission on people that you sell.

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And then you set your own hours.

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This way you can go to the gym when

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you want to go, you can you can work

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on your CPT that let, let this be your

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main job and let that be your side

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hustle until the point where like the

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side hustle becomes, you know, maybe

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they balance out a little bit and, but

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You're on your own, do your own thing.

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And he's always been super self motivated.

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So I never had to get on about

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grades or, about, about classes.

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I never had to get on about, like

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cleaning his room or anything like that.

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It was just, he just very self driven

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and he had the personality for sales.

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And I got him some training

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from a professional sales guy.

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And I asked the guy separately,

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I'm like, How's he doing?

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What do you think?

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And he is he's a natural.

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This kid's got it.

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He's and how was that?

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I learn easily.

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That's what I thought.

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Learn easily.

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It's like I just absorb

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everything that I like.

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I feel like a lot of people, when

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they learn a new skill, it's, it just

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goes straight through them, honestly.

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Or they have to obviously write it down.

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They have to read it a couple times.

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And I'm that same way, but like when I'm

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learning new information, I'm like, I,

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I, I soak it up like a sponge, like I

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just, and then I implement it right away.

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Even if I make a mistake, I know

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why I made that mistake and then

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I can move forward with, all

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right, I need to do this next.

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I keep doing that.

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So, like he said, the, and the

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sales training has been great too.

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Just as a whole, I'm very grateful for

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what he's been able to do for me too.

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So it's all been good,

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all been good and well.

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And he's always been good.

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Like whenever, whenever I needed to,

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whenever I, whenever I put training

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in and whatever it was, whether it

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was coaching on baseball, whether it

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was to, up his scores on his sat to

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get the bright futures kind of thing,

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whatever I invested in him, it always

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paid back in one way or another.

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So I knew it was a no brainer

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to get him, coaching from a

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sales professional, because.

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Like I knew it's going to turn into

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money for him, for me, for everybody.

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So I never hesitated on that.

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I believe in training, obviously, right?

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I mean, it's what I do.

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So I certainly want to get, that

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kind of people from something else.

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And he has just been, it's been amazing.

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Like he's learned so much and he's

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always been, I always call him a pitbull.

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Sometimes when it's things I don't

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want to be bothered with, he's

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pitbulling me for money or for this

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or that, like he won't let it go.

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But in sales.

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That's a great to have to, to not let

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things go to be on it, to be on top of it.

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And he's always been good like that.

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And it just translated very well for me.

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And he could literally

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go sell for anybody.

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I know that there'd be no problems,

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consistent and persistent.

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Exactly.

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Yeah.

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That's what I say about SEO.

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That's how you get good SEO rankings.

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You be consistent.

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Yes.

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Exactly.

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Clear and consistent message, right?

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And that's wonderful.

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Wow.

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Well, so I mean, one of my questions

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that I like to ask is what What sets

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you apart from the, 20 competitors

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that's that's more in a coaching,

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setting than than in our podcast.

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But what I'm hearing, right away, you've

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been doing SEO since I'm not, I didn't

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even know the term SEO existed in the 90s.

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So that you've been doing it that long.

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I would, I would think that's one of

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the big differentiators in your company.

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And, and that you pair the, you marry

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the training with the, the agency part

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of it so that people can, you can give

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people a spectrum from completely done

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for you to completely do it yourself.

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It's brilliant.

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Well, it even turned into more than

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that, because the idea of getting of

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starting SEO was again, to get that

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monthly residuals, the training part,

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like I said, that kind of came out of.

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When I got out of college, I went to this

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company that was doing training around

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all those major companies in Manhattan.

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I mean, American Express, Pfizer,

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Revlon I mean, you name it.

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Any Fortune 500 company

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in Manhattan, I was at.

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UN, Daily News Port Authority of New

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York, New Jersey, I mean, Progressive.

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I mean, everything.

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We were at teaching them how to do stuff.

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So I had this training.

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background.

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Then I got into a bit more

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corporate world for a while.

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And then I went out on my own

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doing the SEO side and the web

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development side of things.

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And then when the training idea came

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out, I said, wow, I'm going back to

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what I loved because I love teaching.

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I love seeing eyeballs and, the

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ideas pop and now I'm teaching

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this stuff that I've done.

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So I know how to do, and so

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that became really interesting.

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What was super interesting about

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it, though, is a lot of times

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people would come to my class.

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They'd spend, you know, it was a

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2, 500 class for a week, right?

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Five days, about 500 a day.

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And people would come and pay me 2,

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500, see what's involved, go home

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and go, Hey, can you do this for me?

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Because I'm trying to

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run a business over here.

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I don't have time.

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I mean, there's a lot of work here.

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Now, obviously, you know what you did?

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You just told me five days worth

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of material over eight hours a day.

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It's clear.

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You know what you're doing.

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Can you do it for me?

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So a lot of my students became clients

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and if they weren't clients said

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that was gonna happen, you know They

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become consulting clients sometimes

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where they're trying to help their

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their clients, but they're struggling.

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I don't know what to

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do Can you help me out?

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Sure.

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They get on an hour call I

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pay for a consulting fee and

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we'd help them out right away.

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Great, so I became a resource and

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then We started teaching Other

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competitors in the area, right?

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So there's people that send

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their people to me to learn.

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There's people that I've taught whole

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marketing companies in Tampa, their

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whole team, how to do SEO, right?

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And they're basically competitors, right?

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They're basically doing the same

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thing I'm doing, but they came to

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me to learn how to do it right.

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So I teach them.

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And then of course, when they need help,

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they come to me for, for other stuff.

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So that's generally the

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differentiator I use.

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The fact that, a, I've

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been doing it forever.

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I've seen all the changes from

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the beginning before the days

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of Google, B I got 25 plus years

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of experience in the business.

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I've been teaching it for 15 years

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and I teach your competitors.

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Why go to the competitor,

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come to the teacher, right?

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So, and I, we do all this work also.

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And so by offering these sort of

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different levels, it really allow us

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to cover everybody's needs without

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stepping on anybody's totally.

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I don't, I'll teach my competitor.

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There's plenty of work out there.

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It's not it's every company

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that's really looking to succeed

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needs what I offer and needs.

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And there's, there's a ton of

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companies out there and I'll

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tell you what, in the early days.

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SEO did get a bad rep because you had

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a lot of these people reaching out

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saying, Hey, give us a hundred dollars

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and we'll get you 10, 000 links.

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So we'll do this.

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And, and people would buy into

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that, or they'd get, swindled by

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somebody and, sold a bill of rights.

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That was just not right.

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And they would buy in and then

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it soured the market for SEO.

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People like started to think of the SEO

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business as, as scammers or shysters.

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And there was plenty of them out there.

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But if you knew someone that was

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reputable and knew how to do the

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job, it may take a little bit longer,

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especially nowadays, it takes a lot

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longer than it did 15 years ago.

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But if you, if you did it right and

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did the right thing and follow the

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rules, you'd be successful over time.

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Like with anything, you know,

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most people don't go into

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business as successful overnight.

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It takes time to.

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Get there.

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But everybody wants everything

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yesterday and they think, if I do

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this, I'll get, I'll get there quickly.

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And more often than not, Google caught

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on penalize those people and they

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were in worse shape than, if they had

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just done it the right the first time.

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So Justin, from your point of view,

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how do you present the company?

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mEaning that how it

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differentiates from other people?

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I would definitely say the

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customer service hand that

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I can't hands down for sure.

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A lot of people and a lot of businesses

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ship off their SEO work because

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it's cheaper to like third world

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countries because a lot of people

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are doing the work out there, but

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there is not the right time zone.

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They don't answer them correctly.

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They don't know.

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Sometimes they don't speak.

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English, sometimes.

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So that's a big, huge deal.

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I've just, I've noticed.

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I get calls all the time about trying

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to get work even though they don't

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know who they're speaking to directly.

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So I've just, working with clients

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and working with people that want

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to come on with us, I've noticed

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they've just been screwed in the past.

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Just recently, and they're

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like, I don't know.

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And their, their trust is hard to

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get, and I always say, look, let me,

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let me earn 5 percent of your trust

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and I can show you how we can earn

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the 95 percent of it, like seriously.

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And so when we, when I present that to

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somebody, they're always Questionable

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and they're always like, Hmm, but they're

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like their, their guard breaks down.

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Okay, let me just show them and

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let them, let me let them show

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me what they can do for me.

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And then that opens up a lot of doors.

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And I always tell people,

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look, call my number.

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I give my cell to

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everyone that I speak to.

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I don't ever give them a business line.

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That's big.

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I feel like for a lot of people.

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So you're not calling a direct center.

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You're calling me and I'm

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the only one that's going to

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speak to the owner directly.

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He's my dad.

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I can get them on the phone in a call.

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If you want something

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done, give me a call.

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Like seriously, that's how it works.

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So that's just how it works in general.

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So if you want something done

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right away, I tell people either

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text me, call me, email me.

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I'm going to answer you within an hour.

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So that is a big, big deal for people.

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Like we'll, we'll have people like if

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there's an issue, say I've closed someone.

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I've talked to them maybe once, twice

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a month, maybe, right, just to kind

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of see how things are going, because

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I like to check in with people too,

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even though they're working with Steve,

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I still like to check in to see how

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things are being done, I'm like, look

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we have 11 people on staff, right, but

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they're all doing different things.

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I don't, and sometimes, our social

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media manager might be talking to

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the client one day and then our, our

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just our assistant might be talking

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to them the other day or bookkeeper.

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There's a lot of, there's a lot of

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moving parts, but I'm always the same

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person that's going to be reaching

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out to them every single time, right?

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So we don't, like I said, we

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don't have any other sales reps

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right today in the business.

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It's just me, right?

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So you know who to contact and who's

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going to give you the right information.

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And if I don't have an answer,

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I know who to ask like this,

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where I know where to go.

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So that's kind of how I represent

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the company and make people

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understand that you can trust us.

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And we do really good work since we've

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been around since 97 before I was born.

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It's just Give us a chance, it's like

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you might as well, it doesn't hurt

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and we're local to, you're talking

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family, I, I came up in a business.

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I worked in Manhattan, as I mentioned,

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but I also work and, and the people that

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I met in that first company, I worked

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at the training organization are still

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some of my best friends to this day.

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And then I moved to a

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financial products company.

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Where I worked for seven years

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doing automation and stuff.

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And some of those people are

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still some of my best friends.

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So in fact, they just had a big

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reunion party in Manhattan, like last

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week, there was like 40 people there.

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So I had gotten to really,

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really good companies that just

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felt like very family oriented.

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Like you knew these people.

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And then the last company, as I mentioned,

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the one, the one with the, you said

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the reunion, they were, I mean, it was

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money, we were, it was, it was called

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general refinancial products, which is

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the financial part of general reinsurance.

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Which insures insurance companies.

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So if you could imagine how much money

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insurance companies make, think of how

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much money the folks that ensure the

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insurance companies are pulling in.

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So this company had gobs of money,

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cheated everybody like a human in the

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days where you had three, you know,

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when most people had three days of

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sick days or, number of days, they

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were like, if you're sick, stay home.

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We don't want you coming in and

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getting everybody else sick.

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If you need a time off, you wanted to

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take a vacation day, on a, on a Friday

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and a Monday, have a long weekend.

Speaker:

Just just let us know.

Speaker:

And they always treated you like a

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person and not Hey, you're on salary.

Speaker:

It was like, and what happened

Speaker:

is it fostered such a good

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wanting to be there, right?

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The idea of, it wasn't so much a job.

Speaker:

It was more like, like a family.

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And it felt like we got

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free lunch every day.

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We had, it was Business cash.

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We're in a corporate company.

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It was business casual all the time.

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You had massive, amazing Christmas

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parties with like lobster and crab and,

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and we were right across the rink from

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the ice skating rink where they do the

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tree lighting ceremony in Manhattan.

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So every year a Christmas party was

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right there the day of the tree lighting.

Speaker:

So we have, and it just felt so like

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you were treated like an individual

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as a person and not a number.

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And I wanted to represent

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that in my business too.

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And the people on my team, and I've had a

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bunch of them with me seven, eight years.

Speaker:

In fact, one just she's my,

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my bookkeeper, office manager.

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She has been working remote since COVID

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and every now and then she'll come up.

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So she's, Hey, I had a

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doctor's appointment nearby.

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How about I stop in for

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a, for a cup of coffee?

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And we just sat and we chilled for an

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hour and a half, had some coffee, talk

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business, talk life, talk to, whatever.

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And, and I just want people to understand

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if you're sick, you can't work today, go,

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go take a nap go it'll be there tomorrow,

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just go take a nap take care of you if

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you're good, then you're better to work,

Speaker:

if you're crappy, and you feel crappy,

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and you're forced to do something, you're

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not gonna do as good a job, you're maybe

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making mistakes, and I'd rather Work.

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You take the time and

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do what you need to do.

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Clients will wait.

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They're not going anywhere.

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And if I lose a client because, there

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was a death in the family and the guy

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that was doing your job couldn't do it.

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Well, I don't want you as a client.

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Go, I'll find someone else.

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Bye bye.

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I don't need that.

Speaker:

So.

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And so I've been very real

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about that with my clients.

Speaker:

I'm very open about what's going on,

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open with what's, I may, I encourage

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my team to reach out to clients.

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They don't have to come

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to me for permission.

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I want clients to see that we're

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a team, that everybody has a

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little input and has a little say.

Speaker:

And then we've also done Like

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team meetings, like zoom meetings.

Speaker:

And it gets hard to get

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everybody in a room, on a zoom

Speaker:

meeting, pick a date and a time.

Speaker:

And everybody like initially

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thinks, Oh, there's another meeting.

Speaker:

Everybody.

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And it turned out like, we've done these,

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everybody's that was a great meeting.

Speaker:

It was so great to meet everybody.

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And so everybody has this initial

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whatever, but between those things and a

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staff, I started a staff chat room, right?

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We're all remote.

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But I started a staff chat room, and

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it's really just morning, afternoon, hey,

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I'm hanging in, how's everybody's day?

Speaker:

And at first people were like, this

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is stupid, what are we doing this for?

Speaker:

And over time, it became, hey,

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this is, this is how we, this

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is how we become together.

Speaker:

This is how we come together a bit more.

Speaker:

And so now, The last one, everybody got

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a chance to introduce themselves because

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we had a couple of new team members.

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Everybody got a chance to talk about

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what they do, what their role is.

Speaker:

And then we asked everybody to tell

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us a little bit about themselves,

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just like who they are, what they

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like, what their passions are.

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And it turned out we have a couple of

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musicians in the group that started

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to get together and started sharing

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music and started sharing stuff.

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We have a couple of writers in the

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group that were doing things on

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the side that we didn't know about.

Speaker:

And that started some conversations.

Speaker:

And so it brought everybody

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a little closer together.

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And yeah, so I try to do things like

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that to just, it's hard when you're

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working remotely to do things like that.

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And I think I, I think I mentioned

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the last time we spoke, for, for

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the holidays last year, um, rather

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than giving people a bonus, right.

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I mean, sure.

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Cash is nice.

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Everybody likes cash.

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I know Justin likes cash.

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But what I tried to do what I tried to

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do is I tried to get them something that

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they could use that would make their

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lives easier or their work life easier.

Speaker:

And also that when they use that,

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it brings a good memory, right?

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So I got one of my people, I got

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two of my people, like a new chair.

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Right.

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That they could nice chat.

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They could sit in.

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I let them pick from eight or 10

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different chairs that I thought

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were good and were nice and were

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reasonable, but not like cheapo chairs.

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You know what I mean?

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I bought somebody else who was working on

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a small monitor, a big 27 inch monitor.

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I bought someone else a battery backup

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because she kept complaining about how,

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where she was, her power kept going out

Speaker:

and she was losing work and all that.

Speaker:

So it was little things like that.

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And then, It was more about like the

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thought that counts kind of a thing.

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I mean, the gift is nice, but it was

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really more okay, when the power goes

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out and our computer doesn't go down,

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he's so glad I have that, or when you sit

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down on that chair and you go, Oh, it's

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got so comfy, so I try to do things like

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that to, to, to show people that I care.

Speaker:

I give birthday gifts.

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I'll send people amazon

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things for birthdays.

Speaker:

I'm so glad to have you on team.

Speaker:

I'm really open about telling people

Speaker:

I appreciate them and I appreciate

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what they do and thank you, and

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I try to make them see that they,

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they're not just an employee.

Speaker:

They're not some staff.

Speaker:

I'm not some consultant.

Speaker:

They're a part of my team.

Speaker:

They're a part of my extended

Speaker:

family and they matter to me.

Speaker:

And that's why I like to have people and

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they, and they stay around, they stick

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around because they like how they're

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treated, they like what they're getting

Speaker:

and, I couldn't, I couldn't be happier.

Speaker:

We've got great, a great team.

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Yeah.

Speaker:

I spoke to today, like I was talking

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to Steve about how I wanted to send

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out cards to our clients saying thank

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you for, just thank you for everything.

Speaker:

Some we've had who, how long

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has Brothers been with you, Dad?

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How long?

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It's over 10 years.

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Over 10 years.

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So there's been a lot, a couple

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of clients that have just

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been with us for a long time.

Speaker:

And so, been through

Speaker:

bad times, good times.

Speaker:

So I want to say thank you.

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And that's why I actually spoke

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to Linda Cameron today about

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getting some cards together.

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So we can send out to all of

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them, just, just to say thank you.

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Like seriously, it's all I really

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want to let them understand

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that we appreciate them.

Speaker:

And, even if you don't stay

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with us forever, that's okay.

Speaker:

But we just want to let you know

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that we, we, we love the work that

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we're doing for you right now.

Speaker:

So that's what we try to tell

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to, like I said, my coworkers,

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his employees, and just the

Speaker:

clients that we work with as well.

Speaker:

Yeah.

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When he brought it to me, I was like,

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I'll be, I'll be honest with you.

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It's not something I

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didn't ever really done.

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I see people do it.

Speaker:

I feel bad when I get cards

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from people and I didn't do it.

Speaker:

And it's not like everybody does it.

Speaker:

I mean, I know that, but I

Speaker:

was like, that's a good idea.

Speaker:

What can we do?

Speaker:

Find out what we can do.

Speaker:

Let's see what we can do.

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Cause you know, and I'm

Speaker:

also good about that too.

Speaker:

Somebody comes to me with an idea.

Speaker:

I'm always looking for

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the next great idea.

Speaker:

Everybody is.

Speaker:

And you come to me, you present

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me an idea that you know,

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I'll say, that's a great idea.

Speaker:

Let's do that.

Speaker:

Or, and I'm, I can be very stubborn

Speaker:

at times too, but I always say, Hey,

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if you can prove to me that your way

Speaker:

is good or has better, has qualities

Speaker:

that the way I've been thinking about

Speaker:

doing it is, you could show me that

Speaker:

it makes sense to do it your way.

Speaker:

I'll I'm all in.

Speaker:

Let's go do it your way.

Speaker:

Like I'm, I'm, you can change my mind,

Speaker:

but you just proved to me that, that what

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you're talking about is worthwhile value.

Speaker:

A lot of times people come to you

Speaker:

with ideas that we've already tried

Speaker:

that don't work for this reason, or

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we've thought about it, but maybe

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costs are outside of, what we can

Speaker:

do right now or, different reasons.

Speaker:

But I'm always willing to listen

Speaker:

to my team and I tell them all the

Speaker:

time, if you have an idea, if you're

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thinking about something, let me know.

Speaker:

And then I'll also tell folks, I'll

Speaker:

regularly ask them, Hey, is there anything

Speaker:

that you're not doing that you'd like to

Speaker:

do more of or that you've seen you want

Speaker:

to have a little bit more experience with?

Speaker:

Let me know, and I'll try

Speaker:

to steer them a little bit.

Speaker:

So a little bit of their time, a little

Speaker:

bit of their, what they're putting in can

Speaker:

go to something, either learning something

Speaker:

new or trying something different.

Speaker:

And that's all becoming a lot more like

Speaker:

with chat GPT and using that integrating

Speaker:

some of that has become sort of like the

Speaker:

next step, my content writers were worried

Speaker:

that they were going to be out of business

Speaker:

with and I'm like, no, no, still need

Speaker:

you, but you know, but this will help you

Speaker:

get where you're going quicker, we can

Speaker:

get more done in the same time, you're

Speaker:

still going to have to wordsmith the heck

Speaker:

out of it and make it make it look good.

Speaker:

But if you can get a good

Speaker:

foundation, a good base, yeah.

Speaker:

To start out with great my

Speaker:

training these days, same thing.

Speaker:

You should take me eight to 16 hours

Speaker:

to pull together like an hour, an hour

Speaker:

and a half worth of actual training.

Speaker:

Now it's about half that time.

Speaker:

And it's not that I'm copying and pasting,

Speaker:

but it's just it's giving me those points.

Speaker:

I'm making sure I don't miss.

Speaker:

It's making sure and I'm like, and

Speaker:

when I get something I can, write

Speaker:

my own words for it or update it.

Speaker:

But it's those kind of ideas that I'm

Speaker:

always looking for, like the next thing.

Speaker:

What's next?

Speaker:

What else can we do?

Speaker:

And, having, I don't know

Speaker:

everything and anybody that

Speaker:

says everything is, is a liar.

Speaker:

I know a lot about a lot,

Speaker:

but as lots, I don't know.

Speaker:

And I have, I have somebody

Speaker:

that's very involved in email

Speaker:

and she's amazing with the email.

Speaker:

So I count on her, she's

Speaker:

Oh, we can do this with you.

Speaker:

I'm like, jazz, this is you.

Speaker:

I'm putting this in you.

Speaker:

I'm going to trust you do what

Speaker:

you think is the best thing to do.

Speaker:

Right.

Speaker:

And I let them do it.

Speaker:

I don't need to micromanage everything.

Speaker:

I showed this things.

Speaker:

I wanted a certain thing or a certain way.

Speaker:

But I was like, do whatever

Speaker:

you think looks good.

Speaker:

Don't, don't worry about what I'm doing.

Speaker:

Do what you want to do.

Speaker:

Let me see what you got.

Speaker:

And the first time she fully did it on her

Speaker:

own, I was like, damn, this looks great.

Speaker:

This is a, I'll send it, like no changes.

Speaker:

And so that again, is part of, I think the

Speaker:

environment that I'm trying to establish.

Speaker:

I got to jump in here.

Speaker:

So I'm going to make a bet and I'm going

Speaker:

to ask Jason, Justin, sorry, Justin,

Speaker:

if, if this is accurate or not, he's not

Speaker:

afraid to let people make mistakes, right?

Speaker:

He will let them make, he will give them

Speaker:

something to do, let them make a mistake.

Speaker:

And if they make a mistake and it goes

Speaker:

completely sideways, they're not fired.

Speaker:

It's okay.

Speaker:

There's not a bunch of blame.

Speaker:

It's just, okay, let's figure out

Speaker:

what, what went wrong and, and fix it.

Speaker:

Am I accurate?

Speaker:

Yeah, there's no, you're exactly right.

Speaker:

There's no blame.

Speaker:

There's no, there's no heart.

Speaker:

There's no, like, why, why

Speaker:

didn't you do it this way?

Speaker:

It's just okay, let's look at it.

Speaker:

Let's, let's, let's see

Speaker:

how we could do it better.

Speaker:

And then, and let's solve

Speaker:

the problem together.

Speaker:

It's not and it's not all on the person.

Speaker:

It's like, it's like, why

Speaker:

didn't you do this for me?

Speaker:

It's, it's okay, maybe we can change a few

Speaker:

things and then we can adjust it together.

Speaker:

Or if, Or he's also confident, like

Speaker:

he said, in, in all our employees

Speaker:

to basically say, look, let's change

Speaker:

a few things and then do it again.

Speaker:

He's not, he's, and then

Speaker:

he'll just look at it again.

Speaker:

He's not, he doesn't have

Speaker:

to, like he says, micromanage

Speaker:

everything that any of us do.

Speaker:

Honestly.

Speaker:

None of us are getting micromanaged, and

Speaker:

we get the work done and we do good work.

Speaker:

So, I mean, if that doesn't tell you

Speaker:

something, anything, I mean, that's,

Speaker:

we were in a good, everyone's in a good

Speaker:

spot whenever in this, in this, In this

Speaker:

business I want to go to work for you.

Speaker:

I want to go to work.

Speaker:

I feel like I'm, I want to at some, at

Speaker:

the end of this, I'm going to want to,

Speaker:

this director's cuts that they do in

Speaker:

movies where the, the director, they

Speaker:

play the movie and the director stops

Speaker:

the movie and says, okay, now notice

Speaker:

this and listen to what he just said.

Speaker:

I feel like I want to go back

Speaker:

through this and do that because

Speaker:

it's did you hear what he just said?

Speaker:

Oh my God.

Speaker:

You're talking about, well,

Speaker:

you had a wonderful experience.

Speaker:

In a good, in a really strong culture,

Speaker:

a corporate culture that was as if

Speaker:

they were running a family business.

Speaker:

And that was, such a stroke of

Speaker:

luck for you, in my opinion.

Speaker:

But you are the right guy, too.

Speaker:

I mean, I can hear that.

Speaker:

I can see that.

Speaker:

So, there's so much here about letting,

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figuring out people's strengths,

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letting them work at their strengths,

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focus on their strengths, not trying

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to, force a square peg into a round

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hole, and developing people, listening,

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being curious, stubborn but curious.

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I love that combination, okay, yeah.

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I've done this a couple times.

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I can throw out the pretty obvious

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stuff that won't work, but you

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know, I'm, I don't know everything.

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That's, there's a security there, a

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self confidence there that allows you

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to, allow other people to, to, play

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with it and try things and, and, the

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knowing that you don't know everything.

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I think, the fact that you're in

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this industry that is constantly

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changing helped, support that if you

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were in something that, where things

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didn't change for 30 years, and then

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maybe they invented a new thing.

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And then another 30 years, it would be a

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lot easier to just get stuck in your ways.

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But I mean, this is just like a

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master class in culture management.

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And the other thing I want to point out

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here, one of my pet sayings is that your.

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Employees are your best customers.

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They basically buy.

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Coming back to work every day.

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And, and you see that intuitively and you

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are, treating them as your best customers.

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And, and I just, I want to thank you.

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It's funny.

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You ask about the, the mistake making.

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And I think one of the reasons why

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I'm so okay with it is because when I

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started out, I was a solopreneur, right?

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I did everything.

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And you didn't have the internet, really.

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I mean, you didn't have, I shouldn't say

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You didn't have the, the, the, the vast

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quantity of information available, right?

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And so, when I was doing this for

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people, I had to learn on my own.

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And so, I learned by making a ton of

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freaking mistakes until I got it right.

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And so, I tell people look,

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and I'm paying people by the

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hour, right, for the most part.

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And I'm like, look, if you if you

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want to figure something out on

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your own, Take a half an hour.

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Take an hour.

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All I ask is that you don't waste

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too much time on something like I

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understand the value and looking into

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things and learning on your own and

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trying and attempting and failing.

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But if you get to a point where it's just

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not coming together, that's when you want.

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I mean, I need you to understand.

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Stop.

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Ask, because I may have done this a

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million times when I go, Oh yeah, you

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gotta do this, or I just, I want people

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to get the opportunity to learn and

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typically the folks that I tend to hire,

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they're not always the most experienced.

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Right.

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They have a little bit of experience,

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obviously, but what I found the

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people that do best over the years are

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the people that can clearly explain

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to me that they can figure it out.

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They don't, they don't

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like, I don't need help.

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Like I can always Google it.

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Or we, we, we use GTS a lot.

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Google that stuff we'll say.

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All right.

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It's like with, with, with all,

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like you can find out anything you

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need to find out on the web, right?

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You just have to look and you

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have to research and you have to,

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look at your sources and whatnot.

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So I encourage people to do that.

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I want them to do that.

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I want them to be self, self fulfilling,

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self actualized, just figure it out.

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And the folks that have always lasted

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as long as and done the best in this

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business have been able to do that.

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And the ones that don't, I can't get it.

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I can't figure it out.

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They just don't make it.

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They just cannot make it and and that's I

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think one of the reasons why I encourage

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people to make mistakes because I

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know you're going to learn from them.

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And I do say, but learn from it.

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I don't want to see that same

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mistake over and over and over again.

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The whole fool me once, shame on you,

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fool me twice, shame on me kind of thing.

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Yeah, I'm okay.

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But don't keep making the same mistake.

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And if you if you can learn and grow.

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Awesome.

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That's exactly what I'm looking for.

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But it's so funny how you

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kind of pick that out.

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Yeah, that's gosh, again, the corporate I

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want to, focus on the family a little bit.

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So the, the, the family has the

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opportunity the family business owner

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has the opportunity to do what you

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talked about in terms of the gifting.

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You, you've got a little more, a little

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more control over what you spend.

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You've got, you've got control over

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the budget and, and you can do those

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things, but you can also you've got a

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mind to hiring, you've got a longterm.

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Outlook instead of that,

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quarter to quarter management.

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And it seems like

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corporate is always hiring.

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They want to hire a skill, a finished

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skill, just, and if the skill set changes

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a little bit, the first thing they're

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going to do is replace that person

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with somebody newer that's got that new

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skill set instead of upscaling them.

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Right.

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Yeah.

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And you're the opposite of that.

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And that's, I think that's why we

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want to celebrate family business.

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Well, I come from a

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family business, right?

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So my dad was a contractor

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in Manhattan forever.

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And as a kid, I'd go in with him on

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the weekends or on those, holiday,

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days off, even at five, six years old,

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I'd be with dad and I'd be picking

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up screws or handing him his hammer

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or whatever it was back in the day.

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And then as I got a little older, I went.

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And I'd be the, the, the kid getting

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the coffee or the one dragging the

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heavy stuff around for everybody,

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the grunt work, nobody else wants

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to go for, as they call them.

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Right.

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And then when I hit 16, I sort

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of had a little bit of had one

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of these old IBM computers with

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the green screens and everything.

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And he had a big dot matrix printer

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with those, with the green and white

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paper and the holes on the side.

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And, I said, Hey, dad, let me come in

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the office and do some stuff on the

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computer for you, and so at 16, I went

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in, I started building like some Excel

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spreadsheets, not Excel, sorry, Lotus

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one, two, three, there was no Excel.

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Lotus one, two, three spreadsheets.

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And I built a couple of like keyboard,

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I learned how to do keyboard commands so

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that you can hit like control P for print.

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And it would print out all of the.

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And then he could put in all the numbers

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for hours worked and it would do payroll

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and print all the payroll reports for him.

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And that's how I got started is

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working in my dad's business.

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And I love going to work with my dad.

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I love spending time with them.

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And, we'd go get a cup of coffee or we'd

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go get, dinner or lunch or something.

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And, it was always, it was always a great.

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And my dad and I are super tight.

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Me and Justin super tight.

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He and my dad are super tight.

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You want to pick it up

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in the airport today?

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Literally.

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I did.

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Yeah, he did.

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Oh, cool.

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Wonderful.

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So so, so it's been it's been kind of that

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whole idea of the family together, has

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come down the pipe, basically since then.

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And, I know, Justin, if the way he

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keeps going, he's never going to

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work for anybody either, probably,

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or may not work for anybody.

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Whether he's working for himself,

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or, working with me he's he's able

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to self destiny at this point, right?

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He's super young, super

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eager, super smart.

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Right.

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Here's a button and and he's gonna,

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but, I'm not worried about him.

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And I just love the fact that, I was

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telling somebody the other day that

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it's so nice to have him working with

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me to see how he's picking up on the

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because he had never had any interest

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at all as he was growing up and he's

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going to school for, business degree.

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And I'm like, I do own a business.

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You can come in.

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You can look at the bugs.

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If you have some suggestions based

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on what you're learning that can

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maybe help us grow or change.

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Let me know.

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Come on in.

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And he finally was like, what can I do?

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And I'm like, you could do this.

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He was like, let's give it a shot.

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And pretty good since then.

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So have you been using your business

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degree in the in the business?

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Have you got some of that?

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Not I mean, definitely.

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So, okay, when, when it comes to actual

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schooling, I feel like the only the

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last year that I was in school, I

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actually learned a lot of information.

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That's it.

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Like everything else.

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I was just like, why am I here?

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I can do this at home type thing.

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I don't know.

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But I definitely as for like actual

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problem solving and just how you

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view your company compared to the

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competition, how you can do better.

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I definitely am able to do that

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and apply that to what I do today.

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So that's what I like as well.

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I I'm able to use those problems,

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solving skills from school and take it

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into sales because sales is obviously,

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listening, making sure that you're able

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to give the customer what they need, what

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they want, especially what they want,

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because it's all emotion, obviously.

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Right.

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I'm going to interrupt you there.

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Sales done.

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Right.

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Is listening.

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Yes, that's true.

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Yes.

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But I've learned that to buy

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through through men through

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mentors, multiple, not just the one

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that I'm working with right now.

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I think that's been more helpful to

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obviously, I'm an advocate for school.

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But I think when you work with

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somebody closely, and you're able

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to ask them questions consistently,

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like every day type, like every day,

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every week, that's a works for me.

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And that's how I learned on a daily

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basis, whether it's I read sometimes

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I don't read a lot, I read, I

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should read more, I listened to a

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lot of things by just Reading takes

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a lot out of me, or it just does.

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But like I said, working with somebody

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one on one, I think that's the best way to

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actually use my skills every single day.

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So that's been helpful.

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Nice.

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Steve, what one thing that you wish

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you had known when you started out?

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So I would honestly say the

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business numbers part of it.

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Like that like when you go PC, watch,

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I don't think guys watch shark tank.

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Right.

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When you watch shark tank and they come

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out, what's this, what's your retention

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and what's your customer acquisition

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costs and what's this and what's that.

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I had no clue.

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I was not accounting guy.

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I wasn't a finance guy.

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I didn't really know any of that.

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It was all, kind of seat of my

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pants kind of stuff going forward.

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It was just like, and when I

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was a solopreneur, it was about.

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Just getting as much money in the

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door as I could get and, and getting

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the job done to keep people paying

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me more and answering and then using

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what I, my knowledge in what I did

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to get out there so that people

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could find me to, and they'd be like,

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well, I called you because I put in

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this keyword and you're everywhere.

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And I'm like, all right, good.

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The job's working there.

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Right.

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And then they call me.

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I'm like, all right, well, great.

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So they kind of knew I knew what I

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was doing because I was right there.

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But I wish I had a better

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understanding about, forecasting

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the numbers, the, being able to,

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to, to know, like my, my acquisition

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costs are customer lifetime stuff.

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I'm so little shaky on those things,

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honestly, those are things that

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I'm still trying to, and I've been

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looking for some classes on that.

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My accountant, I've talked to a bit more

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about, Hey, give me more of the numbers.

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I need to know more about.

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The business, the numbers,

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not just, not just income and

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expenses, but what's it take?

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What kind of, what kind of

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pro how profitable are you?

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What, which jobs are profitable,

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which are unprofitable.

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So those things I wish I had a better

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foundation with when I started this

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and still trying to kind of figure all

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those that we're getting obviously,

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closer where I want to be, but.

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It wasn't anything I ever

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put a lot of emphasis on.

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It was like, as long as I can pay

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the bills, as long as I can pay

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the guy, as long as I can put some

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money in my pocket, I was good.

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And that's not really the way to

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run a business, it's just not.

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And it's very common.

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I mean, it's very common.

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People start a business with

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a skillset and they do that.

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They know that skillset and then it

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grows and they've got employees in it.

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And now all of a sudden, all

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that other stuff comes up and.

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And they're so busy just doing the

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thing that where do you, you can't

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just stop and go back to school.

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Yeah.

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And the other thing too would be

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learning to work on the business

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and not in the business, right?

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If you're working in the

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business, you have a job.

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You're just maybe a solopreneur.

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You're not, you're not an entrepreneur.

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You're an employee in a business that you

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own working on the business and trying to.

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Make it grow and trying to

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bring more stuff into it.

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That's a different side of the business.

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And I think that for me, who's a bit

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of a control freak at certain times,

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it took me a while to just to sit let

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it go, let somebody else do the job.

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Because for a couple of reasons, I have

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one guy I was at a training and he said

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to me, who does your keyword research?

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And I'm like, well, I do.

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And it's like, how much are

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you charging out at the time?

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I was like a hundred bucks

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an hour to do, for my time.

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And it's could you hire

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somebody to do that?

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And I'm like, I mean, maybe, but you know,

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could you train somebody how to do it?

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I'm like, yeah, sure.

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He's so if you could train somebody to do

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it and they, and you charge, they charge

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you $25 an hour, you're basically saving

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$75 an hour and you're, if you're doing it

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yourself, then you're getting paid $25 an

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hour for a hundred dollars an hour person.

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And I went.

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Wow.

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I never thought of it that way.

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I'm like, that makes total sense.

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Like I'm wasting my, let me give this

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work to somebody else that can do it.

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That does the same job work.

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I can teach to do the job and pay them

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25 bucks an hour and go find people who

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will pay me a hundred bucks an hour,

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200 bucks an hour, whatever it may

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be and do that job, let that happen.

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And so that was also something I wish I

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had known earlier on in the business is to

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work on it, not in it as much as you can.

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Yeah, there's an author.

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I like Michael Mikhailovich.

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I believe this is how

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you pronounce his name.

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He wrote, he's written several books.

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One of them is called fix this next.

Speaker:

And the other one is run like clockwork.

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And the run like clockwork is, is that

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what you were just talking about is

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take the owner working themselves out

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of running the business all the time.

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To being the business more like

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an investor managing the business

Speaker:

from externally and, and his, the

Speaker:

challenge that he sets for people is

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when you start following his process,

Speaker:

or if you hire his, his consulting

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is you plan a four week vacation.

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You put it on the calendar, whether

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it's a 18 months, but you plan a four

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week vacation and you work to take

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that four week vacation and have the

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business run you for that four weeks.

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So I was lucky enough.

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In 19, 2019, I went on a 10 day

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vacation to Iceland with a couple

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of friends and connection was tough.

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It was no like, wifi every now and then

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you get to the hotel, maybe you get some

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wifi, but those 10 days my team took care

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of whatever they need to take care of.

Speaker:

I hear from my, my assistant a

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couple of times about stuff, but.

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I'm at the point now where I can go

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away for a little while and feel,

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I took a cruise like a couple years

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ago, actually Justin and I took our

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first cruise together right before,

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literally like It was the week of

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COVID, like we were all shipped out.

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Yeah, yeah, exactly.

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We had no Wi Fi and I came back,

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I had no school, no nothing,

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like I was like, what happened?

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We got back on Saturday and Tuesday,

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the shutdowns happened on we got

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back on the 14th of March and

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17th was when they shut it down.

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So we, we came back then and that

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whole week we had no wifi and

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everybody, it was all running itself.

Speaker:

So I'm at a place now where I feel

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like I can step away for a little bit.

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I know if there's an emergency

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or an issue I could be reached.

Speaker:

I was away for 10 days during the

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summer RVing with with my girlfriend.

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And, a couple of little things came

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up here and there that I had to

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deal with, but most of it was like

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access to this, access to that.

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So the business runs pretty

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good for a little while now.

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Can it run for a month

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at a time without me?

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I don't know.

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But I'm, I'm, I'm getting to

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the point where I can do that.

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And that's, that's really

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the, the point of the jump up.

Speaker:

But now I'm investing a lot more of my

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time into this business, the new one here

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to build that side, because there's more.

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This is easier revenue

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and it's more scalable.

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So that's kind of where we're

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getting at with that trying to

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scale up that, We can get a thousand

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people paying us 99 a month.

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Yeah, that's that's a

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lot of money every month.

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So that'd be nice Well, I I i'm out of

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questions I mean you've answered more

Speaker:

questions than I could have asked and

Speaker:

and they're this is like a master class.

Speaker:

I love it How can people find, where

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would you want people to find you?

Speaker:

Do you want them to go to stevescottseo.

Speaker:

com?

Speaker:

Do you want them to go to

Speaker:

your website tampa seo.

Speaker:

com or what?

Speaker:

Yeah, tampa seo.

Speaker:

com is probably the best

Speaker:

place to go right now.

Speaker:

That will have access to our agency

Speaker:

side of work, consulting work.

Speaker:

And training work.

Speaker:

We're actually in the middle

Speaker:

of a redesign right now.

Speaker:

That's going to probably relaunch

Speaker:

sometime in the next few months.

Speaker:

It's a little outdated, but

Speaker:

contact information is there.

Speaker:

Information about what we do is there.

Speaker:

Some of the dates for training

Speaker:

are not there because we're not

Speaker:

doing in person training anymore.

Speaker:

But that's coming.

Speaker:

And the Steve Scott SEO site is launching

Speaker:

probably in the next month or two.

Speaker:

I would say.

Speaker:

Beginning of the year.

Speaker:

We'll have it up and running ready to go.

Speaker:

We're just kind of finishing all the

Speaker:

little, the little details off all

Speaker:

the nuances, getting all the email

Speaker:

chains going, but that, or you could

Speaker:

just go on, on the web and just type

Speaker:

in, Tampa SEO, Tampa SEO training,

Speaker:

you'll find us on the web all over.

Speaker:

There's reviews everywhere.

Speaker:

Google, Facebook, Yelp you name it.

Speaker:

Forget what I say.

Speaker:

Go read what other people have to say.

Speaker:

Go to LinkedIn, look at some

Speaker:

of the recommendations and

Speaker:

we've got Transcription I

Speaker:

think it was like a thousand.

Speaker:

Endorsements, 1800

Speaker:

endorsements, 1800 endorsements.

Speaker:

Wow.

Speaker:

About 30 reviews on LinkedIn, it's just,

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I've been doing it a long time and a lot

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of people come in and out and through.

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My world, other people have come through

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the business either through training

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or consulting and have turned their

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own lives into their own businesses

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on their own, have whole businesses

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that they've created whole companies,

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like I said, have taken training and

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made their team, expand their team.

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And, they're, they're printing money.

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Some of these guys have an appointment

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tomorrow with an old student who has

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made a fortune selling chiropractic

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marketing after learning what to do.

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So yeah, so it's, it's great

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to share some of those triumphs

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with some of my old students.

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I love, when my, when my clients see

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they're coming up, at the top of Google

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for the things they wanna get found for.

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Yeah.

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So just reach out or and you can

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find, you can find us online.

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You can give Justin a call as well.

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Yeah.

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Yeah.

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So Justin, you are on the website, right?

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Say it again?

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Is your phone number

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on the website, Justin?

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Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.

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Well, his isn't, but the main line is.

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And he gets all the calls.

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Oh, yeah.

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That was one big thing.

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When I shifted all the calls

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that were coming in to him,

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that was like, thank you.

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Thank you.

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That saves him time.

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Vacation right there.

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Yeah, exactly.

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This has been so much fun.

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Thank you so much for doing this with us.

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Thanks for having us.

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We will look forward to

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future conversations.

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Thank you guys.

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I really appreciate it.

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It's been great to chat with you.

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It's been great.

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