David VS Goliath Podcast – S1 – Episode 16 – The Hits – Part 2
2021 has been an amazing first year for the David Vs Goliath Podcast. We are adding subscribers by the hundreds every week and we are truly grateful. In this episode we revisit some of Adam DeGraide’s favorite moments from the last 6 individuals that have graced the DVG Podcast. Plus Adam has some new content and surprises for his viewers and listeners. Happy New Year from all of us at the David Vs Goliath Podcast. Enjoy!
Speaker 1: Coming up today on David versus Goliath.
Erin Laine: The difference between you and everybody else is just that. You just put it into motion.
Ryan: Three guys with a common vision, common goal, very aligned.
Adam DeGraide: We did this. We could get through this.
Matt Gerchow: We need this instead of that.
Jessica Kendric…: I felt proud of myself. I felt for once I was like, “I did something on my own.”
Jesse Biter: My first business was setting the VCR clocks for the neighbors for when the power goes out.
Neil DeGraide: You heard me say this before Adam, but my dad brought home two records. Remember the two records he brought home?
Speaker 1: Welcome to today’s episode of David versus Goliath, a podcast dedicated to helping small businesses leverage technology, to not only help them compete against their large competitors, but win. Your host is currently the CEO of Anthem Business Software, a three time Inc 500 recipient and a serial entrepreneur with a passion to help small businesses everywhere find, serve, and keep more customers profitably. Please join me in welcoming your host, Adam DeGraide.
Adam DeGraide: Hey everyone. It’s Adam DeGraide with another fantastic, special edition of the David versus Goliath podcast. This is exciting. Last week was great. Hopefully you had a very Merry Christmas and a happy holiday. This weekend is New Year’s. I want to be the first one to let you know, happy New Year. May 2022 be the best year ever. That’s what we’re hoping for, for everyone that listens and watches the David versus Goliath podcast.
Well, last week we covered the hits part one. This week, it’s the hits, nothing but the hits, part two. That includes the last six interviews that we’ve had here on David versus Goliath. Some of the best interviews I’ve had in my life. I’m so excited to bring them to you. What’s really important is we’ve had a lot of new subscribers over the last several weeks, hundreds to be a matter of fact.
Many of you may not have gone back and listened to the previous episodes. I want to make sure you have the ability to listen to them, a little taste test of each one, so you can decide which one’s right for you to go back and check them out. They’re all fantastic. Each of them has its own gem, but this week is going to be great as well, too.
Last week, I showed you a little tune of myself playing guitar. I thought this week would be fun to take a look at what King 16 did for us, a little video that they put together for the Christmas party that Crystal and I just threw, my wife, who’s amazing by the way. Her 40th birthday party and my 50th birthday party, we combined it in one big party. Here’s a quick video. Enjoy it. It has no voiceover, it’s only music. If you’re a listener, you’ll only be hearing nice music, but if you’re a watcher, you’re going to be seeing the images. You can watch us on YouTube, Rumble, and Spotify. Enjoy.
Once again, King 16, thank you so much for helping us throw a fantastic event. Well, let’s get right to it this week. First of all, today’s episode is brought to you by Anthem software. Which, by the way, is built specifically for small businesses to help you find, serve, and keep more customers profitably with their all in one software, marketing, and consulting platform. You could take a quick, 120 second tour at anthemsoftware.com.
As I mentioned, we’re on YouTube, Rumble, Spotify, or any of your favorite listening apps. We’d love to have you. Our website is davidvsgoliathpodcast.com. There, you could apply to be on the podcast as well as subscribe to get newsletter updates as well.
We’re going to be adding a feature in 2022, which is ask DVG a question, because what I’m going to try to do is like every 13th episode, I want to get the questions from the listeners and the viewers. I’m going to do an episode where it’s just me answering the questions. Your business questions about your specific situation to try to help my listeners as well, too. Hopefully you’ll enjoy that feature.
Well, with no further ado, let’s get right into it. We had Erin Laine who was the first female entrepreneur we had on DVG. This interview is awesome. Enjoy it. We’ll be right back after this.
Tell the listeners of yours it’s great to have you. First female on DVG. What an honor to have you. It’s awesome to be here. Let us know a little bit about Resurrect Wood Refinishing and how you got to where you are today.
Erin Laine: Well, so we’re kind of a newer company. We’re in our first year. I was working in industry for the last six or seven years. I was a lead technician for another company. I really had a passion for entrepreneurship and wanted my own small business. I started to take some steps towards that and basically, here we are. What we do is we do refinishing of wood, a lot of wood restoration, but our main thing is we do is color changes on cabinets. We do a lot of kitchen cabinetry, high end woodwork, millwork in people’s homes, and we change the color, either re-stain it or restore it to what it used to be or change the color completely.
Adam DeGraide: I’m going to go on my own. I’m going to open up the doors. I’m going to do Resurrect Wood Refinishing. We’re going to change people’s houses, bring back, resurrect that wood back to life. You sat down, I’m sure, with some friends and you thought to yourself, “Am I crazy? Can I really do this?” What was going through your mind at that point in time? Then also, I’d love to have you address the listeners and the viewers as to your plans. Did you have a plan or was it kind of like we’re just going to go for it or did you really try to map it out?
Erin Laine: Those are really great questions. First of all, I still think maybe I’m a little crazy, but I think you have to be, to be a business owner. I think you have to be a little bit crazy. You’re stepping out in faith that you might be able to make something work and the difference between you and everybody else is just that you just put it into motion.
I think getting to this point was a very long process. But I had listened to one of your other guests that you had on the show, it was talking about loving what you do. I think that that is so important. Being on purpose, to me, is my number one priority. If I don’t love it, if I don’t want to go to bed because I want to keep working at it, then I’m not on my purpose. I’m doing something that I’m wasting a little bit of time. You have to love it. If you love what you do, I think it’s crazy not to try and do it for yourself.
Adam DeGraide: With our very first female breaking the glass, starting your own business, having fun doing it. Erin Laine from Resurrect Wood Refinishing. Where did you get the name from?
Erin Laine: The name Resurrect… Man, it’s awesome. I was trying to think of a name and like I said, I have a very tight knit group of people who have come up with me on this journey. I actually teach a Christian yoga class at my local church at my church, God’s House Orlando. At the end of the yoga class, actually, an employee named it, came up to me and said, “I’ve got the name. Resurrect.” I was like, that is brilliant. I love it.
Adam DeGraide: It works.
Erin Laine: Yeah, it kind of encompasses everything. First of all, we’re a faith based company. Second of all, we really do restoration and resurrect people’s kitchens and their heirlooms and all kinds of stuff. It’s kind of two folded that way. I love the logo, too. I love the R. Rs look good, right?
Adam DeGraide: Listen, I’m a big fan of giant logos, as anybody who knows me… There’s a funny song years ago that we used to play all the time in our business called make the logo big. It’s make the logo big and make the logo big, ah, bigger, big, make it big. It was so funny because when you’re in a marketing company, like I’ve been for my whole life, the client’s logo’s never big enough. It’d always be like, “Hey, listen, I really like what you’re doing, but could you make the logo a little bit bigger?” It’s a joke, but it’s actually a very, very funny video. You should look it up on YouTube. It’s called Make The Logo Big. I can’t remember the artist, but it’s a group of graphic artists who are so sick and tired of their clients asking for it, they just wrote a song and it’s actually pretty funny. You should check it out.
Erin, that was awesome. Thank you so much for spending time with us on the David versus Goliath podcast. Next up, we have Ryan [inaudible] from TekRevol. This is an application, high end, high fast paced, high growth company. Ryan runs the business. It’s in several countries, several cities around the U.S., over 170 people working in the business. What a fantastic interview. Here’s a little piece of it. Enjoy.
Why don’t you give the listeners and the watchers a bit of an overview on TekRevol and what you guys do and what makes you get up in the morning and get excited.
Ryan: Sure. Yeah. Thanks Adam. At TekRevol, it’s a really exciting industry to be, in the software industry, there’s always something new, something fresh, great ideas. Especially with you as well. The idea is fantastic. That’s what we thrive ourselves on. That’s what we’re really proud of is actually being able to go out and implement and make these ideas reality. That’s what really excites us as a company.
We’ve been in the app development space. That’s kind of like our bread and butter and it’s been like that for a while. But as we’ve scaled, we’ve gone into consulting, gap analysis, these kind of things with other companies, to be able to identify where we can actually help them grow, where any bottlenecks are and actually optimize their performance and processes. That’s something that we’ve kind of scaled into. What really got us started and what was really fun about just being in the space was just building dreams. That’s something that has been really rewarding for myself and the company.
Adam DeGraide: How many partners do you have right now Ryan, beside yourself?
Ryan: I have two partners. That’s Asim and Abir. We’re three guys with a common vision, common goal, very aligned as far as a focus goes. That allows us to scale. I’m going to be brutally straight, upfront here about this. Starting a business, I’ve realized from the last few business I’ve started, choosing the right partners is such a key part of the business. I wouldn’t even recommend going into business alone, especially if it’s your first business. Having people to bounce ideas off of, having somebody who might be more analytical, having somebody who might be more of a idea guy, having somebody who really goes out and gets things done. Everybody having a different kind of role that works together in harmony has been the key to our growth and success so far. [crosstalk] [inaudible] partners in the right places.
Adam DeGraide: It’s funny you say that Ryan. I’m on my fifth company. Sixth, actually, if you count Bam Bam. I have never done any of them alone, nor would I dare do them alone.
It’s awesome, man. Going back to your business partners, how you talked about me with the right people. The only reason why you can do what you’re doing right now is because you have the right people. You’ve got personalities, you’ve got doers, you’ve got strategic thinkers, and you’re doing projects all over the map. From business solutions to video games and people are important.
Before 2020 happened, obviously, and before that, and even this year… Does your team take the time, you, Asim, and Abir? I can’t believe I’m actually saying those words together. It sounds like I’m ready to go have a drink. At the end of the day, do you guys get together and you say, “Okay, here’s what we’ve done. Here’s where we want to go.” Are you laying out very specific plan with goals or goals with plans or you guys just flying by the seat of your pants there?
Ryan: There was a time, I think probably before 2020, yeah. There was a time when we were just flying by the seat of our pants, trying to figure everything out. When you start a business, it’s a really iterative process. It’s something to where you’re always pivoting and trying to find your right niche. At the beginning, obviously, you get your mission, vision, all your values down, making sure that everybody’s on the same page on that level, understanding where the business is going from a high level.
But once you get into nitty gritty and start throwing out ideas, seeing where you’re going to spend money, how you’re going to make money, who you’re going to target first, ABM strategies, these kind of things. Putting all this together is definitely a trial and error process. I wouldn’t say we have… We made a lot of mistakes starting, and we were definitely flying by the seat of our pants. But through that, we were able to find what kind of works and get direction for ourselves. After that, it’s become more analytical, a little bit more analytical. It’s still a little bit of winging it here and there, which is always fun.
Adam DeGraide: It fun to wing it sometimes too.
Ryan: Exactly. You’ve got to have a little bit of fun with it. But there’s obviously always strategic plans, objectives, and goals that we do set for ourselves. Each of the partners individually and as a team. Even just two weeks ago, I was in Dubai for the GITEX conference. It was crazy. There was robots, everything over there, biggest trade show or conference in the middle east region and EU region for technology and stuff. It was really cool to be there, seeing how we could actually help with a lot of those companies. That was a goal that we set as a team a few months ago, to be able to attend that, to have a booth there. We were right next to Intel and Lenovo. It was really honorable. I felt really honored to be there and to be able to present our stuff. That was a cool goal that actually just recently we were able to fulfill and actually see our goals through that as well, through that event and everything.
Adam DeGraide: I think they would call that… Technically they call that a milestone. Going to something like that is a dream. You not only want plans and goals, but one extra layer of that is milestones which are where you can celebrate. It reminded me of a sermon I actually heard years ago. It was about the story of Hansel and Gretel.
You’ve heard of the story about how they left all this bread behind. They came and they ate it and then they lost their way. They couldn’t get back. What’s really important in business is that you don’t want to leave bread crumbs as milestones. You want to put rocks as milestones. Because when you get lost, you can always go back to that milestones that said, “Hey, we did this. We can get through this. Remember that milestone back there? Let’s keep pushing forward because we can do it again.”
What you experienced was a milestone in your business. You guys need to make sure you plant that in your brain for the times to succeed in the future or the challenging times that you remember these milestones. Don’t leave bread crumbs, leave stones, because if you get lost, Ryan, which every business owner does, you can always go back to that milestone and then go from there.
Hesitation is the death of an entrepreneur. Action is the energy of an entrepreneur. Any other advice that you would give to our listeners and watchers, Ryan?
Ryan: Sure. The last piece of advice and something that I’ve learned throughout the business is relationship building. I think that this is the key to any business, and I’m not just talking relationships between employees, between clients, these kind of things. I don’t think those are the… Those are great relationships have, but relationships with people you’d never even consider having a relationship with. A business you’d never consider even being your industry, verticals that you never considered.
These are all relationships and partnerships that can be fostered into something amazing as you continue to scale. You don’t know if you’re going to need them now. Even things that I never thought we’d be involved with, I’m starting to look at as opportunity and ways to work together to actually build more verticals, more alignment between industry, between clients, between able to serve and offer more to the clients.
Building these relationships has been key as we’ve continued to scale. I think that it’s a long process. It’s a really long process, but if you continue to do it, if you continue to focus on it, you continue to be social media active, I think that as you scale, it all starts to come together as you continue to put this all together. That’s probably my last piece of advice for anybody scaling right now.
Adam DeGraide: Ryan, you are awesome. Tech Revol. Amazing. Abir and Asim. Where are you? Look at that? I said, Ryan, you’re awesome. Asim is thinking that we’re talking about him. We’re not talking about him. I’m talking about you, how you’re awesome. He’s awesome too. I have to call him awesome Asim. Next time I talk to him there’s no about it.
Now it’s time for a message from our corporate sponsor, Anthem software. We’ll be right back.
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Adam DeGraide: Well, next up we have Matt Gerchow. That’s right. Gerchow. It was a really fun interview. Matt is the CEO and founder of a company called Steady Content. Every business on the internet needs Steady Content. In this episode, we learn how a blog is made. I don’t know if you remember the old schoolhouse rock series years ago, where you learn how a bill was made on Capitol hill. Here’s a little segment on how a blog is made on the internet. Here’s Matt Gerchow. Enjoy.
Walk somebody through the life of a blog. A small business who’s listening right now, maybe they do it, maybe they don’t. They want to order a blog from myself or someone like you. They order it. What happens? Almost like the assembly line. Exactly what happens in your business to make that a reality?
Matt Gerchow: As someone comes in the door, we do the full campaign setup. That’s where we’re getting the tone of voice and the audience and the campaign keywords and all the writer instructions and the style guide and the brief. The more they give us at the beginning, the better the content’s going to come out. Then from there, we send that over to one of our SEO experts and they do the keyword research. They will find national, international, and local keywords that have a good volume, usually 200 or more searches a month and that have a decent competition that we’re going to be able to get in and rank on.
Once the keywords are done, we send that over to title creation. Then title creation uses… People also ask, they also have a template series that they break off of. They can do the number of reasons, or the top 10, or et cetera, et cetera. They put together, usually four X or three X, whatever the amount of content that’s ordered, into title. If you ordered three pieces of content, you’ll get 10 titles. Then those get sent out for approval. Then you have a thumbs up, thumbs down, or an edit button, or a request revision button, to where you can actually get the titles exactly how you want.
We do this by email, as well as SMS. This in itself was just a monumental project. But as anyone knows, the title is like the seed for creating the content. If you have the wrong seeds or the wrong foundation, then the content just grows from there. It grows in all the wrong directions. It’s really important that the client gets to see that.
From there, it heads over to the writers and the writers take, they write the content. We have special templates that we use for blog posts, webpage, press release, et cetera, and they’re able to build it out. It always a similar format to it.
Adam DeGraide: That’s great.
Matt Gerchow: Then from there, we send the product out for delivery. It can either be emailed, it can get push directly to the website. We can do that either as a live article or we can do it as a draft. But then also, the client can log in and do the approvals on the website as well. It’s pretty encompassing and we’re always adding and looking for ways that we’re needing to add more functionality. That’s one of the places where Joe, your partner, helped us a lot was in, we need this instead of that. It’s helped guide some of our development along the way. We’re always open to that with the clients too.
Adam DeGraide: Guys, you just learned the life of a blog.
We have a lot of entrepreneurs listen to the show. We have people that have great businesses that have many businesses. We have that guy or gal right now getting ready to start a business and they’re locked in fear. What advice do you give them, Matt?
Matt Gerchow: Massive productivity. My thing right now is we’re in a stage where I’m growing again and I’m contacting a lot of clients. I ordered a desktop clicker from Amazon this morning, so that every time I make a contact or a reach out, I’ll click that and I can keep track of how much production I’m doing in the day. But you’ve just got to figure out, if I only have a limited time to work each day, how can I get the most productivity? Every time you get productivity, you’re going to feel good about the business. But when you do something, that’s like… If you focus in on this logo for three hours or whatnot, you’re going to be like, “Oh my God, this is going so slow.” But if you hire someone on fiber for $10 to build the logo and you do that, or give that to 10 different people, and then you pick the best one, this was a $200 logo off a 48 hour logo. You let other people take over some of those things and just productivity.
Adam DeGraide: I love that.
Matt Gerchow: More productivity.
Adam DeGraide: I love that. Here’s Matt, he runs his own business, makes a ton of money, but he still wants to be productive. There’s a little button on his desk. We used to have a bell we would ring every time we’d sell something. I loved that as well, too.
Next up, we have a very awesome person named Jessica Kendrick from the Kendrick Law Group. She also owns a few title companies as well, too. I first met Jessica at a charity event. She stole the stage. She ran it like a machine. She is fantastic. This interview is high energy, highly informational, very educational, inspirational, and things that you can actually take to your business and activate, like we try to do here on David versus Goliath. Here’s a little piece of that interview with Jessica Kendrick. Enjoy.
Jessica Kendric…: Hi, thanks for having me. It’s so exciting. I don’t know what to expect. Let’s see.
Adam DeGraide: Just follow my lead and you’ll be no problem at all. Jessica, one of the things that first time I met you… You, I believe, were the chair of the gala for Make-A-Wish, which is a charity that we support. I know that you support Make-A-Wish as well too. Jessica controlled this event like a freak. She just got up there, took control. The event was amazing. That’s been a passion of yours. We’re going to obviously talk a little bit about business, but philanthropy is a big part of your life, as well as being a mom and running a business, which makes all of our lives interesting. It’s not just about us at a desk. It’s about us experiencing life and philanthropy is a big part of that. If you would tell people a little bit how you got involved with Make-A-Wish and what was so passionate for you to be a part of it.
Jessica Kendric…: I love Make-A-Wish and I love that you guys always support and still support. So do I. It really started when I was small. My mom was the one that jumped into helping everybody. When I was little, that’s all I did. We’d go after school and we’d go to the domestic violence shelter. I got to know the kids there that were going through it. Then we did some with pediatric oncology in the hospital. It really just was ingrained in me from a young age. It never went away. That’s what I intend to do with my kids. As I throw them into things, even though they’re little, they’re starting to see that the number one thing in, well, at least in my life is, you should always give back. No matter if it’s a dollar or $10,000 or a million dollars. Whatever you can do, every dollar counts and letting my kids at four and six get to know that and learn that and my employees, that’s just really a culture I wanted. If I can make business and that merge together, everyone wins.
Adam DeGraide: Yeah. You have done that. For the listeners and watchers, Jessica’s a very interesting person. She’s passionate about her businesses, but she’s just as passionate about helping people in the community, which I think is fantastic. We’re going to come back a little bit to the charity stuff in a little while, but I thought it would be good to start with that because that’s how you and I met. I was very impressed. Very impressed then and I’ve obviously checked you out online. It’s kendricklawgroup.com. Is that correct?
Jessica Kendric…: It is. Yep. That’s my law practice and I have all the other businesses, like we all know what to do. Running around and doing multiple streams of income.
Adam DeGraide: Yeah. Tell people a little bit about the law group. You call yourself a boutique, which means that it would be specialized or really a personalized touch. Tell people a little bit about out the law group.
Jessica Kendric…: The law group started six years ago. It was right when I had my first kid and realized the big law practice with wanting to be a mom was not going to work for me. It works for some, but not for me. So I launched the law group and in my head, when I launched it, was like, “It’s just going to be me and my paralegal and we’ll be good and it’ll give me something to do and I’ll be a mom and I’ll give back.” Then from there, all the people that are with me now jumped over and were like, “We want that same work life balance.” They all have the drive to be successful. You really have to have that, too, to make it work. We specialize in almost like the person.
A business owner, what are they going to need? Estate planning, business planning, very transactional, very proactive law. That’s been our number one thing is how to keep you out of trouble. You can’t do it all the time, but be proactive. In the long run, it saves you money to be proactive and you get a little peace of mind. From that, we just layered it with other areas such as real estate, which was when we started opening title companies. All our clients were having us review real estate documents. We’re like, “Well, we can even streamline this easier for you.” It just started growing from there. I’m blessed because I have a ton of awesome partners that jump in with me and without it, I wouldn’t be able to grow it without them. That’s where it’s really just blew up from there.
Adam DeGraide: When you think about that very first day that you hung that shingle up and you put your head on the bed that night, how did you feel?
Jessica Kendric…: I felt proud of myself. I felt for once I did something on my own. I’ve always done things on my own. But when looking back, I have amazing parents who always empowered me to be on my own, but I always had something to fall back on. I can fall back on this. Even in college, I had a team to fall back on. This was truly the first thing I did that it was like me. I built this. I did this. I’ve got to make it work. My pride kicks in where I’m like, “This is not going to fail no matter what I have to do. I’m going to make this work. “
Adam DeGraide: That’s awesome. It does feel great, doesn’t it? When you realize that you could do it and you did it and here you are still doing it. What advice [crosstalk]
Jessica Kendric…: There’s some days I don’t want to be doing it.
Adam DeGraide: I understand. Please be reasonable. What advice would you give to that man or woman right now who is either discouraged or scared?
Jessica Kendric…: Find a mentor. I think finding a mentor or two, if you can find two or three, it’s great. But find someone that you can just say what’s on your mind, ask the questions. They’re not judging you. They’re saying, “Yeah, I’ve been through that. This is how I got through it. You might be different, but here’s some ways.” I think that’s number one. if I didn’t have in the first year the mentors I had, I probably would’ve gotten a little discouraged just because you do. You just get in ruts and you feel a little lonely out there because you’re by yourself in a business. I just say, find a mentor or two that are amazing.
I think they have to be a mentor that has a similar work life concept. For me, my mentors were dads or moms. They had kids. They had to understand that I couldn’t work from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM because that had to be my time. I shut down and focused on my kids. If you don’t have that, they’re never going to get it. I had other mentors that didn’t have kids and they’re like, “Just work the weekends.” I’m like, well, “Yeah, I’m always working, but I also can’t work and not be present in my kids’ life because then this concept is not going to work for me personally.”
Adam DeGraide: Yeah. You said it so perfectly, setting boundaries and finding a mentor of kindred spirits.
We have to take another quick break from another sponsor right here on David versus glide podcast. We’ll be right back.
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Adam DeGraide: Now, we come to a very special time in the podcast where I had a chance to interview my brother, who I love beyond belief and who is ridiculously talented. He’s an independent music recording artist with a band called Dirt Poor Robins. They have hundreds of thousands of followers and fans all over the world. Over a million streams of their music. He’s also recently created a short film called Queen of the Night. I’m actually wearing the shirt from episode one. You have to go check it out. It’s on Dirt Poor Robin’s YouTube channel. But anyway, this is my brother from the same mother. Here’s a little piece of our interview with Neil DeGraide.
But the quickest way to make a million dollars in the music business is to spend 10 million bucks in it. I learned.
Neil DeGraide: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. It’s not a terrific industry as far as by the books. Even when you look at large record labels, like Universal Records, only 12… So they’ll sign 12 artists and only one of those twelves will turn the profit. They have to pay for all of the other non collateralized loans they give out to the other bands. So very few people are happy in the music industry doing music. It’s a very small percentage of people that are killing it out there. They know they don’t even know why it works sometimes, when it does. It’s an iffy business. The intelligence people have most of the time, they do themselves a favor to get into more reliable industry than the music industry. But it’s alluring, it’s kind of sexy to be a part of music. People get sucked right in.
Adam DeGraide: And clearly with the mustache. It’s very sexy.
Neil DeGraide: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. What’s funny too, because, I guess, to give a little background, you just gave a little extra background there with the lessons. I had totally forgotten about the clock we used to abuse. But one of the first things we had as a musical experience was that my dad used to bring home records. I think you’ve heard me say this before, Adam, but my dad brought home two records. Do you remember the two records he brought home?
Adam DeGraide: I think so. It was Kiss.
Neil DeGraide: Yes.
Adam DeGraide: Then it was Queen.
Neil DeGraide: That’s right. You got to pick first.
Adam DeGraide: Of course. I went with Kiss because I’m a marketer.
Neil DeGraide: You went with Kiss. I went with Queen. Well, I was going to go with Queen either way. It wasn’t even like we had to pick, we were just going to go our directions. Part of the difference in our two paths in life is that I think… Kiss’s motto wasn’t that… They weren’t like every other band trying to be the Beatles. They were trying to be Coca-Cola. I think that you like the branding, the marketing around that. For me, I was more wrapped up in the cinematic theatrical side of music, the emotive side. That’s one of the differences in what we ended up doing.
It’s interesting to see what you’ve done because you’ve been able to hang onto music. Obviously, you haven’t put the time into it that I have, but it’s still a huge part of your life.
Adam DeGraide: Huge.
Neil DeGraide: As you can see behind you.
Adam DeGraide: Clearly a huge part of my life. I’m actually looking forward to this weekend. We’ll be playing together for the first time in years. That’ll be a lot of fun.
Neil, let’s play a quick clip of some DPR. I’m going to show two different clips right now for the audience. Number one, it’s going to be 30 seconds of vocals and then 30 seconds of a lead that I love. Or maybe even a little bit more of the lead that I love. Then we’ll come back after that. Stay tuned.
Neil DeGraide: We’re back. That was awesome. The song that you listened to there as All There Is. The solo came from It Tore Your Heart Out. Neil, this is fantastic music. I’ve got to tell you, I’m jealous. Because as you know, I play guitar and people that watch the podcast, know this. I can’t hold a candlestick to the way you play guitar. Yet I’ve never been jealous. It’s weird. I’ve been envious, I guess is the word, because I would love to be able to do it, but I’ve never been jealous. You’re just so talented and so gifted and an amazing songwriter. Man, can Katie sing as well?
One of my favorite DPR tracks by the way is one that you sing and it’s called Solemn Dream, which I’m not going to play right now. That’s one of my favorite Dirt Poor Robin songs. You sing on it. Every once in a while in the shower, Neil, when I sing along with it, I almost sound like you. But it’s not.
Adam DeGraide: Well we are related.
Neil DeGraide: Again, we had a different set of priorities. You were really interested in creating the whole thing with music, like the band, the management side. You just had that management spirit from the very beginning. I mean, easily. If I look back multiple generations in our family, you’re our most successful entrepreneur on both sides for quite a few generations. You are the anomaly, which is weird. Your skillset is the freakish one in the family.
Adam DeGraide: Yeah. It’s funny. I’ve never thought of it that way, but you’re probably right.
Neil DeGraide: I’m just like everybody else mostly. You’re the freak. I like you for that.
Adam DeGraide: You know what, I’ll take it.
Neil DeGraide: We had COVID last year and Hollywood’s had major problems. Hollywood, right now, is going through something like I just described with the music industry where the… The of proliferation of the technology, most of the software people use, you can get in your homes. There are clever people with 4K and 8K cameras that are just doing some outstandingly, beautiful stuff. You have this development and more access for people with the technology. But Hollywood, unlike most industries, is the last to give up the high budget items. Meaning when they’re spending 150 million making a film, we’re starting to see companies like Marvel start to tank on their movies that were reliable brands. It’s going to be very difficult for Hollywood in the future, hiring these big name actors, hiring these huge budget effects houses, and to keep going and delivering to this massive desire for content people have everywhere.
Adam DeGraide: Totally.
Neil DeGraide: Every streaming service needs content. Hollywood can take years to put a movie out and it costs hundreds of millions of dollars. It’s a huge risk. Everything over the years has gotten cheaper. Music has gotten cheaper. Everything else around it has gotten cheaper. Even the TV you watch it on. I’ve got an 80 inch TV in my bedroom. That would’ve been totally unaffordable to us a few years earlier. The prices just keep coming down to things. Hollywood hasn’t made the adjustment.
As we do these concept records, I had this idea. I was like, “Maybe?” Maybe if I give myself the right constraints, there’s a way to crack into what they’re missing. Someone can come in, run lighter and faster and work quicker and do something that maybe it doesn’t have that same Hollywood gloss to it, but it has a certain level of charm but it could be just as emotionally captivating.
We decided to do our latest record, which we’re releasing episodically as a silent film to go along with it.
Adam DeGraide: Silent film. Just for the listeners and the watchers to understand. Silent film. When was the last silent film of any regard made?
Neil DeGraide: It was called the artist. Have you seen that? It was beautiful.
Adam DeGraide: I haven’t. When was that? How long ago was that?
Neil DeGraide: I don’t know. One Oscar… It was definitely nominated. It was within the last decade I think. Really great movie. It had some really… It was about the… Well, I don’t need to tell people what it was about. Anyway, that was made. People have a bad idea of silent films generally because you might stumble across one and you’re watching these old silent films and… I use the analogy, it’s the same as like watching your kids. Your kids are like, “Hey, we’re going to do a puppet show for you.” They start the puppet show and it just keeps going and going. You’re wondering when it’s going to end. It has no clear plot line. We don’t have the attention span for what silent films were.
Also they were performed with live musicians back then. It was like going to see a live band with a movie, which was awesome.
Adam DeGraide: Yeah. That actually does sound pretty cool.
Neil DeGraide: I think that people could transfer some stuff. I can kind of explain why the idea.
Adam DeGraide: Before you do that, I’m going to show clip right now, about a minute and a half or so, of a trailer or a little piece of the actual episode. For my listeners, you’re just going to hear a lot of sound. You’re not going to hear anything because it’s a silent film. You’re going to hear the music.
Neil DeGraide: It’s music.
Adam DeGraide: It’s a great piece of music. But if you want to see visually what’s there, you can watch it on YouTube or Spotify. Hang on. Here’s the actual clip. Enjoy it. We’ll be right back.
There you go, folks. That’s the clip.
Last but not least, we have somebody awesome that just joined us a few weeks ago on David versus Goliath. Jesse Biter from proplogix.com. Amazing entrepreneur, a fantastic CEO, great advice, great tips. Enjoy this interview. Here’s a piece of it on David versus Goliath.
Your lineage… You’re like a legend, a myth, in the entrepreneurial world. There’s not a lot of you in the world that whatever you touch turns to gold. They say it’s the Midas touch. You definitely have that. I’ve always admired, not only your tenacity in business, your work ethic, but you’ve had a very interesting path to lead you to where you are today. I know don’t spend a lot of time on this, but I think it would be good if you could take three or four minutes and just tell people the generation of how Jesse started a business and then up here on the David versus Goliath podcast. I think people would love to hear it.
Jesse Biter: Oh yeah, absolutely. I was thinking about it. I think it’s been 21 years we’ve known each other. I remember getting that first call. You had your website business and you needed some help with inventory. But my entrepreneurship gene I think was born in me. My parents were awesome, big supporters. Let me do whatever I thought I wanted to do. They gave me everything I needed and nothing I wanted. If I wanted to go get something, I had to go earn it and get it myself.
My first business was setting the VCR clocks for the neighbors. When the power would go out, if those of you watching are old enough to remember back then, the power would go out and the clocks would start flashing 12. All the programs that were set to record would get erased and I’d go around and charge my dollar and reprogram everything for them. I went into mowing lawns and plowing driveways and anything for a dollar really. Just happy to go out and work and make money.
Then after that, got into car detailing and car washing and car alarms and stereos and installing all those things myself and turned that into a business doing software. I just fell in love with technology and IT. In 95, the internet was starting to become popular. I remember there was a big debate whether it was here to stay or not. I just fell in love with it.
Adam DeGraide: I can’t believe that was actually a debate, but it was. There was a debate whether it was going to be here or not.
Jesse Biter: Absolutely. We we’re selling to car dealers back then. They thought it was a fad.
Adam DeGraide: Oh yeah. We were doing all these charts and graphs to show it’s not a fad. Right?
Jesse Biter: Exactly, exactly. I started wiring dealerships with networks and letting multiple computers print to one printer. One of the car dealers came to me and said, “I bought this kiosk and it works great except there’s no inventory in it. I can’t get the inventory out of my system. I’ll pay you 20 grand if you can figure it out.” I didn’t know how to program, but I bought a book and learned and spent the next three days, any waking hour, at my computer and sleeping hours at my computer passed out on the keyboard. But I figured it out. Three days later, installed my solution and he paid me 20 grand. For a 19 year old, that was a lot of money. I took that and he actually gave me some great advice. He’s like. “There’s all these other people I know that have this problem and need your solution. But don’t go charge them 20 grand. Charge them five and then charge them 250 a month to maintain it.” I was like, “That’s great advice.” I went and did that and it led me to you.
Adam DeGraide: Now, you had a very successful exit with Home Net Inc. was what it was called at the time. We don’t need to get into numbers. People can look it up. It’s public information. But it was very, very successful. You’ve done other things since. Tell them a little bit about that.
Jesse Biter: I got out of that business in 2010. It was funny. They wanted to have me sign an appointment agreement and I was like, “You don’t need me.” They called me the CEO, the chief entertainment officer. My job was to take our biggest clients out for dinners and fun events. But other than that, they were buying the technology and the customers and everything else and that was pretty much turn key. My whole thing with any business is to not be the person, not be the one, that people have to come to for answers. Just oversee the team and make sure that the vision set and that we’re all in the right direction. When I sold the company, it was basically just handing them the keys and walking out the door. It was designed that way and it was great.
Right after that, I thought I would just be done working. About three months after that, I say, “Well, this is no fun.” I started a company called Dealers United with a good friend of mine, which is still doing great to this day. It’s about 11 years old and about 60 people at that company. At the time, I was buying a lot of real estate and my two best friend in the world are real estate attorneys. We were actually hiking Kilimanjaro and they told me about this little side gig that they had, this little side hustle, called Professional Lien Search. It was to help title agents do lien research on homes as they were transacting. They said, “Why don’t you come in and take a look at it? Maybe you can help us grow it. It was to be our gambling money.” Basically they were making a few bucks a month.
Adam DeGraide: I remember when you called me and you picked my brain on this thing a little bit as well, too, in the beginning. You were contemplating it. You said, “I found this amazing opportunity.” I thought it was just so interesting because obviously I know nothing about that industry, but you found that space. Keep going. Gambling money.
Jesse Biter: It was a side hustle and it was something for me to come in and consult for a little bit. Now, if you grow the company by a third, we’ll give you a third and we’ll just let it ride. A few months into it, I realized how really broken the home process. Those of who have bought a home, you go in and you realize you’re texting this person and emailing that person and to trying to figure out who to use for this, that, or the other thing. It’s all just very convoluted. I came up with a bigger vision to kind of tie the pieces together. That was six, seven years ago. Now here we are, about 420 employees, tons of software built and a lot more in the works. We’re marching forward to creating that one stop shop for home transactions.
Adam DeGraide: I need to…
Jesse Biter: It’s been a lot of fun so far and it’s going to continue to be. We have a great team here. We call it bleeding green. A lot of people are just in love with this company. One thing I did differently when I sold HomeNet, I took 10% of the company and divvied up amongst those that were there the longest and contributed the most to its success. I thought after the fact, I was like, “Wow, if I had done this earlier on, how much more motivated and part of the, and they were part of the team, but how much better it would’ve been.”
When I got involved with this business, that’s the first thing we did. Just about everyone in the company, if you’ve been here a year longer, you’re an owner in the company. When we ultimately get to whether it’s the New York stock exchange or a big exit, everybody in the company that’s been here at least a year will get to participate in that.
Adam DeGraide: There is no doubt in my mind that will happen.
Let’s talk a little bit about courage. Sometimes I think people meet guys like you and I, and they think that we don’t have worrisome nights from the time. That’s just not true. All of us, no matter how successful, no matter where we are success wise, in our businesses, in our personal lives, we’re always thinking to ourselves there’s more. We can do more. We could be better. We try to do it. But think back to the very first time you took that gig for 20 grand. What I’ve always loved about you is you’ve always listened to really smart advice. When that guy told you, “Hey, charge him less money to set up, Jesse. Charge him a monthly fee.” That was prophetic. Because who would’ve known how software models would’ve been valued based on monthly recurring revenue.
You and I, we kind of did it instinctually, but we weren’t planning that out. We didn’t know what the markets were going to do with that. But you’ve always been smart. It takes courage to start not only your first business, your second business, your third business and keep them all going. What is the intangible in you? Was it just something you were born with? Is it something you saw in somebody else that inspired you? Tell us.
Jesse Biter: Well, it starts with my connection with God, honestly. You’re David verse Goliath. David walked out there and he didn’t need anything. He knew he needed his stone and his slingshot because he trusted God. I have this blind faith and coupled that with pure stupidity. Just don’t care and just jump in and do it.
When I was a teenager, I just went and did whatever I had to do to make money. I think back to the first time I was really stressed to business. I hired my very first employee and it was a friend of mine. I had him drop out of college to come back and work for me because he was a smart guy. I remember working the deal with him. Agreeing to it. He put in his notice, he was coming home. That night I was driving back from my parents’ place. My dad was working in Maryland at the time. I was driving back. I just remember bawling, crying my eyes out, because I didn’t have the money to pay him. I had no idea how I was going to pay this guy. He didn’t know that. He didn’t know I didn’t have the money to pay him. But I knew once he’s here, I’m going to have to work twice as hard to make sure that I can pay him.
God provided. The next week more work came in and this was right when the software thing was just getting started and the money was always there just to pay him. Certainly a lot of focus and hustle, but God provided.
Adam DeGraide: Isn’t that amazing, Jesse? I think back to… I’ve been blessed, man. I’ve never missed a payroll in any of my businesses, dude. I personally have missed payroll, but the team that has been with me, we’ve never missed a payroll.
Jesse Biter: Same. I’ve missed a few payrolls for me, myself. But not for the team.
Adam DeGraide: I’m sure you have. But what a blessing to be able to know that there’s a higher power, something bigger than us that’s helping us do this as well too. There’s no doubt about it. Jesse Biter. Thank you so much for joining us on the David versus Goliath podcast. Happy New Year to all of your friends and family over at PropLogix and to all of our Watchers and listeners right here on the David versus Goliath podcast. Which as you know, is all about education, inspiration and activation. That’s what you can expect. 2022 is going to be amazing. Next week, I kick it off with a gentleman named Adam Chipponeri from Foster Pumps. You want to learn how water gets to your farm? This is going to be an awesome episode. Trust me. He’s fantastic, fun, high energy. Everyone. Thank you so much. Happy New Year. God bless you. Thank you for tuning in to the David versus Goliath podcast. We’ll see you next week.