David VS Goliath Podcast – S1 – Episode 20 – Zach Lezberg
Adam DeGraide interviews the CEO of the Small Business Expo. Zachary Lezberg has started and created one of the most vital expo’s in the country for small business. Since 2008 the SBE has been helping small businesses grow and find the vital vendors and receive essential education that they need for success. It was an honor and a privilege to spend some time with him and learn about the shared passion in supporting the backbone of America…SMALL BUSINESS!
Adam DeGraide: Coming up today on David Vs Goliath. Everything that everyone goes through has a purpose and a plan and a meaning behind it. If you can dream it, you can do it.
Zachary Lezberg: I have to say I was a pretty good deejay.
Speaker 3: Welcome to today’s episode of David Vs 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 great episode of David Vs Goliath, where the small guy takes on the big guy and wins, which is why I’m so excited today. We have Zachary Lezberg, the CEO and founder of the SBE. What does that stand for? The Small Business Expo. This is a fantastic gentleman with a great mission to support, love and serve small businesses all across our great country and it’s our privilege to have them here on DVG. First of all, today’s episode is brought to you by Anthem Software, built specifically for small businesses to help you find, serve and keep more customers profitably with their all in one solution of software, marketing and consulting. Take the 120 second video tour at anthemsoftware.com.
Also, breaking news, which I told you about, or maybe this is the first time you’re hearing about it. My brand new book just came out called, The Adventures of Jackson: The Young Field Mouse. This is a story I’ve been telling my kids for 26 years and it’s got some great illustrations in it. The artwork is fantastic. It’s so awesome. It teaches kids three primary lessons, bravery, attentiveness and gratitude. It’s available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble. Go check it out. If you buy it and you like it, let me know, leave a review. It would mean a lot. And we’re so excited. I’m just so grateful that I did it. It’s fantastic. Well, as you know, you can also visit us online at davidvsgoliathpodcast.com. Then you can subscribe, to receive email updates, as well as to apply to beyond the podcast. And there’s a new feature called ask DVG, simply go there, click on ask DVG, let me know your question and we might feature it in a future episode. Well, let’s get right to it today. Today’s going to be a ton of fun, Zachary Lezberg, welcome to David Vs Goliath.
Zachary Lezberg: Thanks Adam. It’s great to be here. Appreciate you having me.
Adam DeGraide: I love the hat. I love Small Business. Look at that. Check that out folks. It’s amazing. Zach, you and I absolutely share an affinity for what makes this country absolutely amazing. And that’s the small business owner who employs as you and I know, the majority of people in this country and this show, David Vs Goliath is all about supporting the small guy to take on the big guy to not just compete, but to win. And when I first met your business, Small Business Expo, because Anthem is a sponsor at the Small Business Expo, my software company. I just love the vision behind it. And I would love for you to take a few minutes to tell people about, why you decided to start SBE, the Small Business Expo and why you’re also passionate about small businesses.
Zachary Lezberg: Yeah, Adam. Definitely exactly what you said. I mean, small business is the backbone of this country. They are 99% of all businesses in the country. And we at Small Business Expo, love small business. Everything that we do is all about helping small business owners succeed. I started this company back in 2008. I actually was not a small business back in 2008, I was working for another company and I realized at that time that we needed something to help small business owners in networking and building our business. There was no big event out there for them. There were only smaller chamber events. You could go to local membership groups and things like that, but there was not one unifying event that was all over the country. So in 2008, I launched Small Business Expo and it took off like a wildfire.
I started it in New York. Obviously it took off like crazy there. Then I added LA and then Miami and then Chicago. And we kept on adding more and more cities to which point now we’re in 15 major US cities and we’re growing every single year, adding new and new markets as we grow. And we also, as you know, due to COVID, we actually had to quickly pivot and we started a virtual show, which our email list has grown over 1.2 million subscribers now, so-
Adam DeGraide: That’s great.
Zachary Lezberg: We figured a way to help everybody, even during COVID times, we launched the virtual shows, which were massive. So now people can either do it, whether it’s online or they can go to our shows, live and in person.
Adam DeGraide: That’s awesome. I can’t help but notice, you mentioned that you started in New York, you’re in New York, yet there’s a Boston Red Sox, on the couch back there. Are you a Sox fan too?
Zachary Lezberg: I am, so I mean, I grew up in Boston, so.
Adam DeGraide: I was born in Manchester, Connecticut.
Zachary Lezberg: Okay.
Adam DeGraide: Raised in a little state called Rhode Island.
Zachary Lezberg: Yeah.
Adam DeGraide: So much so that our jingle had to be, we’re the biggest little state in the union, Rhode Island. And every time I told people, Zachary, everywhere I went, what state I was from, they’d say, “Oh, Long Island.” I’m like, “No, not Long Island, Rhode Island.” So fellow New England lovers here man.
Zachary Lezberg: Absolutely.
Adam DeGraide: That’s great, man. Great. Much as I feel like New England is sort of like the backbone of America in some ways too.
Zachary Lezberg: Yeah.
Adam DeGraide: You could take the boy out of New England because I’m now a Floridian, but you cannot the New England out of this boy. There’s no doubt about that.
Zachary Lezberg: Exactly. That’s for sure.
Adam DeGraide: And that’s awesome. You know man, I love the vision, because you’re right. Up until the SBE, there wasn’t somebody really trying to say, hey, we have great speakers. We have people that have won, just because you’re a small business, probably small businesses is up to 500 people in your company. That’s tens of millions of dollars a year in revenue with those small businesses. And I tell people all the time, just because you run a small business, doesn’t mean your business has to have small thinking. And what I love about what you’re doing at the SBE, is not only are you allowing people like ourselves to come in and exhibit, but you have some really great courses that are being held at these events. Tell the listeners and watchers and those who maybe are thinking about starting a business or they own a small business that have never been, why should they go to the SBE?
Zachary Lezberg: Yeah. So Adam, that’s a really great question. So first of all, first and foremost, it’s a free event. So it’s free for small business owners and entrepreneurs to go to this event. It’s all one big day of learning and networking and building new relationships and new partnerships at the show. So as an attendee of the show, you can go to our exhibitor hall, you can shop for new products and services, anything from how to build a website, to SEO, to software, to office space and virtual products and different kinds of softwares that can help your business grow. You can go to workshops and learn all about things like tax planning or business planning, or how to get to the top of Google search results or proper accounting techniques or legal tips from lawyers. Maybe you don’t know how to get started.
You have this great grand idea to build a business, but you don’t even know where to start. Am I an Inc? Am I an LLC? So there’s a lot of different reasons to go to our show. And then on top of that, we have different networking opportunities, like speed networking, which is kind of like speed dating, but it’s for networking and you meet a lot of people very quickly. There’s different industry meetups at the show. There’s a business card exchange. We have great keynote speakers. There’s just a lot going on at our shows. It’s one busy day. And I think our biggest complaint is that there’s too much to do in one day.
Adam DeGraide: It’s funny, you mentioned that my last business act, we did 75 or 78 shows. The problem with the shows Zach is that, at these doctors events, they weren’t one day shows. They were three day shows, four day shows, five day shows. By the end, the exhibitor’s kind of like, give me a break, I can’t take anymore. And what is really cool about the SBE, is that it is a one day power punch. It’s almost like you go there, that’s [inaudible].
Zachary Lezberg: Exactly.
Adam DeGraide: Just take as big of a bag as you can folks.
Zachary Lezberg: And you have to take into account small businesses are what our target is for this. I’m a small business owner myself. I barely have enough time to get away from the office for an hour, let along an entire day. So at one point we did try a two day show, but it wasn’t for our target. Our audience, our entrepreneurs and small business owners, they want to get in, get all the information they need and then get out and get back to business. That’s really what it’s about.
Adam DeGraide: You know what we should talk about in the future you and I is, how to create a show called the next level. So it’s a smaller event, but it’s for the CEOs that are a little bit more, maybe a little bit more established or they’re crossing over to that next establishment. Maybe it’s some more in depth training. Hey, who knows?
Zachary Lezberg: Sure.
Adam DeGraide: You know what’s so great about what you’re doing, man and your vision you have, is that you’re dialing it in. You’re bringing people in, you’re educating them. You’re giving them valuable resources. And as we know, the world changes and who knows what the SBE will be five, six years from now. Could be one of the largest conventions to attend in the entire world. You never know.
Zachary Lezberg: Yeah.
Adam DeGraide: I truly believe that with the corporate takeover and I don’t want to get political and all, but there’s a lot of corporate takeover in the world in so many different ways that many people like myself and like you, and my family members and my cousins and my friends, we try to support that local business. You do everything you can with the big guys because you need to. But if you use an opportunity to bless a small businessman, go bless a small business. Now when you’re putting these events on Zach, this is no small feat. I went to the one in San Diego, right out of COVID. You had tons of people there. You have a big staff. How many people typically work a show on behalf of the SBE? And then how many people are you working with right now behind the scenes at the SBE and the operations?
Zachary Lezberg: I got to tell you, I am so blessed and lucky to have the team that I have. They are unbelievable. And what they’ve been through this last two years, they’ve been incredible. So props to them. I wouldn’t be able to do this without them. We actually have a very small team. Believe it or not. It looks like it’s a big team that puts on these shows because they are rock stars and they do a great job. Inside of my office internally, we have 15 full-time employees and we obviously, as a small business, we do have some freelancers that help us on different things that we need help with and whatnot. And then at the actual shows, I mean there’s upwards of 20, 30 people working on the show at the actual shows to get it done. They’re on different teams and they fly out to the different shows and whatnot, or their local help that we hire locally. But yeah, I mean, it’s a pretty small team for what we do and I truly I’m blessed to have them. They are unbelievable.
Adam DeGraide: I’ll tell you team makes all the difference in the world. What is the process that you’ve used to build this team? I mean, have many of them been with you for since day one? Or tell us a little bit about what your team made up of and then, so you don’t have to, you can name names if you want to, you don’t have to, but what are some of their roles and?
Zachary Lezberg: I will tell you, my team, the average tenure is about six or seven years with the company. Everybody enjoys working at the company. We all are kind of like a big happy, but also dysfunctional family sometimes. I mean, we have our ups and downs, but for the most part, everyone is very happy at the company. That’s why they’ve been here for so long and we do a pretty lengthy hiring process when we are looking for people. We do multiple interviews, in person, virtual. We really care about making sure that whoever joins the company is going to fit in really well with the corporate culture. As you could see, we’re a very casual atmosphere and everyone gets along. Everyone has a good time, because a lot of the people that work on the company travel to the shows.
Adam DeGraide: Yeah.
Zachary Lezberg: So they’re always together and they have to be able to get along and mesh well together, so.
Adam DeGraide: Otherwise that becomes a nightmare for not only then, but for you.
Zachary Lezberg: That’s for sure.
Adam DeGraide: There’s no doubt about it. I’m trying, I mean, I’ve produced a couple shows in my life. I produced a show about 15, 2000 attendees. It was just a lot of work just doing that. So as you’re building out, how do you decide where to go? I mean, COVID, as you know, has made such a challenge for events and for big events.
Zachary Lezberg: Yeah.
Adam DeGraide: I mean, to the point where I’m sure it’s angering to you. It’s frustrating to all of us. But when you’re choosing a city now, do you take that into consideration?
Zachary Lezberg: Yes and no. We definitely have a blueprint of the cities that we intend to add every year. A lot of it is based on where small businesses are at right now in those cities and where they’re headed. So there are cities that have enormous growth, potential for small business. There’s a lot of movement right now in the country with where businesses are moving to and what they’re doing around the country. So we take that into consideration when we’re adding new cities. On top of that, we obviously listen to our exhibitors and our sponsors to hear where they want to be. And we also listen to attendees. We do a lot of surveying after the shows. We do it based on US census, to see what’s going on with that. But there’s a lot of diligence that goes into, it’s not just, oh, I want to do a show here. We actually strategically and if you look at our schedule, the 15 cities that we have scheduled for this year are major small business hubs around the country.
Adam DeGraide: They are. Yeah. And they all have different regs and restrictions, so before you go to the show, make sure you know exactly what you’re walking into there folks.
Zachary Lezberg: As if it wasn’t hard enough to put on a show, now we have to also take into account all the COVID restrictions, because every city’s got different restrictions now.
Adam DeGraide: I know. Just, well, if you stay in Florida and Texas should be fine.
Zachary Lezberg: Yeah, exactly.
Adam DeGraide: Otherwise, it’s like a maze. It’s a maze that [inaudible] doors open, they close, they then crack open. They close. It’s kind of like… Are we going to [inaudible]. I just wonder how long we’re going to keep playing this game for.
Zachary Lezberg: Exactly.
Adam DeGraide: It’s fascinating to me. Now, listen, we’re going to take a break. But when we come back from the break, there’s something I saw in the pre-show sheet that really struck me and I want to chat with it. So hang on. This is Zach Lezberg, I’m Adam DeGraide, you’re watching David Vs Goliath. Stay tune, we’ll be right back.
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Adam DeGraide: And we’re back, with Zach Lezberg on the David vs Goliath podcast. Now, Zach, it says you were born an entrepreneur at the age of 11. He started his first business, a DJ company, and hasn’t stopped since. Now, does that mean that you haven’t stopped a DJ company since?
Zachary Lezberg: We got to make that adjustment on that bio, because I could see where that would be confusing. No, I haven’t deejayed probably since I was 13, but I did start a DJ company when I was 11. It was called Dreams 2 Reality. And we deejayed at school events, birthdays, bar mitzvahs. We did it all.
Adam DeGraide: I remember one of my first dances I went to, I mean, now I’m really dating myself. It was at St. Vincent de Paul in Rhode Island. And it was a 12-year-old to 14-year-old dance. And I got to the dance. I was dropped off by my mom. I walked in and Cum on Feel the Noize by Quiet Riot came on.
Zachary Lezberg: Oh my God.
Adam DeGraide: Come on feel the, I mean, it was the greatest thing. And I missed the days and the dances where you always ended with Stairway to Heaven. I mean, from my watchers and listeners, if you’re anywhere near my age and you went to a dance… And the reason why I think I liked it so much is because whoever you ended up with, was stuck with you for that whatever 12 minutes, however long the song was, was absolutely dancing with you, whether they liked it or not till-
Zachary Lezberg: Exactly.
Adam DeGraide: [inaudible] in the end.
Zachary Lezberg: I do remember those for sure.
Adam DeGraide: It’s so funny, man. I love it. And DJs, I guess there were DJs even back then, right?
Zachary Lezberg: Yeah. I mean, I was probably not your like… I was just playing CDs and stuff like that, but I was advanced for being 11-years-old. I have to say, I was a pretty good DJ a lot.
Adam DeGraide: And what was the name of it again? The name of the deejaying company?
Zachary Lezberg: Dreams 2 Reality.
Adam DeGraide: What did that mean? What was the significance?
Zachary Lezberg: I don’t know. At that time I came up with-
Adam DeGraide: Look it sounds so cool. I’m going to call it.
Zachary Lezberg: Yeah. At 11-years-old, I mean, dream to reality, Dreams 2 Reality, so.
Adam DeGraide: But if you think about it, Zach, the fact that you started your own business at 11 and you had your own name for it, your own branding for it.
Zachary Lezberg: Right.
Adam DeGraide: It was a part of the formation to where you are today.
Zachary Lezberg: Definitely.
Adam DeGraide: And a part of your future. Everything that everyone goes through has a purpose and a plan and a meaning behind it and Dreams 2 Reality, the greatest DJ company in the world back when Zach was 11-years-old, has led him to start an amazing company that supports and loves small businesses all over America. Now when you’re sitting down with your team, do you strategically plan together for the year or is it something that you do when you bring to the team or is it a blend?
Zachary Lezberg: I would say it’s a blend. We actually just had a department meeting earlier today. We meet on a weekly basis. I’m one of those people that, yes, I think meetings are extremely important, but limited, because I think meetings also can waste a lot of time.
Adam DeGraide: Yeah, no doubt.
Zachary Lezberg: People can get a lot more done if they’re not in the meeting, especially with all the technology these days with project management and things like that. So I try and limit our meetings, but I do find that bringing together the group to update each other and making sure, because there’s a lot of times communication gets lost because one department is working on something and the other one needs to know about it, but they don’t communicate with each other. So the meeting is what it’s all about. It brings everyone together. We do strategically plan for the year. We have a lot of different checklists and project management.
Adam DeGraide: I can imagine you’ve got checklist galore.
Zachary Lezberg: Yeah. It’s crazy.
Adam DeGraide: One of the things that impressed me when I first started looking into the SBE is your internet presence. You’ve done a really good job with that.
Zachary Lezberg: Thank you.
Adam DeGraide: A lot of small businesses don’t do that, and to have a database already of 1.2 million small businesses, that’s no small feat, as you know, so kudos to you. What are some of the tools that the SBE is using to get the message out to not only the attendees… Let’s deal with the attendees first. So as shows coming up, what do you do to get attendees there? How do you market it? Where do you market it? I think people would be fascinated to know that.
Zachary Lezberg: Absolutely. And in fact, a lot of what I’ll share right now is our tips actually for any small business to use for this. I’m a big believer in building an email database and I’m not talking about doing it the wrong way, where a lot of people will buy lists and then up upload them and things like that, because those people are let’s face it, they’re never going to read those emails. Most likely it’s going to go to their spam. You’ll even get in trouble with your email provider. So it doesn’t do any good doing that. Where we do it is and this was from day one when I started the company, is every interaction that I have, whether it’s with even somebody like you Adam, or when it’s with other vendors or I meet somebody and I exchange business cards, they get on our email list and we’ve had that on our website since day one. So people can and subscribe. You’d be shocked. Not only do a lot of small businesses, not even have a website in this day. I mean it’s 2022 and-
Adam DeGraide: Crazy.
Zachary Lezberg: … people don’t have websites still. First of all, get online. The second thing is, having a way to collect email addresses immediately when they come to the website, that is the number one thing that you must do. And that is something that we implemented from day one. And the traction has been obviously we’re massive all over the country with our events, all these attendees coming to our shows. So we’re a little bit more advanced in the sense that a lot of companies are joining our email list every day. But even for smaller companies that get a few visitors a day let’s say, those people should be joining that email list. They can send out specials and all that kind of stuff.
On top of that, we partner with a ton of organizations. We’ve reached out to every chamber, every entrepreneur organization, anyone that’s local in that city that helps small businesses. We have a strategic alliance with them to let their members know about coming to our show. And any small business can do that. Any small business can reach out to their local chambers of commerce. They can reach out to local networking groups and build relationships and offer specials to those members and things like that. We work with all the local cable companies and radio shows. We do podcasts. There’s just so many ways that we get the word out there.
And then on top of that, our own exhibitors and our own workshop presenters, they like to get the word out there too, because not only is it good for an exhibitor to let their audience know to bring people to come to the show, but they can also use this as an opportunity to meet with their existing clients.
Adam DeGraide: Yeah.
Zachary Lezberg: People that they already work with and just come to the show and just kind of like be a face to your brand and talk to each other. So there’s a lot of reasons they do that. So we’re all over the place. We try and get the word out in a number of different areas.
Adam DeGraide: How about social media for you, Zach? I mean, I know email’s really critical for a small business.
Zachary Lezberg: Totally.
Adam DeGraide: But social media is becoming really important. Are you doing a lot of that at the shows, your pre-show, at the show? Are you looking to expand that and grow that?
Zachary Lezberg: Yes.
Adam DeGraide: Because I think as a business, I mean the problem with these things as you and I know, is that there’s always a new one. Now you’ve got Zagg to get used to. Now you’ve got Gettr to get used to. You know which one’s coming out next year?
Zachary Lezberg: Which one?
Adam DeGraide: Dreams 2 Reality.
Zachary Lezberg: Dreams 2 Reality, there you go. Actually Adam, speaking of social networks, we actually do have our own social network. It’s called schmooze, S-H-M-O-O-Z-E. And it is a social network for small business professionals. And that actually launched mid last year.
Adam DeGraide: Oh, I didn’t know about it.
Zachary Lezberg: Yeah. It’s actually pretty strong. We have I think close to 4,000 people that have joined it so far, and that keeps growing and it’s pretty cool. People are networking on there. They’re posting about their businesses. I recommend all your listeners to actually join. It’s free. Obviously it’s a social network. But yeah, to answer your question, Adam, social media is, I should have mentioned that, it’s incredibly critical for small business. It’s one of the most obvious tools you should be using now and it’s so easy to do. And it’s great.
Adam DeGraide: Which ones do you use primarily?
Zachary Lezberg: Yeah, so our digital team focuses primarily on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. So those would be the main ones that they currently use. But like you said, new ones are getting added. So it’s certainly on our list to add that. I think like TikTok is going to be eventually on our list, but there’s a lot of others that you just mentioned that where we’re going to be definitely adding.
Adam DeGraide: We just did a campaign on Gab. It was pretty successful. Those niche places that are niche right now, like Gab, and Rumbles of the world, they have a good audience because they love America.
Zachary Lezberg: Absolutely.
Adam DeGraide: And there’s definitely audience there for you. Just food for thought for you.
Zachary Lezberg: That’s good. I will let my digital team know that because we’re actually looking to expand.
Adam DeGraide: Yeah. And Gab and Rumble, I look forward to you sending me my cheque, for the reference.
Zachary Lezberg: Yeah. That’s good.
Adam DeGraide: I’m just totally kidding. So now when it comes to getting guys like me to spend money, we reached out to you, but I would imagine that you have a part of a reach out, is it through LinkedIn primarily? How are you looking to find people like Anthem Software, for example, to exhibit and be a part of the SBE network?
Zachary Lezberg: Yeah. So we do have a full-time sales team. They basically, of course we have inbound leads just like you said that come in, that we reach out to. But we also do a lot of LinkedIn outreach. We do a lot through our own email blast to our own list. We get a lot of referrals from our existing sponsors and exhibitors. And of course we do outreach to all of the people that have registered to all of our shows, because many of those businesses that are coming on would be great candidates to eventually exhibit with us. So we do across the gamut, we definitely stay busy. I mean, there’s so much interest in our social media. We get a lot of inquiries through social media, especially on LinkedIn. So yeah.
Adam DeGraide: That’s great. So you do have a team that’s actually reaching out. That’s awesome, man.
Zachary Lezberg: Absolutely.
Adam DeGraide: Well, think about this folks, my watchers and listeners, because we’re going to head to a break here. Another break Zach for another, as my good buddy and my Dr. Stanley [Ecorro] says, “We’re not in it for the money, but without the money, we’re not in it.” We’re going to be heading through another break. If, think about it, from Dreams 2 Reality, from a dream, to a reality, every great entrepreneur has an idea. The difference between successful entrepreneurs and the average entrepreneur, is they just don’t have an idea, they don’t hesitate. They do it. Here’s another message from another sponsor on David Vs Goliath. We’ll be right back.
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Adam DeGraide: And we’re back for our final segment with the illustrious and amazing Zach Lezberg, the CEO and Founder of the Small Business Expo. This has been a lot of fun, man. I think people are really enjoying it and there’s nothing I enjoy more than talking to a kindred spirit. Someone who cares about the mom-and-pop shops, the small business. But you did mention on your sheet, the SBE might be specifically for small businesses to attend, but bigger businesses that have a market to reach out to these small businesses, can also come and show their awares, because if you are a friend of small business, even if you are a big business, you’re a friend of the SBE. Is that an accurate way of saying it?
Zachary Lezberg: That is absolutely correct. We support those who support small businesses. So whether that’s a small, small mom-and-pop company, all the way up to the Fortune 100s of the world, we support those and we encourage small businesses to use those products and services, even if they’re not small businesses, but they support the small business community.
Adam DeGraide: No doubt about it. And I think if you are a large behemoth and you’re watching this, don’t forget the small business man, because all the way down to the cycle as you know, the chain, as they say, the supply chain, there’s a small business that’s making your business critical too, down to the actual individual.
Zachary Lezberg: Exactly.
Adam DeGraide: We talked about this, hesitancy is the death of an entrepreneur, action is the life of an entrepreneur. And I talk about five smooth stones every business needs to have. Plans with goals, people, tools, process and courage.
Zachary Lezberg: Absolutely.
Adam DeGraide: Because I believe that courage was that stone that, that shepherd boy slung into that giants head and slayed that giant, named Goliath. It takes a lot of courage to start Dreams 2 Reality.
Zachary Lezberg: It’s true.
Adam DeGraide: But it’s certainly ohect, takes a lot of courage to start the SBE. So you were rolling around that day. You thought this idea, you said, man, chambers, we got to make it a little bit more bigger and a little bit more interesting. How do did you go from the idea, the concept, to actually completing it and getting it done?
Zachary Lezberg: What you just said, nailed it on the head. There’s a lot of people with these big great ideas, which is awesome. We need dreamers in this world. But it’s the people that actually take those dreams and to fulfill your theme right here, it’s those that take that dream and make it a reality. I mean, it’s true. And that’s execution. That’s what separates the real entrepreneurs from just the dreamers. It’s the people that know how to execute and take that idea and actually do it and take that leap of faith. It was difficult. I was working a full-time job at the time and the choice was, do I want to keep working full-time and working for somebody else? Or do I want to be my own boss and start my own company and take the leap of faith?
So what I did was I actually started the company while I was working full-time for another company and I would use my time on the off hours before work in the mornings and then all the way after work, after hours. And it was long days and long weekends. I didn’t go out. I spent my time starting my business, and then I realized I’ve got something here. People are really taking on to this idea.
Adam DeGraide: I can’t believe it wasn’t done.
Zachary Lezberg: Yeah.
Adam DeGraide: I can’t believe somebody hadn’t done it before you. But it’s like that with all great ideas folks. You might be lying in bed at night saying, “I get an idea for a business,” and you’re thinking, “Oh, that’s too simple.” You might be surprised.
Zachary Lezberg: Simple is always the best.
Adam DeGraide: And not just that, somebody might not have done it yet.
Zachary Lezberg: Exactly.
Adam DeGraide: And if not done it, you could do it better. Zach it’s fascinating, man. When you realize that you could do it for yourself full-time and you left that other job, and you put your head in that pillow that night, how did you feel?
Zachary Lezberg: I was nervous. I mean, but I was excited. I had so many feelings combined all into one, but I got to tell you, I’m very happy I did it. And I’m happy I took that leap.
Adam DeGraide: Yeah, man and I think a lot of people are, man. You think about how many businesses you’ve helped them over the years? How many vendors you’ve helped over the years. You’re not going to make everyone 100% happy all the time, you know that Zach. You and I know that. However, if you can dream it, you can do it. And the key is doing. And if you are listening to me and Zach right now, and you’re hesitating at even the next step of growth in your own business, maybe you are doing your own business and you could almost afford to live on it. But you have this other job that you keep clinging back to. At some point, you’re going to take a leap of faith and you’re going to take that stone off and hopefully there’s not a giant boulder that’s going to chase you out of the cave, as in Indiana Jones case.
Zachary Lezberg: Yeah. True.
Adam DeGraide: There’s always a boulder chasing you folks. Always something chasing you. And Zach, I got to tell you, congratulations on your success. You’ve worked with a lot of small businesses. Do you have any advice for those men and women right now that are struggling and need a little encouragement?
Zachary Lezberg: I can tell you this, hang in there. It’s going to get better. It’s a tough time right now for all small businesses, but that small business and that’s running a small business. There’s ups and downs. You’re going to have major ups. You’re going to have major downs, but in the end it’s worth it. So just hang in there, be optimistic, keep your head up high and you remember for those small businesses that have employees that work for them, remember that you are the leader. You’re the one, it starts at the top and it works its way down. So if you’re confident and you show that confidence and you show that leadership, your employees will follow.
Adam DeGraide: No doubt about it. Zach, this has been amazing. Have you enjoyed your time here on DVG?
Zachary Lezberg: I loved it. This is great Adam. I had a great time.
Adam DeGraide: This is such a great show. And if you know other business owners that have an interesting story Zach.
Zachary Lezberg: For sure.
Adam DeGraide: I want to feature them, man. I want to shepherd, I mean, I want to champion them. I want them to be champions. This show is all about champion the person who’s never been champion before. I want to bring that small business in, lift them up and say, “This is what makes our country great. This is what makes rugged individualism amazing. It’s right here on David Vs Goliath.” Now, before we leave, I want you to tell people how they can find you and where they can find out information on the upcoming shows.
Zachary Lezberg: Absolutely. First of all, thank you so much Adam, for having me once again. They can reach us at thesmallbusinessexpo.com. It’s thesmallbusinessexpo.com. That’s the best way to find us, because then you can also register for any of our events, which are completely free.
Adam DeGraide: That’s awesome. Zach, thank you for coming on.
Zachary Lezberg: Thank you.
Adam DeGraide: My brilliant watchers and listeners, can you believe the guests we have here? Think about it. Where else are you going to get this kind of quality information, education, inspiration and most importantly, activation in your business? This is the David Vs Goliath podcast. I’m your host, Adam DeGraide. Thank you for watching. Thank you for listening. We’ll see you next week. Have a great day.