In this insightful episode of ‘Celebrating Small Family Businesses,’ hosts John and Connie Kuder delve into the inspiring story of Waypoint Property Inspection, a home inspection company founded in 2005 by Bob Hintze.

Bob shares his journey from working in the corporate world, facing job relocation, and deciding to start his own business in Florida to avoid separating his family.

With the help of Bob’s brother-in-law Eddy, his lifelong friend Mark, and his son Austin, Waypoint Property Inspection evolved from a one-man operation to a thriving company with over 30 domestic employees and a global team.

Despite industry challenges, Waypoint managed to navigate through economic downturns and achieve significant growth by focusing on education, developing people’s strengths, and implementing systematic business strategies like the EOS model.

The episode features detailed conversations with each owner, highlighting the importance of family values, transparency, and the drive to continuously improve and adapt.

This story is not only a celebration of Waypoint’s success but also offers valuable insights for small family businesses on the importance of passion, adaptability, and collaborative growth.

You can reach the Waypoint team through their website at https://waypointinspection.com/, or

Google Business page: https://g.page/waypoint-property-inspection?gm

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/waypoint.property.inspection/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/waypointinspection/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQSpsqSF6n2VfVy2ZEs0IOQ

00:00 Welcome to Celebrating Small Family Businesses

00:27 The Origin Story of Waypoint Property Inspection

00:41 Bob’s Journey: From Corporate to Entrepreneurship

05:50 Eddy’s Path to Joining Waypoint

08:25 Mark’s Expansion: Waypoint East

11:36 Austin’s Perspective: Second Generation in the Family Business

14:05 The Power of Family Dynamics in Business

22:31 Leveraging Corporate Experience for Business Success

27:01 The Journey from Retail to Home Inspection

27:32 Learning Business Through Corporate Experience

27:40 The Importance of Associations and Learning from Others

32:05 The Evolution of a Home Inspection Business

39:34 Embracing Leadership and Growth

45:36 The Power of Transparency and Collaboration

50:41 Reflecting on Personal and Business Growth

Transcript
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John and Connie: Hi and welcome to

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celebrating small family businesses.

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I'm John Kuder and I'm Connie Kuder.

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And today we are celebrating

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Waypoint Property Inspection and

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we've got four owners on with us.

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So this is going to be exciting.

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So I'm going to start

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with, uh, introduction.

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I can't do introductions because

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this is going to wind up being, , in

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terms of video, it's going to

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be speaker view mostly, I think.

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So, , I wanted to start with Bob.

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Bob.

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, what's the, what was the

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origin story of your business?

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How did you guys decide

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to, to do Waypoint?

Bob Hintze:

Sure.

Bob Hintze:

, first of all, I want to thank you, , John

Bob Hintze:

and Connie for having us on today.

Bob Hintze:

It's real exciting to be

Bob Hintze:

able to share our story.

Bob Hintze:

, basically the journey for

Bob Hintze:

Waypoint began actually 19

Bob Hintze:

years ago this month in, , 2005.

Bob Hintze:

And really the, the impetus of

Bob Hintze:

getting started was a result of,

Bob Hintze:

uh, my making a career change.

Bob Hintze:

I was Working for a large

Bob Hintze:

financial company at the time.

Bob Hintze:

And if you, I know we're all too young on

Bob Hintze:

this call, but back in the early 2000s,

Bob Hintze:

there was a lot of offshoring going on

Bob Hintze:

where a lot of the work, which was once

Bob Hintze:

domestically Being taken care of was

Bob Hintze:

being sent overseas and the company I

Bob Hintze:

worked for actually went through that.

Bob Hintze:

And, you know, really, I, I

Bob Hintze:

totally understand the reasoning.

Bob Hintze:

It's all about, , making shareholders

Bob Hintze:

happy, not necessarily customers.

Bob Hintze:

, when it comes to customer service, it's

Bob Hintze:

the bottom line at the end of the day.

Bob Hintze:

So I was given a choice.

Bob Hintze:

actually trained a lot of our

Bob Hintze:

replacements, , in the Philippines

Bob Hintze:

and, and India at the time.

Bob Hintze:

And then, um, I was given a choice to stay

Bob Hintze:

with the company and relocate to that,

Bob Hintze:

to their headquarters up in Virginia,

Bob Hintze:

um, since they were downsizing in the U.

Bob Hintze:

S.

Bob Hintze:

And, uh, since over the previous few

Bob Hintze:

years, I had , moved my family first from

Bob Hintze:

California to Texas, and then from Texas

Bob Hintze:

to Florida, um, and then in the ensuing

Bob Hintze:

couple of years after that, Eddie and

Bob Hintze:

his family joined us along with, my wife.

Bob Hintze:

And, my wife and Eddie's wife

Bob Hintze:

are sisters, and they, uh, their

Bob Hintze:

parents moved from California,

Bob Hintze:

so we were all together.

Bob Hintze:

And if I left and moved my

Bob Hintze:

family to Richmond, I probably

Bob Hintze:

wouldn't have moved the family.

Bob Hintze:

I would have got it as a single man.

Bob Hintze:

So I didn't want to do that.

Bob Hintze:

, so actually, , the company I worked with

Bob Hintze:

was very good to me, which afforded me

Bob Hintze:

to take a deep look inside , and decide,

Bob Hintze:

, after, , having conversations with, , my

Bob Hintze:

wife, Jeanette and Austin, who was around

Bob Hintze:

10 at the time and a man of wisdom at 10,

Bob Hintze:

uh, what was my next step going to be?

Bob Hintze:

And, a couple of things that led

Bob Hintze:

me to starting Waypoint was, uh,

Bob Hintze:

taking a look inside my whole life.

Bob Hintze:

What did I, A, enjoy doing and

Bob Hintze:

B, what I felt I, I did well.

Bob Hintze:

And, uh, both kind of came along the line

Bob Hintze:

of developing people and educating them.

Bob Hintze:

And so with some soul searching, some

Bob Hintze:

research, I came upon home inspection,

Bob Hintze:

which again, 19 years ago, and still

Bob Hintze:

is a relatively new industry and,

Bob Hintze:

uh, did a lot of studying, a lot of

Bob Hintze:

understanding, a lot of research, and,

Bob Hintze:

uh, decided to go into home inspection

Bob Hintze:

because the last thing I wanted to do

Bob Hintze:

was shake the hands again, shake the

Bob Hintze:

hands of 500 people as I was laying them

Bob Hintze:

off, which I happened to do in 2005.

Bob Hintze:

I did follow them out the door.

Bob Hintze:

I wanted to be my own boss.

Bob Hintze:

So if I were to get fired, it

Bob Hintze:

was going to be me firing me.

Bob Hintze:

, but it's really started start ground up,

Bob Hintze:

, as an entrepreneur and because of that

Bob Hintze:

education and, uh, teaching people about

Bob Hintze:

their homes and satisfying the partners

Bob Hintze:

that we work with, , I truly enjoyed that.

Bob Hintze:

And that's why, , I started Waypoint,

Bob Hintze:

uh, back in 2005 and, , basically

Bob Hintze:

was a quote unquote, one man

Bob Hintze:

shop, , from 2005 until 2013.

Bob Hintze:

, Eddie did help me along the way.

Bob Hintze:

I won't steal his thunder

Bob Hintze:

that, , he'll probably talk about

Bob Hintze:

his story with Waypoint, , but

Bob Hintze:

joined me, , full time in 2014.

Bob Hintze:

Austin joined us, uh,

Bob Hintze:

actually Eddie joined in 2013.

Bob Hintze:

Uh, correct myself, Austin

Bob Hintze:

joined part time while he

Bob Hintze:

was going to college in 2014.

Bob Hintze:

And then in 2016, when he graduated,

Bob Hintze:

he joined the company full time.

Bob Hintze:

But, you know, in a nutshell, , from

Bob Hintze:

a one man shop, Back in 2005 to today,

Bob Hintze:

where we have, , over 30 domestic

Bob Hintze:

employees and five global team

Bob Hintze:

members who support us from overseas.

Bob Hintze:

, it's been a fun ride.

Bob Hintze:

Basically that is the.

Bob Hintze:

In a nutshell, backstory , of

Bob Hintze:

Waypoint property inspection.

Bob Hintze:

John and Connie: Thank you.

Bob Hintze:

Yeah.

Bob Hintze:

And congratulations on almost

Bob Hintze:

being 20 years in the business.

Bob Hintze:

As we know, small businesses

Bob Hintze:

collapse pretty quickly, . But

Bob Hintze:

thank you for, for being smart

Bob Hintze:

enough to do the homework before.

Bob Hintze:

Real quick, I remember going

Bob Hintze:

to school, uh, for home inspection to

Bob Hintze:

get my, , certification at the time.

Bob Hintze:

We were not a licensed

Bob Hintze:

profession in Florida until 2010.

Bob Hintze:

I remember the instructor standing

Bob Hintze:

in front of the class and there was

Bob Hintze:

probably about 30 of us and basically

Bob Hintze:

saying all but two of you will not

Bob Hintze:

be in business three years from now.

Bob Hintze:

So I guess, , there's

Bob Hintze:

somebody else out there.

Bob Hintze:

But I'm very happy to say that

Bob Hintze:

after two years and almost 20 years

Bob Hintze:

that we are still in business.

Bob Hintze:

John and Connie: That's

Bob Hintze:

wonderful, wonderful.

Bob Hintze:

Well, since you kind of teed it up

Bob Hintze:

for us, Eddy, uh, do you want to jump

Bob Hintze:

in and talk about how your, uh, your

Bob Hintze:

arc with the business came to be and

Eddy Lai:

Yeah, I won't,

Eddy Lai:

I won't mind sharing that.

Eddy Lai:

But, uh, then we got to get to Mark as

Eddy Lai:

to why he created Waypoint East at the

Eddy Lai:

time, but again, like Bob has said, I

Eddy Lai:

joined him a part time around 2007 because

Eddy Lai:

he was very busy, , as a one man shop.

Eddy Lai:

And then I joined him mainly on the

Eddy Lai:

weekends just to help them help them out

Eddy Lai:

and pretty much for a burger and a beer.

Eddy Lai:

, and then in 2000, 2000, it was

Eddy Lai:

around 2007, 2008, where we had

Eddy Lai:

a reduction in force as well.

Eddy Lai:

But I was, I was assigned

Eddy Lai:

to a different area.

Eddy Lai:

So then I didn't want

Eddy Lai:

to jump in at that time.

Eddy Lai:

And then the market wasn't doing as

Eddy Lai:

well, during that timeframe as well on,

Eddy Lai:

on the home, real estate section, uh,

Eddy Lai:

I was in a major, , Banking, , company

Eddy Lai:

as well in the call center, um, and

Eddy Lai:

got moved to a different position.

Eddy Lai:

So I stayed there until 2013, where

Eddy Lai:

they were getting, uh, resizing and, uh,

Eddy Lai:

and decided to move out of the state.

Eddy Lai:

It was an international banking company

Eddy Lai:

that decided to leave the U S market.

Eddy Lai:

And then, uh, at that time,

Eddy Lai:

that's when I decided that I'm

Eddy Lai:

going to join Bob full time.

Eddy Lai:

Because his business warranted, and

Eddy Lai:

you know, one of the biggest things

Eddy Lai:

when I joined Bob and we say this

Eddy Lai:

all the time is that I didn't want

Eddy Lai:

to, you know, rob Peter to pay Paul.

Eddy Lai:

I didn't want to take from his

Eddy Lai:

pocket to move money into my pocket.

Eddy Lai:

wanted to make sure there was

Eddy Lai:

enough money out there for both

Eddy Lai:

of our pockets, uh, to flourish.

Eddy Lai:

At that time and in 2013, that's when

Eddy Lai:

I made my move, I got the license

Eddy Lai:

and since then, you know, one of the

Eddy Lai:

biggest goals that we had as joining up

Eddy Lai:

when we went to a conference, we both

Eddy Lai:

looked at each other and said, we don't

Eddy Lai:

want to be just a two man operation.

Eddy Lai:

We want to be a multi inspector firm.

Eddy Lai:

And since then, we've laid the

Eddy Lai:

tracks towards that success.

Eddy Lai:

So I've been very appreciative of that.

Eddy Lai:

And we all have our own assignments and

Eddy Lai:

within the Within the family business,

Eddy Lai:

and we, you know, we all try to strive

Eddy Lai:

to work at our strengths and build

Eddy Lai:

the company based on our strengths.

Eddy Lai:

So thanks for asking, , John and Connie.

Eddy Lai:

John and Connie: That's fabulous.

Eddy Lai:

You're welcome.

Eddy Lai:

Yep, boy, you just hit on two of

Eddy Lai:

our primary drivers is, is the,

Eddy Lai:

you know, focus on strengths and,

Eddy Lai:

and knowing, having clear roles and

Eddy Lai:

everybody working in their role.

Eddy Lai:

So Mark, you're next.

Eddy Lai:

You got, Tell us your story.

Eddy Lai:

You expanded, you started, I hear East.

Eddy Lai:

Tell me about East.

Mark Wahl:

Well, thank you, John.

Mark Wahl:

Thank you, Connie.

Mark Wahl:

It's east because obviously Bob,

Mark Wahl:

Austin and Eddie are located in Tampa.

Mark Wahl:

I'm actually located in Palm Beach County.

Mark Wahl:

To give you a little bit more

Mark Wahl:

backstory prior to business this

Mark Wahl:

year, Bob and I are friends 50 years.

Mark Wahl:

John and Connie: Wow.

Mark Wahl:

Cool.

Mark Wahl:

Okay.

Mark Wahl:

Well, there, there's, you know,

Mark Wahl:

effectively another family connection.

Mark Wahl:

Well, and it's funny you

Mark Wahl:

said that because when we announced

Mark Wahl:

the merger of the two companies, we

Mark Wahl:

announced it as a merger of families.

Mark Wahl:

So basically in 2005, I moved to

Mark Wahl:

South Florida from New Jersey.

Mark Wahl:

My wife and I both having fairly

Mark Wahl:

good corporate jobs and I was

Mark Wahl:

getting phone calls from Bob.

Mark Wahl:

We were talking almost every

Mark Wahl:

day and he was saying, I don't

Mark Wahl:

know what I'm going to do.

Mark Wahl:

I want to look at this.

Mark Wahl:

I want to look at a UPS store.

Mark Wahl:

And then he got into home inspection

Mark Wahl:

once he got started, he said to

Mark Wahl:

me, oh, you should get into this.

Mark Wahl:

And I said, I'm in the air more

Mark Wahl:

than I'm on the ground with my

Mark Wahl:

corporate job at all at a time.

Mark Wahl:

So that in June of 2006, I went over and

Mark Wahl:

actually stayed at Bob's house and took

Mark Wahl:

the same class he had taken, figuring I'm

Mark Wahl:

going to start a small part time business.

Mark Wahl:

And figure helps to, bring a

Mark Wahl:

little bit more to the family

Mark Wahl:

and it was working fine.

Mark Wahl:

And then in 2008, just like Bob and Eddie,

Mark Wahl:

I went through a corporate downsizing.

Mark Wahl:

, I worked for a different bank, but it was

Mark Wahl:

on the insurance side of the business.

Mark Wahl:

And obviously at that point, 2008

Mark Wahl:

was the big collapse of the market.

Mark Wahl:

And a year later, my wife

Mark Wahl:

working for a fourth corporate

Mark Wahl:

institution lost her corporate job.

Mark Wahl:

So we kind of reinvented ourselves.

Mark Wahl:

I went full time and started building

Mark Wahl:

it and it just began to roll.

Mark Wahl:

And in, I guess it was about the same

Mark Wahl:

time around 2013, I hired my first

Mark Wahl:

inspector on the East coast to help.

Mark Wahl:

And we started growing and both

Mark Wahl:

sides blossomed very well.

Mark Wahl:

We bounce things off of each other.

Mark Wahl:

We shared marketing ideas, logos, all,

Mark Wahl:

all the ways of operating the business,

Mark Wahl:

but kept them corporately separate.

Mark Wahl:

And then after Austin came in and

Mark Wahl:

he'll, he'll laugh about this.

Mark Wahl:

used to go to our conferences and he used

Mark Wahl:

to say to me, I want to buy your company.

Mark Wahl:

And I'd say, you can't afford me.

Mark Wahl:

And he'd say, how do you know that?

Mark Wahl:

I said, cause I know your father.

Mark Wahl:

So finally we decided about

Mark Wahl:

a year and a half ago,

Mark Wahl:

almost two years ago to, to perform

Mark Wahl:

the merger of the two companies.

Mark Wahl:

And here we are today.

Mark Wahl:

John and Connie: Very cool.

Mark Wahl:

Very cool.

Mark Wahl:

Austin, what um, you're second

Mark Wahl:

generation and I want to, I think I

Mark Wahl:

want to start out with that for you.

Mark Wahl:

So what do you love most about

Mark Wahl:

working in the family business?

Austin Hintze:

I think it's, it's a

Austin Hintze:

combination of the flexibility that

Austin Hintze:

it provides versus a standard job

Austin Hintze:

or going the corporate route, right?

Austin Hintze:

As Bob, Eddie and Mark have all gone down.

Austin Hintze:

Um, it's the ease of communication

Austin Hintze:

in a sense when it comes to making

Austin Hintze:

decisions, when it comes to figuring

Austin Hintze:

out which direction we're going to go.

Austin Hintze:

Um, and I think it's just the feeling

Austin Hintze:

of, We're all working together to build

Austin Hintze:

something that not only benefits all of

Austin Hintze:

us as a family, but also benefits the

Austin Hintze:

employees and their families as well.

Austin Hintze:

So I think it's those three main things

Austin Hintze:

I would say all kind of come together in

Austin Hintze:

perfect unison of what makes it a great

Austin Hintze:

thing to do, right?

Austin Hintze:

Working with family.

Austin Hintze:

John and Connie: I love that

Austin Hintze:

you said ease of communication.

Austin Hintze:

That's, um, I want to say that's

Austin Hintze:

somewhat uncommon in family businesses

Austin Hintze:

that it'd be easy because the family

Austin Hintze:

dynamics tend to get in the way.

Austin Hintze:

So kudos for, you know,

Austin Hintze:

working that making that work.

Austin Hintze:

One of the things we

Austin Hintze:

follow pretty closely is the EOS model

Austin Hintze:

with Traction, and through that model,

Austin Hintze:

they basically, , put out a very clear

Austin Hintze:

guideline that when it comes to meetings,

Austin Hintze:

everything needs to be fully transparent

Austin Hintze:

from the communication standpoint, right?

Austin Hintze:

So when the 4 of us get together in

Austin Hintze:

a meeting, if you leave that meeting

Austin Hintze:

feeling like things were left unsaid,

Austin Hintze:

or things weren't brought up that

Austin Hintze:

should have been brought up, and

Austin Hintze:

we're not perfect at it, right?

Austin Hintze:

We'll get out of the meeting and

Austin Hintze:

realize we should have spent more

Austin Hintze:

time on this topic and we need

Austin Hintze:

to do a better job next time.

Austin Hintze:

But I think we do a really good job

Austin Hintze:

with that transparency because we

Austin Hintze:

follow a model that basically stipulates

Austin Hintze:

that has to be part of how we run

Austin Hintze:

the organization, run our meetings.

Austin Hintze:

John and Connie: Nice.

Austin Hintze:

So for our listeners, I'm just going to...

Austin Hintze:

correct me if I miss anything,

Austin Hintze:

but the EOS stands for

Austin Hintze:

Entrepreneurial Operating System.

Austin Hintze:

And Traction, it was created by, and

Austin Hintze:

Traction is a book written by the

Austin Hintze:

creator, I think it's Gino Wickman, is it?

Austin Hintze:

Yep, that's correct.

Austin Hintze:

John and Connie: Awesome, awesome.

Austin Hintze:

Yeah, he's, he's a big force in the,

Austin Hintze:

in the small business world, I think.

Austin Hintze:

And, yeah, that, having that system,

Austin Hintze:

, that's strong, as a lot of businesses

Austin Hintze:

need to know more about that.

Austin Hintze:

Read Traction.

Austin Hintze:

I think it's a free download

Austin Hintze:

too, I don't know, but okay,

Austin Hintze:

so I'm going to jump to Bob.

Austin Hintze:

So you're the dad in the business.

Austin Hintze:

You've got your son in the business

Austin Hintze:

as well as your brother in law.

Austin Hintze:

What do you, and his best

Austin Hintze:

friend, and your best friend.

Austin Hintze:

Yeah.

Austin Hintze:

What, what works for you?

Austin Hintze:

What, what do you love

Austin Hintze:

about the family aspect?

Austin Hintze:

Yeah.

Austin Hintze:

Yeah.

Austin Hintze:

Yeah.

Bob Hintze:

I think the dynamic works

Bob Hintze:

because, uh, like we have mentioned

Bob Hintze:

before, um, I don't want to call it all

Bob Hintze:

about strengths and weaknesses, John,

Bob Hintze:

or strengths and areas of opportunity.

Bob Hintze:

I also want to call it what, you know,

Bob Hintze:

what we're passionate about, what

Bob Hintze:

each of us does well, what we enjoy

Bob Hintze:

doing and what we're passionate about.

Bob Hintze:

And it's actually, , four different,

Bob Hintze:

you'll get four different answers.

Bob Hintze:

Now we do have some overlap.

Bob Hintze:

Like you had mentioned, our family

Bob Hintze:

dynamic, it's, it's not all peaches and

Bob Hintze:

cream, but, you know, utilizing not only

Bob Hintze:

the, the traction system, but the, trust,

Bob Hintze:

and I'll even say it, the love we have

Bob Hintze:

amongst each other, we know that even

Bob Hintze:

through the, the challenging times, uh,

Bob Hintze:

we'll get through it, but we have our,

Bob Hintze:

as we call it, we have our lanes, Um,

Bob Hintze:

sometimes our lanes are, uh, sometimes

Bob Hintze:

our, our highways are eight lanes wide.

Bob Hintze:

Sometimes they're two lanes wide.

Bob Hintze:

As the company matured, they have changed.

Bob Hintze:

I remember obviously first starting

Bob Hintze:

out, you know, I was, I was a chief

Bob Hintze:

bottle washer, the janitor, every,

Bob Hintze:

you know, everything, taking orders.

Bob Hintze:

And, and then, , as we grew up and Eddie

Bob Hintze:

joined, um, I still remember and he talks

Bob Hintze:

about it, , he was a driver and I was

Bob Hintze:

taking the orders over the phone, and I

Bob Hintze:

was a driver and he was following up with,

Bob Hintze:

you know, so you do what you have to do.

Bob Hintze:

And as you, as you add on the resources,

Bob Hintze:

and in our case, we were lucky to

Bob Hintze:

have families and family and dear

Bob Hintze:

friends, , you develop partly naturally.

Bob Hintze:

And the other way is just where, where

Bob Hintze:

you feel you have the most strength to

Bob Hintze:

give, . And that's, and that's really

Bob Hintze:

what's defined us, especially over the

Bob Hintze:

last, uh, year plus, since we had the

Bob Hintze:

merger, because, you know, we had, we had

Bob Hintze:

the three of us that were still, you know,

Bob Hintze:

Austin was maturing into his position,

Bob Hintze:

um, Eddie and I were kind of rooted in

Bob Hintze:

ours, knowing we needed to change somewhat

Bob Hintze:

and have some flexibility, um, and, and

Bob Hintze:

finding our way, I remember way back

Bob Hintze:

in the beginning, and Eddie has an HR

Bob Hintze:

background from the corporate world, uh,

Bob Hintze:

he, he was working the HR department.

Bob Hintze:

HR purpose of the company, and today I

Bob Hintze:

am, um, and it's, it's, you know, it's, I

Bob Hintze:

found, you know, with the added resources

Bob Hintze:

that I, I, A, I didn't have to do what

Bob Hintze:

I did before, whether I liked it or not,

Bob Hintze:

and B, I was able to steer myself into

Bob Hintze:

that highway, multiple lane highway.

Bob Hintze:

Of things that I do enjoy doing, and a lot

Bob Hintze:

of what I enjoy doing now is the company's

Bob Hintze:

matured and it's, it's, you know, 19

Bob Hintze:

years old is I like to do more of the

Bob Hintze:

behind the scenes and the support disease.

Bob Hintze:

Um, I write educational.

Bob Hintze:

classes.

Bob Hintze:

Um, we all teach them.

Bob Hintze:

I, I actually was co working for

Bob Hintze:

a few years where I was the lead

Bob Hintze:

instructional lead instructor for

Bob Hintze:

a company that was teaching home

Bob Hintze:

inspections on a national basis.

Bob Hintze:

So I think that's the big thing is,

Bob Hintze:

is, you know, we're good at things.

Bob Hintze:

We're able to streamline them into

Bob Hintze:

a, a Purely definable purpose.

Bob Hintze:

There's a little bit of overlap,

Bob Hintze:

but we understand that we rely on.

Bob Hintze:

We can rely on each other and,

Bob Hintze:

uh, and work with each other based

Bob Hintze:

upon our strengths and really what

Bob Hintze:

what our highway is right now.

Bob Hintze:

So, that's really how I feel about

Bob Hintze:

it and it could change tomorrow.

Bob Hintze:

It does.

Bob Hintze:

It will change tomorrow.

Bob Hintze:

It won't change drastically, but there'll

Bob Hintze:

be another layer that's added tomorrow and

Bob Hintze:

we'll sit down and we'll work it out and.

Bob Hintze:

And, you know, assign responsibilities

Bob Hintze:

around it and get it done.

Bob Hintze:

John and Connie: Okay, that's that.

Bob Hintze:

Wow.

Bob Hintze:

There's a lot there to unpack

Bob Hintze:

more than we've got time for.

Bob Hintze:

We'd have to do another another call.

Bob Hintze:

I love I love what you know you said

Bob Hintze:

earlier you talked about how you really

Bob Hintze:

like to develop people that that's

Bob Hintze:

you know part of passion and so you

Bob Hintze:

brought out the idea of strengths but

Bob Hintze:

not strengths just on the fact that

Bob Hintze:

I'm good at this or you know I've got

Bob Hintze:

this background but also passion for

Bob Hintze:

doing that and you know we've got a

Bob Hintze:

favorite tool that we use, in our work

Bob Hintze:

that's, , a book by a lady named Kristen

Bob Hintze:

Sherry called YouMap, Y O U M A P.

Bob Hintze:

And she starts with Clifton Strengths

Bob Hintze:

as, uh, one of the pillars, but then

Bob Hintze:

she has , it takes you through finding

Bob Hintze:

out all your different skills and she

Bob Hintze:

divides skills into different categories

Bob Hintze:

and the top category is the skills that

Bob Hintze:

you're, things that you're good at,

Bob Hintze:

but they also energize you when you

Bob Hintze:

do them because we've all got things

Bob Hintze:

that we're, we can do and we're good

Bob Hintze:

at them, but they drain us, right?

Bob Hintze:

And then there's others that energize us.

Bob Hintze:

And so I hear you talking about you guys

Bob Hintze:

finding your, you know, marrying your

Bob Hintze:

strengths with those skills that energize

Bob Hintze:

you and then making that your lane,

Bob Hintze:

even if that's not where you started.

Bob Hintze:

Is that accurate?

Bob Hintze:

Yeah.

Bob Hintze:

Yeah.

Bob Hintze:

Thanks.

Bob Hintze:

And the book, and the book

Bob Hintze:

you mentioned, YouMap, I have heard of

Bob Hintze:

that, but I can tell you, and I know

Bob Hintze:

we don't have the time today, but,

Bob Hintze:

uh, we've done many exercises and, and

Bob Hintze:

others have written or put together

Bob Hintze:

programs that are similar to that.

Bob Hintze:

And that's, that's something that we.

Bob Hintze:

We relish and we work on to is

Bob Hintze:

we, we don't sit on our laurels

Bob Hintze:

and continue to do what we do.

Bob Hintze:

We look for, for different ways

Bob Hintze:

that we can either do it better

Bob Hintze:

individually or better collectively

Bob Hintze:

use using the resources.

Bob Hintze:

Um, like you mentioned

Bob Hintze:

with the book, YouMap.

Bob Hintze:

John and Connie: Nice.

Bob Hintze:

Nice.

Bob Hintze:

Yeah.

Bob Hintze:

And that was another thing I wanted

Bob Hintze:

to call out from, uh, and emphasize

Bob Hintze:

what you were saying was, , as the

Bob Hintze:

company has grown, you've been each

Bob Hintze:

flexible to look at what you're doing.

Bob Hintze:

And rather than saying, no, this is my

Bob Hintze:

job, I'm going to keep doing this is

Bob Hintze:

where, you know, how can you shift for

Bob Hintze:

the, I I'm assuming for the benefit

Bob Hintze:

of the company in the whole , and,

Bob Hintze:

you moving into different areas.

Bob Hintze:

And I think that's, uh, that's

Bob Hintze:

probably a major key to your success.

Bob Hintze:

Would you agree?

Bob Hintze:

Yes,

Bob Hintze:

John and Connie: So, Mark, you were,

Bob Hintze:

your own own company, uh,

Bob Hintze:

from, I want to say in the 2000 or

Bob Hintze:

mid 2000s until you guys, you just

Bob Hintze:

merged in a couple of years ago.

Bob Hintze:

Were you guys working very closely

Bob Hintze:

together in terms of communication because

Bob Hintze:

of the friendship through those years?

Mark Wahl:

It's funny

Mark Wahl:

you say that.

Mark Wahl:

I, there's not a

Mark Wahl:

day in the past.

Mark Wahl:

19 years that Bob and I haven't spoken

Mark Wahl:

five or six or seven times in a day.

Mark Wahl:

Um, and when we started the companies or

Mark Wahl:

after I started mine, it was a constant.

Mark Wahl:

And it was, Oh my God, I just saw this

Mark Wahl:

and send a picture over and what is it?

Mark Wahl:

Or, and, and through the years we've

Mark Wahl:

always talked, we've always shared

Mark Wahl:

the secret sauce or however you'd like

Mark Wahl:

to describe it as, Hey, I just did

Mark Wahl:

this and I think it's going to work.

Mark Wahl:

And it we grew right.

Mark Wahl:

I mean, we used to track I was it was a

Mark Wahl:

year behind their organization and growing

Mark Wahl:

kind of at the same pace a year later.

Mark Wahl:

So, um, yeah, the communication

Mark Wahl:

is has always been there.

Mark Wahl:

I mean, again, it's family.

Mark Wahl:

If you have to pick up the phone

Mark Wahl:

at eight o'clock at night, you

Mark Wahl:

know somebody's going to answer.

Mark Wahl:

We've all gone through our

Mark Wahl:

family challenges, , our family

Mark Wahl:

health issues, things like that.

Mark Wahl:

And you have more people to lean on.

Mark Wahl:

So, from that standpoint, from a business

Mark Wahl:

we have even more people to lean on.

Mark Wahl:

We have multiple

Mark Wahl:

layers of people to lean on.

Mark Wahl:

So the communication is, is always

Mark Wahl:

there, always will be there.

Mark Wahl:

John and Connie: Yeah.

Mark Wahl:

You guys are a real blueprint

Mark Wahl:

for, for a successful business.

Mark Wahl:

Yeah.

Mark Wahl:

Family business.

Mark Wahl:

This is, this is just amazing.

Mark Wahl:

Really glad we're recording this.

Mark Wahl:

I have to, I'm going, I sent you guys

Mark Wahl:

a list of questions, and I've got

Mark Wahl:

one that's come to mind that isn't on

Mark Wahl:

the list, so if it's fair game, cool.

Mark Wahl:

, Since three of you came from a

Mark Wahl:

corporate background, you've also

Mark Wahl:

all been through a downsizing.

Mark Wahl:

I was, you know, I was a very small

Mark Wahl:

RIF, but I had a short corporate

Mark Wahl:

career and went through that.

Mark Wahl:

That's a painful process.

Mark Wahl:

I, it was for me.

Mark Wahl:

Um, but also my question

Mark Wahl:

really wasn't about that.

Mark Wahl:

My question is about, have you

Mark Wahl:

been able because of your corporate

Mark Wahl:

background to pull some of , the

Mark Wahl:

strengths, , the processes , or just

Mark Wahl:

the corporate way of doing things

Mark Wahl:

into your business and make it work?

Eddy Lai:

Was that geared towards

Eddy Lai:

anybody or just everybody?

Eddy Lai:

John and Connie: I mean, well,

Eddy Lai:

whoever comes up with the first idea.

Eddy Lai:

Well, Eddie had the HR background, right?

Eddy Lai:

Since I spoke up first, I

Eddy Lai:

guess I'll be on the hook for the,

Eddy Lai:

for a couple of minutes on this.

Eddy Lai:

You know, one of the biggest

Eddy Lai:

things, especially, uh, being in the

Eddy Lai:

corporate background is, you know,

Eddy Lai:

I, I don't take that for granted.

Eddy Lai:

That, that, that was a lot of

Eddy Lai:

learning when I went through college.

Eddy Lai:

I, I always wanted to be in,

Eddy Lai:

at, back in the day in college,

Eddy Lai:

it was called personnel.

Eddy Lai:

Right now I'm really dating myself.

Eddy Lai:

Um, and then it changed over to

Eddy Lai:

human resources, but I always

Eddy Lai:

loved to be in personnel.

Eddy Lai:

When I got into personnel, I

Eddy Lai:

said to myself, why am I here?

Eddy Lai:

You know, because I, I got to see

Eddy Lai:

a lot of the other sides of it,

Eddy Lai:

whether it was a corrective action, a

Eddy Lai:

termination, I love the hiring side.

Eddy Lai:

That's one thing that I really thrived on

Eddy Lai:

John and Connie was that the hiring side,

Eddy Lai:

and that's one of the things that I

Eddy Lai:

tried to blossom towards and I did.

Eddy Lai:

Learned the training side of it.

Eddy Lai:

Well, whether it was doing that,

Eddy Lai:

uh, extra degrees and 212 degrees

Eddy Lai:

or going into, the discovering

Eddy Lai:

your strengths with, Don Clifton.

Eddy Lai:

And then also the biggest one that

Eddy Lai:

impacted me the most going through my

Eddy Lai:

corporate career was Stephen Covey and

Eddy Lai:

his Seven Habits of Highly Effective

Eddy Lai:

People, right, where we, you know, we,

Eddy Lai:

at the beginning, especially being owners

Eddy Lai:

of the company have to be proactive.

Eddy Lai:

To try and see where we're at in

Eddy Lai:

the market and see where we're at

Eddy Lai:

as a home inspection business as to

Eddy Lai:

where the others are in the market.

Eddy Lai:

We have, , researchers out there

Eddy Lai:

helping us, look at , other businesses

Eddy Lai:

as well, whether they're single

Eddy Lai:

man, a multi, multi man shop, we're

Eddy Lai:

members of a lot of associations.

Eddy Lai:

We're highly regarded in that and

Eddy Lai:

we pride ourselves on that because

Eddy Lai:

one of the things that we really do

Eddy Lai:

John and Connie is we really follow

Eddy Lai:

habit number seven of The higher

Eddy Lai:

habits, which is sharpen the saw.

Eddy Lai:

There's never a time where

Eddy Lai:

we rest on the laurels.

Eddy Lai:

We have to figure out what's next

Eddy Lai:

What's going to be coming up next.

Eddy Lai:

And for us, you know, we

Eddy Lai:

were always looking into the

Eddy Lai:

business as to what can we do.

Eddy Lai:

And what's our strengths.

Eddy Lai:

And, uh, the biggest thing that we

Eddy Lai:

do is, , and I think everybody will

Eddy Lai:

tell you, this is passion, right?

Eddy Lai:

You can't teach somebody passion.

Eddy Lai:

You either got to have it in the

Eddy Lai:

business or you don't, if you don't

Eddy Lai:

have passion in the business, you're

Eddy Lai:

probably going to fail in that business.

Eddy Lai:

You probably don't want to, you don't

Eddy Lai:

care about the business, but that's

Eddy Lai:

one of the biggest things that we do

Eddy Lai:

is , we make sure we're proactive.

Eddy Lai:

Austin with all his, with all the books

Eddy Lai:

that are in his background that again,

Eddy Lai:

he probably read last weekend, you know,

Eddy Lai:

his Christmas list is about 50 books.

Eddy Lai:

, and he reads them.

Eddy Lai:

I, I try to listen to him, uh, because

Eddy Lai:

I, when I read, I fall asleep, but

Eddy Lai:

nonetheless, when, uh, when it comes

Eddy Lai:

down to these habits of what we do,

Eddy Lai:

I can guarantee you when you ask

Eddy Lai:

each one of us separately, we'll

Eddy Lai:

talk about the passion that we have.

Eddy Lai:

For me, it's the passion of becoming

Eddy Lai:

a multi inspector firm and having

Eddy Lai:

all these families relying on us.

Eddy Lai:

And then, , having them grow on their own

Eddy Lai:

because a lot of our success, our success

Eddy Lai:

is their success because of the fact that

Eddy Lai:

we listen to them and the team members as

Eddy Lai:

the, Hey, maybe we should start trying to

Eddy Lai:

do this or we should start trying to do

Eddy Lai:

that because again, uh, some of the best

Eddy Lai:

minds are the people that are on your team

Eddy Lai:

because they're doing the job every day.

Eddy Lai:

So hopefully, uh, that, that

Eddy Lai:

was my two minute spurt on it.

Eddy Lai:

And if anybody else wants

Eddy Lai:

to chime in, I welcome that.

Bob Hintze:

of course.

Bob Hintze:

I'd like to chime in because

Bob Hintze:

it's a little bit different.

Bob Hintze:

, I would venture to place a bet that

Bob Hintze:

if I didn't have corporate experience

Bob Hintze:

waypoint wouldn't be here today.

Bob Hintze:

Uh,

Bob Hintze:

because , the foundation of what I

Bob Hintze:

learned and what I built upon, and

Bob Hintze:

it wasn't just with the financial

Bob Hintze:

services company that I worked for.

Bob Hintze:

I mean, I have a retail background , and,

Bob Hintze:

, it goes back to, you know, I really,

Bob Hintze:

when I was doing soul searching and

Bob Hintze:

decided on home inspection, it was, it

Bob Hintze:

went back to when I was the president of

Bob Hintze:

the key club in high school or the, The

Bob Hintze:

captain of my soccer team when I was in

Bob Hintze:

elementary school, or when I, when I was

Bob Hintze:

an RA in college, and what was I doing?

Bob Hintze:

I was, I was overseeing quote

Bob Hintze:

unquote, the operations and, and I

Bob Hintze:

would say, keeping people in line or

Bob Hintze:

developing people, helping them mature.

Bob Hintze:

But I don't think Waypoint would be

Bob Hintze:

around if I didn't have corporate

Bob Hintze:

experience and, . I see that a

Bob Hintze:

lot in today's new inspectors.

Bob Hintze:

, Eddie mentioned, we are

Bob Hintze:

members of associations.

Bob Hintze:

We are looked at, uh, based upon our

Bob Hintze:

success, based upon our experience.

Bob Hintze:

I see a lot of new inspectors

Bob Hintze:

coming into the industry.

Bob Hintze:

They take a course, they pass

Bob Hintze:

a test and their next, their

Bob Hintze:

next step is what do I do now?

Bob Hintze:

They don't know what to do and they

Bob Hintze:

stumble upon it and they, they become one

Bob Hintze:

man shops until they have to close because

Bob Hintze:

they don't know how to run a business

Bob Hintze:

or so, you know, I learned to run a

Bob Hintze:

business through my corporate experience.

Bob Hintze:

Through , my work experience, I

Bob Hintze:

was able to get a, a master's

Bob Hintze:

in project management.

Bob Hintze:

So, I'm very, very analytical.

Bob Hintze:

I'm very anal.

Bob Hintze:

I don't want to say to a fault, but I want

Bob Hintze:

to make sure that at least 90 percent of

Bob Hintze:

the plan is done before we initiate it.

Bob Hintze:

And, I have Mark and Eddie

Bob Hintze:

and even Austin at times saying

Bob Hintze:

80 percent is good enough.

Bob Hintze:

Let's get there and get it done.

Bob Hintze:

But the other thing, aside from

Bob Hintze:

the operations and the project

Bob Hintze:

management, , I believe in, in.

Bob Hintze:

replacing yourself and, , did that

Bob Hintze:

a lot prior to starting Waypoint,

Bob Hintze:

you know, my job going in was

Bob Hintze:

to find somebody to replace me.

Bob Hintze:

It gives me opportunities to move up

Bob Hintze:

and it gives them an opportunity to

Bob Hintze:

grow and I've had to think back upon

Bob Hintze:

the last 19 years when I was wearing

Bob Hintze:

all the hats to run the company from

Bob Hintze:

operations to, you know, administration

Bob Hintze:

to customer service to inspecting, you

Bob Hintze:

know, what, what did I have to do is I

Bob Hintze:

had to replace myself a little at a time.

Bob Hintze:

And even, even recently, , in, in

Bob Hintze:

doing the merge and all that, uh,

Bob Hintze:

there are different aspects of,

Bob Hintze:

of the job that we had to sit down

Bob Hintze:

and, and I had to replace myself.

Bob Hintze:

So I would say I'll end it with, uh,

Bob Hintze:

the best thing that I learned through

Bob Hintze:

my corporate experience and, and ongoing

Bob Hintze:

with my waypoint experience is to get out

Bob Hintze:

of my own way and let somebody else step

Bob Hintze:

in and do it and probably do it better.

Bob Hintze:

John and Connie: Wow.

Bob Hintze:

Nice.

Bob Hintze:

Nice.

Bob Hintze:

Two hard acts to follow Mark.

Bob Hintze:

You wanna try or you think that's good?

Mark Wahl:

Yeah, it's it's they've

Mark Wahl:

always been hard acts to follow.

Mark Wahl:

Um, my corporate life wasn't at

Mark Wahl:

the management level they were at.

Mark Wahl:

I mean, I was working

Mark Wahl:

for an insurance broker.

Mark Wahl:

I mean, I ran my own department, but

Mark Wahl:

it was I bring the insurance knowledge

Mark Wahl:

and and wherewithal with that to the

Mark Wahl:

industry because obviously in the state of

Mark Wahl:

Florida, insurance is a four letter word.

Mark Wahl:

And, we do a lot of talking about

Mark Wahl:

not only our coverages, but when

Mark Wahl:

we're talking with clients and talking

Mark Wahl:

about with realtors, about what they

Mark Wahl:

need and what they don't need, that's

Mark Wahl:

where a lot of my knowledge comes

Mark Wahl:

in, having done that for 27 years.

Mark Wahl:

Um, so it's, it's a little bit

Mark Wahl:

different cause I did not have the

Mark Wahl:

management skills that they had.

Mark Wahl:

And to that point, the three of them,

Mark Wahl:

including Austin, have actually taught

Mark Wahl:

me a lot about management and about

Mark Wahl:

managing people and how to say things.

Mark Wahl:

My wife happened to be a high level

Mark Wahl:

manager and she is the same way.

Mark Wahl:

She's like, you can't say that to them.

Mark Wahl:

And

Mark Wahl:

Bob's

Bob Hintze:

You can say it,

Bob Hintze:

you just can't say that way!

Mark Wahl:

Say it after he said it.

Mark Wahl:

So it's, it's been a big change.

Mark Wahl:

And it was a, that.

Mark Wahl:

One of the funniest stories I can

Mark Wahl:

remember when Bob and I both started

Mark Wahl:

switching over to having somebody answer

Mark Wahl:

our phones, we were both panicking

Mark Wahl:

because our cell phones weren't ringing,

Mark Wahl:

but it was ringing somewhere else.

Mark Wahl:

And we didn't realize you didn't have

Mark Wahl:

to be in an attic and answer a phone

Mark Wahl:

or be on a roof and answer a phone.

Mark Wahl:

Somebody else is actually very good

Mark Wahl:

at it and they did better than we did.

Mark Wahl:

So

Mark Wahl:

John and Connie: it was that awareness

Mark Wahl:

of not being the one man shop anymore

Mark Wahl:

and making that transition in your

Mark Wahl:

head as well as in the business.

Mark Wahl:

correct.

Mark Wahl:

And then as Bob referenced, We

Mark Wahl:

have five people in the Philippines

Mark Wahl:

who who answer our phones.

Mark Wahl:

So the globe has gotten very tiny.

Mark Wahl:

John and Connie: Yes, it has.

Mark Wahl:

Yes it has.

Mark Wahl:

Alright, thank you guys.

Mark Wahl:

Austin, tell me about your experience

Mark Wahl:

in the business, , since, do you

Mark Wahl:

have a corporate, did you work in

Mark Wahl:

corporate outside the business before

Mark Wahl:

you joined the business, and, and

Mark Wahl:

otherwise, just, what is your place

Mark Wahl:

in the business, what do you do?

Austin Hintze:

so this was pretty

Austin Hintze:

much my 1st, I would consider

Austin Hintze:

a professional career, started

Austin Hintze:

part time in college as Bob.

Austin Hintze:

Before working for Waypoint, I was

Austin Hintze:

working at big lots, so had a nice retail

Austin Hintze:

job where I was unloading the trucks or

Austin Hintze:

stocking the shelves or, you know, your,

Austin Hintze:

your first starter job, essentially, and.

Austin Hintze:

Right around the time that I joined

Austin Hintze:

Waypoint was when there was a

Austin Hintze:

noticeable growth in the amount of

Austin Hintze:

inspections that were coming in.

Austin Hintze:

And one of the things within our

Austin Hintze:

business is there's a balance between

Austin Hintze:

marketing and inspectors, right?

Austin Hintze:

Every business is like that, but balance

Austin Hintze:

between bringing in business and having

Austin Hintze:

people that can fulfill the jobs.

Austin Hintze:

And it was starting to snowball at that

Austin Hintze:

point where There was a need now for more

Austin Hintze:

marketing, so I was one of the ones on

Austin Hintze:

the marketing team to go out and meet with

Austin Hintze:

realtors and give presentations, promote

Austin Hintze:

the business, help build the brand and

Austin Hintze:

help to build up a marketing team there,

Austin Hintze:

uh, did that for a couple of years.

Austin Hintze:

Then my role shifted

Austin Hintze:

to focus on the office.

Austin Hintze:

So, as Mark mentioned earlier on in

Austin Hintze:

the business, there were other people

Austin Hintze:

answering the phones outside call

Austin Hintze:

centers that we had basically contracted.

Austin Hintze:

And then we made a decision, well,

Austin Hintze:

let's bring the calls in house.

Austin Hintze:

Let's hire local people and start

Austin Hintze:

answering the phones ourselves.

Austin Hintze:

And I was one of The first ones on

Austin Hintze:

the phone's booking inspections,

Austin Hintze:

so I was doing all the scheduling.

Austin Hintze:

I was answering the questions sitting

Austin Hintze:

in the office, basically managing

Austin Hintze:

the schedule of the inspectors and

Austin Hintze:

then help build up the office team.

Austin Hintze:

And then from there, my focus shifted

Austin Hintze:

more on general operations in the company.

Austin Hintze:

So learning more about the financials,

Austin Hintze:

learning about the numbers,

Austin Hintze:

learning about how the business

Austin Hintze:

runs and how it needs to grow.

Austin Hintze:

Um, really focusing on systems.

Austin Hintze:

Our website back then was, um, we

Austin Hintze:

can say like a late 1990s website.

Austin Hintze:

And we were a much bigger and

Austin Hintze:

mature company at that point.

Austin Hintze:

So it was time for an upgrade.

Austin Hintze:

Um, so I started diving a lot into our

Austin Hintze:

systems where we're using the best phone

Austin Hintze:

system, the best email provider, the best

Austin Hintze:

website, the best scheduling platform.

Austin Hintze:

And that became a lot of

Austin Hintze:

my focus was on efficiency.

Austin Hintze:

And how do we build out tools that help

Austin Hintze:

support the company and its growth?

Austin Hintze:

Um, and then to where I am now, um,

Austin Hintze:

CEO of the company focusing more

Austin Hintze:

on strategy, focusing on long term

Austin Hintze:

opportunity, um, focusing a lot on

Austin Hintze:

what's going on in the industry,.

Austin Hintze:

We had so much business during covid,

Austin Hintze:

um, which we were very fortunate

Austin Hintze:

because of all the people that were

Austin Hintze:

moving to Florida, whereas a lot of

Austin Hintze:

the colleagues we know in the industry

Austin Hintze:

in northern states were losing so

Austin Hintze:

much business either because their

Austin Hintze:

shutdowns were much more severe or

Austin Hintze:

people were just leaving those areas.

Austin Hintze:

So we had a huge bump during COVID.

Austin Hintze:

Last year, that bump started to go

Austin Hintze:

away for almost every region that

Austin Hintze:

experienced a bump in business.

Austin Hintze:

And so all the growth we had experienced

Austin Hintze:

was now sort of turning down, right?

Austin Hintze:

And we had a tough few months that we,

Austin Hintze:

you know, we're really strategizing around

Austin Hintze:

how are we going to make it through this

Austin Hintze:

downturn to where things pick back up

Austin Hintze:

again, um, without having to downsize

Austin Hintze:

the team, without having to make major

Austin Hintze:

cuts in different parts of the business.

Austin Hintze:

So that's where a lot of my focus was,

Austin Hintze:

and our focus was, is leading those

Austin Hintze:

kinds of conversations while also looking

Austin Hintze:

forward as to what is coming so that

Austin Hintze:

we can be properly positioned for that.

Austin Hintze:

Um, so I don't have any

Austin Hintze:

corporate background.

Austin Hintze:

I've actually never done

Austin Hintze:

a home inspection myself.

Austin Hintze:

I've learned a lot through all the

Austin Hintze:

stuff I've done with marketing,

Austin Hintze:

through answering the phones,

Austin Hintze:

talking to the inspectors, but

Austin Hintze:

I'm not a licensed inspector.

Austin Hintze:

Just focus more on the

Austin Hintze:

business side of things.

Austin Hintze:

But a lot of what I spend my time

Austin Hintze:

on as well is with that networking

Austin Hintze:

with colleagues in the industry.

Austin Hintze:

So, as Bob and Mark have mentioned,

Austin Hintze:

we're part of associations.

Austin Hintze:

We're also part of coaching

Austin Hintze:

groups that are nationwide for

Austin Hintze:

home inspection business owners.

Austin Hintze:

So every quarter we get together.

Austin Hintze:

Yeah, we get

Austin Hintze:

together and we talk about

Austin Hintze:

what's the state of our business.

Austin Hintze:

What are you doing that's working?

Austin Hintze:

What do you need help with?

Austin Hintze:

And given the size of our company, we're

Austin Hintze:

sitting in a room with companies that

Austin Hintze:

are bringing in 15 million, 20 million

Austin Hintze:

in revenue a year, which is a lot bigger

Austin Hintze:

than us, but people that are willing to

Austin Hintze:

help us and willing to take our ideas

Austin Hintze:

and implement it in their business.

Austin Hintze:

then about two years ago, I

Austin Hintze:

also joined Vistage, which is a

Austin Hintze:

national CEO coaching organization.

Austin Hintze:

They have more local chapters.

Austin Hintze:

So where I live is a Vistage chapter

Austin Hintze:

that I meet with on a monthly basis.

Austin Hintze:

And that's business

Austin Hintze:

owners in all industries.

Austin Hintze:

So monthly I'm getting together with

Austin Hintze:

industry leaders that are not at all

Austin Hintze:

related to home inspections, but are

Austin Hintze:

still bringing a perspective that

Austin Hintze:

can get us out of our bubble to a

Austin Hintze:

degree and help bring in new fresh

Austin Hintze:

ideas as to how we can innovate.

Austin Hintze:

So that's kind of where I started just,

Austin Hintze:

you know, part time marketing, marketing

Austin Hintze:

ourselves to real estate agents.

Austin Hintze:

And where I am today is both helping

Austin Hintze:

lead strategy while also really taking

Austin Hintze:

in as much information as I can from

Austin Hintze:

colleagues, both within and outside

Austin Hintze:

the industry to make sure that we're

Austin Hintze:

continuing to go forward successfully.

Austin Hintze:

John and Connie: Nice.

Austin Hintze:

Well, it sounds like you've worked in

Austin Hintze:

pretty much every department of the

Austin Hintze:

business except the field inspection.

Austin Hintze:

So kudos to that.

Austin Hintze:

And, um, I, I love that you talked

Austin Hintze:

about, you brought out the idea

Austin Hintze:

of the collaboration with, with

Austin Hintze:

peers that are not competitors.

Austin Hintze:

, I had a cousin, uh, and her husband,

Austin Hintze:

, they were second generation in a family

Austin Hintze:

auto repair business, and they attributed

Austin Hintze:

a great deal of their continuity and their

Austin Hintze:

growth and success to being part of the

Austin Hintze:

coaching organization that was specific to

Austin Hintze:

their industry, but they would, you know,

Austin Hintze:

all of the people that they met with on a

Austin Hintze:

regular basis were not local competitors.

Austin Hintze:

So there was no concern about, you

Austin Hintze:

know, bringing it, putting everything

Austin Hintze:

on the table and asking for help

Austin Hintze:

or, , listening to getting ideas.

Austin Hintze:

And so I love that you're

Austin Hintze:

doing that two different ways.

Austin Hintze:

That's, that's awesome.

Austin Hintze:

Yeah, and if I can

Austin Hintze:

just add real quick to that, John,

Austin Hintze:

so, it's a little bit unique for

Austin Hintze:

our coaching group because we do

Austin Hintze:

actually have competitors in the room.

Austin Hintze:

So we have a company that's

Austin Hintze:

about 30 minutes south of us.

Austin Hintze:

We have a company that's based

Austin Hintze:

in Orlando that are both really

Austin Hintze:

big players in our industry and.

Austin Hintze:

I think there's, there's a

Austin Hintze:

couple of things at play.

Austin Hintze:

It's a level of trust that there's

Austin Hintze:

enough business out there that we can

Austin Hintze:

all collectively still work together,

Austin Hintze:

even if we're in each other's backyards.

Austin Hintze:

And it helps elevate the

Austin Hintze:

industry as a whole, right?

Austin Hintze:

But I think it's also, you get to a

Austin Hintze:

certain level in the business to where you

Austin Hintze:

realize one, there's no real golden secret

Austin Hintze:

that you're doing that I'm not doing.

Austin Hintze:

And even if there is, just cause it's

Austin Hintze:

working for you, it doesn't mean I'm going

Austin Hintze:

to take it and it's going to work for

Austin Hintze:

me, Right.

Austin Hintze:

Cause it works different for everybody.

Austin Hintze:

Um, But it's just, we were definitely

Austin Hintze:

in that mindset when we were a

Austin Hintze:

smaller company is we got to keep

Austin Hintze:

everything close to the chest.

Austin Hintze:

We can't tell anybody anything

Austin Hintze:

because we're vulnerable.

Austin Hintze:

We, you know, we can be

Austin Hintze:

wiped out in an instant.

Austin Hintze:

And just when you reach a certain

Austin Hintze:

size, you realize that that's just

Austin Hintze:

not, it's not going to happen.

Austin Hintze:

And it's not how things are

Austin Hintze:

working, at least in our industry.

Austin Hintze:

So yeah, all those meetings that I go to,

Austin Hintze:

we have big competitors in our markets

Austin Hintze:

that are in there and we all openly share

Austin Hintze:

with each other and just try and make sure

Austin Hintze:

we're all moving forward successfully.

Austin Hintze:

John and Connie: I love hearing that.

Austin Hintze:

Yeah, you it's interesting

Austin Hintze:

that you mentioned size.

Austin Hintze:

I one of my tenets is that the the growth

Austin Hintze:

of the owner is what restricts the growth

Austin Hintze:

of the business and the business grows in

Austin Hintze:

proportion to the owner's personal growth.

Austin Hintze:

And so, you know, I'm hearing, even

Austin Hintze:

though you're talking about the business

Austin Hintze:

growing, I'm also hearing and of course,

Austin Hintze:

because Bob has said about training

Austin Hintze:

people and so forth and Eddie, uh, that.

Austin Hintze:

You know, the developing people and that

Austin Hintze:

sense of interest in personal growth has

Austin Hintze:

led to an awareness of what you just said.

Austin Hintze:

There's plenty for everybody.

Austin Hintze:

It's a matter of how you conduct

Austin Hintze:

your business rather than

Austin Hintze:

who you're competing against.

Bob Hintze:

Yeah, there

Bob Hintze:

was a tipping point.

Bob Hintze:

, I would say within the last couple of

Bob Hintze:

years with our leadership team where they

Bob Hintze:

went from being followers to leaders.

Bob Hintze:

, We have a great leadership team, but

Bob Hintze:

for the longest time, they would wait.

Bob Hintze:

They would wait for us to

Bob Hintze:

guide them and wait for us to.

Bob Hintze:

To give them instructions, and

Bob Hintze:

I'd say it was a challenge because

Bob Hintze:

we knew they had the talent.

Bob Hintze:

We knew they had the, uh, the

Bob Hintze:

energy and, and I would say

Bob Hintze:

we knew they had the passion.

Bob Hintze:

It was just, you know, again,

Bob Hintze:

you're, you're dealing with

Bob Hintze:

four owners, not just one.

Bob Hintze:

So, you know, you want to make

Bob Hintze:

sure you keep mom, dad and.

Bob Hintze:

Step mom and step dad happy or, or

Bob Hintze:

however it is, but it was a tipping point.

Bob Hintze:

Um, it was individual points for,

Bob Hintze:

for our leaders, but now it's,

Bob Hintze:

uh, again, like I said, uh, I'm

Bob Hintze:

going to get out of their way.

Bob Hintze:

I'm here to guide them.

Bob Hintze:

I'm here to nudge them.

Bob Hintze:

Um, but I think we all feel that way with

Bob Hintze:

our, with our leadership team, for the

Bob Hintze:

most part, that they can lead the company.

Bob Hintze:

We, we always, you know, we sit in a room

Bob Hintze:

and told them, you know, we all want to

Bob Hintze:

go on, you know, all the owners who want

Bob Hintze:

to go on, uh, Uh, three month cruise.

Bob Hintze:

Are you going to run the business for us?

Bob Hintze:

You know, and, and, you know, we're

Bob Hintze:

getting to the point where we could

Bob Hintze:

literally go on a three month cruise and

Bob Hintze:

with with a little input, probably feel

Bob Hintze:

confident that, you know, the company

Bob Hintze:

at least be here when we come back.

Bob Hintze:

But, um,

Bob Hintze:

is that tipping point, you know, is, is

Bob Hintze:

to get, to get them the confidence that

Bob Hintze:

they can make the decisions without,

Bob Hintze:

without always having to run things by us.

Bob Hintze:

You know, when, when I worked for the

Bob Hintze:

financial company, I had a boss who told

Bob Hintze:

me, I'm going to let you do whatever

Bob Hintze:

you want, as long as it's legal.

Bob Hintze:

And it doesn't get me in trouble.

Bob Hintze:

And that I learned a lot from that is,

Bob Hintze:

you know, you do what you have to do

Bob Hintze:

to run the business and you do have

Bob Hintze:

your guidelines and you have to keep

Bob Hintze:

things legal, but you know, here's

Bob Hintze:

the ball, take it and run with it.

Bob Hintze:

And I think we have a good team

Bob Hintze:

in place that, that can do that.

Bob Hintze:

John and Connie: So that's a

Bob Hintze:

wonderful place to put a pin.

Bob Hintze:

You mentioned tipping point.

Bob Hintze:

So can you identify

Bob Hintze:

that more specifically?

Bob Hintze:

What drove , that tip, what pushed

Bob Hintze:

them over that tipping point?

Bob Hintze:

I'm going to ask, I'm going

Bob Hintze:

to, I'm going to, cause you, you work

Bob Hintze:

more directly with them, but I'm going

Bob Hintze:

to, and like I said, it wasn't the same.

Bob Hintze:

time and place for everybody.

Bob Hintze:

Each person has, you know, has

Bob Hintze:

a different point, but Eddie,

Bob Hintze:

Eddie works within his role.

Bob Hintze:

He works more closely with our

Bob Hintze:

leadership team, but, you know, you could

Bob Hintze:

probably say that better than I could.

Eddy Lai:

Yeah, thank you, Bob.

Eddy Lai:

And it's a very good question you have,

Eddy Lai:

John, because, you know, when, when

Eddy Lai:

is, like Bob had said, you know, what,

Eddy Lai:

when do you get out of your own way?

Eddy Lai:

And that's the biggest thing is, you know,

Eddy Lai:

you know, when do you think you're ready?

Eddy Lai:

You know, it's like your

Eddy Lai:

kids growing up, you know.

Eddy Lai:

Should we really trust

Eddy Lai:

them driving the car?

Eddy Lai:

You know, cause now driving a car

Eddy Lai:

is a lot big difference, right?

Eddy Lai:

Just like a, a book that I read that

Eddy Lai:

I'm, that holds near and dear to me is

Eddy Lai:

a Monday morning leadership, um, where

Eddy Lai:

they say there's a big difference.

Eddy Lai:

Between being a driver

Eddy Lai:

and being a passenger.

Eddy Lai:

When you become that driver, you have

Eddy Lai:

a lot of responsibilities to which is

Eddy Lai:

where I challenged the leadership team

Eddy Lai:

is now that you're a leader, you know,

Eddy Lai:

how do you differentiate because you can

Eddy Lai:

no longer do some of the things you were

Eddy Lai:

doing when you were a passenger, right?

Eddy Lai:

You can't check your cell phone.

Eddy Lai:

You can't talk to the people in

Eddy Lai:

the back by turning your head.

Eddy Lai:

You know, you

Eddy Lai:

got to keep your eye focused on the road.

Eddy Lai:

So how do you keep that?

Eddy Lai:

And how do you keep that in balance?

Eddy Lai:

But the main thing for me is to, when

Eddy Lai:

I, when I felt when they, you got to

Eddy Lai:

make sure they're ready to blossom and

Eddy Lai:

you got to ask them where they're at.

Eddy Lai:

And that's like one of the things

Eddy Lai:

that Bob had mentioned earlier,

Eddy Lai:

, before regards to, uh, coaching up.

Eddy Lai:

And then, find your replacement.

Eddy Lai:

I was trained to do that as well

Eddy Lai:

in the corporate world, right?

Eddy Lai:

Every, every time you, every time,

Eddy Lai:

wherever you go, you got to find

Eddy Lai:

your replacement because if you're,

Eddy Lai:

if you're being replaced, that means

Eddy Lai:

somebody's growing and that means

Eddy Lai:

you're growing somewhere else, right?

Eddy Lai:

Where Austin came in from marketing.

Eddy Lai:

, and he was our replacement as a CEO.

Eddy Lai:

You may think that, Hey,

Eddy Lai:

you know what, , he's young.

Eddy Lai:

He doesn't know what he's doing.

Eddy Lai:

. He's not done an inspection.

Eddy Lai:

, so how does he know about

Eddy Lai:

the inspection business?

Eddy Lai:

Doesn't need to know about the inspection

Eddy Lai:

business because he came in from the other

Eddy Lai:

side of it from , a, new generation,

Eddy Lai:

, where he can learn like things

Eddy Lai:

that we didn't think about because,

Eddy Lai:

we're, we're getting in our way.

Eddy Lai:

So for our leaders, the biggest thing

Eddy Lai:

for me was to get out of their way.

Eddy Lai:

Make sure that we understand

Eddy Lai:

that we trained them.

Eddy Lai:

Well, we gave them all the information,

Eddy Lai:

all the knowledge now, granted, there's

Eddy Lai:

going to be times where they'll come

Eddy Lai:

back to you and say, hey, you know,

Eddy Lai:

here's what I think that's the biggest

Eddy Lai:

thing is, you know, I always say,

Eddy Lai:

don't come to me with a question.

Eddy Lai:

Come with me with a thought.

Eddy Lai:

Come with me with the entire thought.

Eddy Lai:

Here's my questions, here's

Eddy Lai:

what I think we should do.

Eddy Lai:

And this is what we think, this is

Eddy Lai:

where I think we'll end up, right?

Eddy Lai:

So again, another part of Stephen

Eddy Lai:

Covey, begin with the end in mind.

Eddy Lai:

What's the focus?

Eddy Lai:

You know, let's figure out,

Eddy Lai:

why do you want this change?

Eddy Lai:

And how do we go about this change?

Eddy Lai:

And do we have the right

Eddy Lai:

people for this change?

Eddy Lai:

Because there was some times we didn't

Eddy Lai:

have the right people in the right seats.

Eddy Lai:

, we had to make that decision.

Eddy Lai:

, but in, in regards to where they're at

Eddy Lai:

now, they're, you know, you grow them,

Eddy Lai:

you nourish them, and you challenge

Eddy Lai:

them, and you set them on their way.

Eddy Lai:

And, and all you can do is encourage,

Eddy Lai:

you know, because I think we're, we're

Eddy Lai:

very big on the encouraging side.

Eddy Lai:

And that's, that's where I

Eddy Lai:

think, uh, makes the difference

Eddy Lai:

right now is teach them.

Eddy Lai:

And then let them let them go and get out

Eddy Lai:

of their way my short end of the story.

Eddy Lai:

John and Connie: All

Eddy Lai:

right.

Eddy Lai:

we're,

Austin Hintze:

If I may add just,

Austin Hintze:

last thing John, that I think was pretty

Austin Hintze:

impactful is, is transparency, right?

Austin Hintze:

So with our leadership team, we made

Austin Hintze:

a very clear decision probably two to

Austin Hintze:

three years ago to be very transparent

Austin Hintze:

with them as to where they are.

Austin Hintze:

What are goals are this year

Austin Hintze:

and what numbers we need to hit?

Austin Hintze:

Where are failings right now in the

Austin Hintze:

company that we need to focus on?

Austin Hintze:

And so that level of transparency

Austin Hintze:

demystifies the behind the scenes

Austin Hintze:

a bit for the leadership team

Austin Hintze:

and gives them more direct.

Austin Hintze:

Information that they can take

Austin Hintze:

action on to help drive towards those

Austin Hintze:

goals and it's transparency in both

Austin Hintze:

the good times and the bad times.

Austin Hintze:

Like I said, last year was, um, it was

Austin Hintze:

turning out to be a pretty rough year with

Austin Hintze:

the way the market was going and we were

Austin Hintze:

very transparent with our leadership team.

Austin Hintze:

This is our cash runway.

Austin Hintze:

This is how much time we have to start

Austin Hintze:

figuring out how we're going to turn

Austin Hintze:

things around before these conversations

Austin Hintze:

are going to be different, right?

Austin Hintze:

And not putting all the responsibility on

Austin Hintze:

them, but empowering them to understand

Austin Hintze:

where the company was at and encouraging

Austin Hintze:

them, as Eddie said, to come up with

Austin Hintze:

ideas because they're the ones on the

Austin Hintze:

front lines now that are doing the

Austin Hintze:

frontline business day in and day out.

Austin Hintze:

And so they're our best source of coming

Austin Hintze:

up with new ideas of how we're going to do

Austin Hintze:

things differently and turn things around.

Austin Hintze:

So I think it's everything Bob and Eddie

Austin Hintze:

said, in addition to the transparency of

Austin Hintze:

information that gives them the ability

Austin Hintze:

to act independently , or act with,

Austin Hintze:

, more of their own ideas that they can

Austin Hintze:

bring to us versus the other way around.

Austin Hintze:

John and Connie: Wonderful.

Austin Hintze:

And thank you for clarifying that.

Bob Hintze:

And I think that's the pride.

Bob Hintze:

Okay, I think that

Bob Hintze:

surprises them too, John,

Bob Hintze:

that

Bob Hintze:

John and Connie: are non

Bob Hintze:

family members, right?

Bob Hintze:

Non family members,

Bob Hintze:

and it's almost top to bottom with

Bob Hintze:

the company, and the thing of it

Bob Hintze:

is, is one of the things that I hear

Bob Hintze:

that I've never heard in any other

Bob Hintze:

position I've had or that is, is the

Bob Hintze:

owners of this company are so open.

Bob Hintze:

And they, they care about us.

Bob Hintze:

And, you know, I've been in

Bob Hintze:

this ecosystem for 19 years.

Bob Hintze:

So it's hard for me to get out and

Bob Hintze:

see what what others are experiencing.

Bob Hintze:

But to hear that from top down

Bob Hintze:

in our company, you know, we've

Bob Hintze:

got a good thing going on.

Bob Hintze:

And as long as we let them feel

Bob Hintze:

the same way, and they're a part of

Bob Hintze:

it, we've got a really solid team.

Bob Hintze:

John and Connie: Yes.

Bob Hintze:

Yes.

Bob Hintze:

Well, that transparency engenders trust

Bob Hintze:

and, and that's, uh, you're really

Bob Hintze:

extending that, uh, family bubble , in

Bob Hintze:

that sense , to those, all your leadership

Bob Hintze:

team, because in, within the family,

Bob Hintze:

you kind of know, , all know each other's

Bob Hintze:

stuff , and, you, and so, yeah, you can

Bob Hintze:

protect your, the person, really personal

Bob Hintze:

family stuff, , but by not protecting

Bob Hintze:

, the, knowledge about the business, about

Bob Hintze:

what's going on in the business you

Bob Hintze:

just, you build, you extend that family.

Bob Hintze:

That's, I love it.

Bob Hintze:

Well, and ideas come from

Bob Hintze:

very different places too.

Bob Hintze:

Oh my gosh, yes.

Bob Hintze:

Yeah, you know, that's Listening

Bob Hintze:

to your, listening to your people.

Bob Hintze:

Oh, exactly.

Bob Hintze:

This is a master's class on how

Bob Hintze:

to start a business and run it.

Bob Hintze:

Congratulations to all four of you.

Bob Hintze:

Yes.

Bob Hintze:

For, for, for having the Moxie, so to

Bob Hintze:

speak, of, of being able to pull this off.

Bob Hintze:

This is amazing.

Bob Hintze:

Well, and

Eddy Lai:

thank you so much!

Eddy Lai:

John and Connie: The theme, you know, the

Eddy Lai:

consistent theme all through all four of

Eddy Lai:

you has been about getting out of your own

Eddy Lai:

way, getting out of other people's way.

Eddy Lai:

And, it's all low ego, right?

Eddy Lai:

Nobody's trying to defend their territory,

Eddy Lai:

or their identity, and that's so huge.

Eddy Lai:

Yeah.

Eddy Lai:

And to

Eddy Lai:

to all

Eddy Lai:

to that point, I think about it, I

Eddy Lai:

think I've thought about it, way back

Eddy Lai:

when to now, you know, you got to look

Eddy Lai:

at Mark, , when it was myself, Bob and

Eddy Lai:

Austin and Mark was over there on the

Eddy Lai:

East coast, managing the whole, , his

Eddy Lai:

side of the company and his own, the

Eddy Lai:

company himself, , so Mark has come from,

Eddy Lai:

, running the entire company and then now

Eddy Lai:

from a single owner to now, Oh my God,

Eddy Lai:

I got to share my thoughts with Bob,

Eddy Lai:

Austin, and, Eddie now, , and then to see

Eddy Lai:

that that transition went through pretty

Eddy Lai:

seamlessly, , is definitely , a testimony

Eddy Lai:

, to his openness in regards to the merger

Eddy Lai:

itself, because he could have just said,

Eddy Lai:

no, I'm not going to listen to you guys.

Eddy Lai:

I'm going to do it myself.

Eddy Lai:

I've done it my way for how many years?

Eddy Lai:

, but he knows that he

Eddy Lai:

wanted to grow as well.

Eddy Lai:

, because again, , we all have our limits.

Eddy Lai:

And this is just, that was one of

Eddy Lai:

the reasons why we decided to merge

Eddy Lai:

and one of the reasons why, you know,

Eddy Lai:

Austin had approached Bob, excuse

Eddy Lai:

me, Mark, in that a few years ago.

Eddy Lai:

John and Connie: You guys

Eddy Lai:

are freaking amazing.

Eddy Lai:

I'm so happy did this.

Eddy Lai:

Yeah.

Eddy Lai:

, I'm gonna thank, , Ryan, again, for

Eddy Lai:

introducing us and inviting us to that

Eddy Lai:

event because that's where Eddie and

Eddy Lai:

I met and started this conversation.

Eddy Lai:

Well, again, thank you so much

Eddy Lai:

for joining us and, uh, and

Eddy Lai:

giving us this hour of your time.

Eddy Lai:

We appreciate that.

Eddy Lai:

Look forward to letting you know when this

Eddy Lai:

is published and then, help promote it

Eddy Lai:

and bring more attention to your business.

Eddy Lai:

Well, we're

Eddy Lai:

very excited about it.

Eddy Lai:

One of the reasons why I wanted to get

Eddy Lai:

together, John and Connie, when you

Eddy Lai:

first approached me in this regards

Eddy Lai:

is, you know, share the story, um,

Eddy Lai:

because if, if we don't share it,

Eddy Lai:

you know, people won't hear about it.

Eddy Lai:

, and when people , don't hear about

Eddy Lai:

it, then, they don't get to learn.

Eddy Lai:

My biggest thing is, , you touch

Eddy Lai:

people's lives on a daily basis.

Eddy Lai:

, what imprint do you want to

Eddy Lai:

leave when you touch them?

Eddy Lai:

How do you make them feel when they leave?

Eddy Lai:

Do you make them feel good

Eddy Lai:

about their approach to you?

Eddy Lai:

Want to make them feel like the guy who

Eddy Lai:

blew their horn at you at a red stoplight?

Eddy Lai:

I want to be the positive side of it

Eddy Lai:

And you know, my biggest thing is is

Eddy Lai:

you know, be the change you want to

Eddy Lai:

see that's been my biggest model Be

Eddy Lai:

the change you want to see because

Eddy Lai:

in order to do it well, you have to

Eddy Lai:

do it every day You have to live it.

Eddy Lai:

John and Connie: Lead by example.

Eddy Lai:

I love it.

Eddy Lai:

All right.

Eddy Lai:

Well, I'm going to, uh, call

Eddy Lai:

an end to our recording.

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